The Arc Minnesota

A nonprofit organization

$17,332 Raised by 111 Donors

35% complete

$50,000 Goal

The Arc Minnesota's mission is to promote and protect the human rights of people with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD). We do this by helping people with IDD and their families navigate a complex and fragmented disability service system. At the same time, we challenge the reliance on this system by empowering program participants to explore all of their available options for support, including supports that arise organically within their communities. We gather our community together to advocate for systems change that will promote inclusion and end discrimination. 

This Give to the Max Day, we are highlighting three stories that we have shared throughout the year from people with IDD and allies. While each of these individuals have a different journey to share and have participated with The Arc in different ways, their stories share a commonality. Each story displays the powerful and whole lives that people with IDD and their families experience and shows how each of them have advocated for themselves and their communities to make Minnesota a more just place for everyone.

Enjoy these stories from Mary Ann, Antonietta, and Karli. 

Mary Ann's story

Mary Ann helps other people home.

Single mom, self-advocate, and professional Hawaiian dancer, Mary Ann worked with The Arc Minnesota to secure a deposit for her apartment. Through her experience with The Arc Minnesota, Mary Ann started helping other people in her community find a home that they love.

"The Arc has really supported me in a lot of different things. One of those things [is my] advocacy… Housing has always been very huge to me,” says Mary Ann.

She connects with people at the local community center and online to tell them about The Arc Minnesota and our Housing Access Services program. Mary Ann's advocacy has helped other people connect with The Arc Minnesota's Housing Access Services. Mary Ann says, “I’m just so glad I have a different way of helping [people who have disabilities].”

Antonietta's story

Antonietta first reached out to The Arc Minnesota for support when she was having an issue with her son’s daycare 25 years ago. Since then, Antonietta has worked with and volunteered for The Arc Minnesota in community outreach. She has also worked with The Arc Minnesota to share Danny’s story with legislators to help pass important public policy.

“It’s very important that we introduce the issues to our legislators. [Legislators] can’t advocate for something [they] don’t know.

Advocates like Antonietta and Danny are creating connections with legislators, which is essential to comprehensive public policy change. Thanks to advocates like them, updates to the program were included in the final bill of the 2021 legislative session. The updates included rate increases and future improvements. These increases and future improvements to the program help make it sustainable for our friends, family members, and neighbors who depend on it.

Karli's story

“It’s totally changed my life,” says Karli, referring to Self-Advocates of Minnesota (SAM), a network of self-advocacy groups around the state. The Arc Minnesota helps host and support more than 20 groups for self-advocates around the state.

Self-advocacy is using your power to advocate for yourself, and to educate others to do the same. Self-advocates co-lead these groups, connect with each other, and learn from each other. “It gives me a chance to not only change the community and work, [but] make small changes for myself in order to make myself feel better in the community,” Karli says.

Karli's self-advocacy journey started in 2009, when she decided she wanted to move out on her own. Karli was the first person to move into housing through The Arc Minnesota’s Housing Access Services program which supports people in living independently.

Along with being the current chair of Self-Advocates Minnesota, she’s also involved in several other self-advocacy groups, and is currently an intern at The Arc Minnesota. “I have become more confident with being involved in self-advocacy groups… [they give me] skills in order to make my life better.”

“The big thing with [self-advocacy] is confidence building and getting my voice heard. Not having people tell me what to do, but telling them what I need,” Karli says.

What’s Karli excited about in her future as a self-advocate?

“Everything,” Karli says, smiling.

This Give to the Max Day, will you support people with intellectual and developmental disabilities as they advocate for themselves and their communities in Minnesota? 

Organization Data


Organization name

The Arc Minnesota

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2446 University Ave W Suite 110
Saint Paul, MN 55114



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