If you or someone you love experiences an intellectual or developmental disability, you’ve come to the right place.
From birth to old age, The Arc of Anchorage has a full array of disability services for Alaskans with intellectual and developmental disabilities. The Alaskans we serve and their families are free to choose disability services that best meet their needs. We recognize each person we serve has specific dreams, ambitions and interests, as well as aptitudes and abilities apart from the disability he/she experiences. Our services are individually tailored to meet the needs and goals of each person we serve. Read more…
November 22, 2013
On November 21, The Arc of Anchorage celebrated the completion of a goal to provide more housing to Alaskans who experience intellectual and developmental disabilities. Five years ago The Arc began the monumental task of building a new assisted living home each year for five years. To mark the occasion The Arc held an open house celebration at the last house.
Building five homes in five years seemed nearly impossible for a non-profit organization—and almost was. However, a community of private donors, businesses, other non-profits, city government, and foundations found a way to contribute to improving housing for Alaskans who experience disabilities. The final nail was driven in the final home this fall.
The Arc’s leadership, earlier this year, was unsure if the organization would be able to complete the “Five Homes in Five Years” campaign on time. Money was tight after four years of building and it appeared the final home would have to wait. However thanks to a $250,000 grant from the Rasmuson Foundation work continued on the last home. Final touches were added to the house recently and it is ready for occupancy.
“Tremendous community support from more than 300 private donors, local businesses, NeighborWorks, the Municipality of Anchorage, and Rasmuson Foundation made this possible.” said Dr. Mary Van Haneghan, Executive Director of The Arc of Anchorage.
Assisted living is a vital service The Arc provides to Alaskans who experience intellectual or developmental disabilities; however, accessible housing is in short supply in Anchorage. A fully accessible house is one story with wide hallways, large bathrooms that include lift equipment and an open floor plan. The Arc decided building accessible housing was more cost effective rather than remodeling existing homes for sale in Anchorage. Currently, The Arc operates 32 assisted living homes throughout Anchorage. For the foreseeable future accessible housing will remain a critical need for Alaskans who experience disabilities but for now The Arc is celebrating an achievement.
October 22, 2013
The Arc of Anchorage received a special surprise last week from the Alaska Legislature. Representative Geran Tarr presented Dr. Mary Van Haneghan, Executive Director, with a Legislative Commendation during the annual Dreamweaver Affair Dinner. The commendation cites the vital work The Arc is doing on behalf of Alaskans who experience intellectual and developmental disabilities.
September 25, 2013
Prior to working at The Arc of Anchorage as a Job Coach, Ian Minton worked for Barnes and Noble. He liked it there; however, he wanted something else. He spoke to the store manager and she thought he might enjoy working for The Arc of Anchorage. The manager helped him discover a passion which is helping people who experience disabilities as a job coach.
Over the past two and a half years he has worked at 13 job sites assisting people who experience disabilities in the workplace, including Wal-Mart, Carrs, AIH, Totem Theatre, McDonalds, Alaska Rock Gym, and his former employer, Barnes and Noble—which is the only store in the national chain with a supported employment program. He also helped with pre-employment training at The Arc. At least 30 people he coached are still working in the community.
When asked why he likes this work, he says, “This is a job you can feel good about at the end of the day. While you are teaching someone how to be successful in the workplace, you are learning what being grown up means.”
He learned quickly that not everyone is motivated by the same goal so he had to understand what a person’s motivation was for working and then help them achieve their goal. Ian says job coaches help the person learn work routines for their position and coach them on how to handle things outside that routine.
Compared with other entry level positions Ian says, “the pay is better than most” and he often encourages his peers to apply for a direct service position.
Ian has not decided on a final career, but feels the experience he has gained at The Arc will be “good for life” and knows that he could be happy working in human services as a career.