April Spotlight: The Arc of the Ozarks

At The Arc of the Ozarks, our mission is to support individuals with disabilities in directing their own lives as valued members of the community. Our services go far beyond providing supports. We coach, teach, encourage, advocate and rally for the people we support. We exist to ensure they live their best, most fulfilling lives the way THEY decide they want to live it.

It all started around a kitchen table. In 1954, a group parents in our community recognized that there was a need for a safe, welcoming environment for their children with disabilities. They envisioned a place that their children could socially interact with others, obtain employment, learn life skills and more.

From that kitchen table, a support network was built resulting in the 1964 establishment of The Arc of the Ozarks.

Today, we service over 1,400 individuals in 17 Missouri counties, including the Kansas City area. We also employ 1,280 people.

At The Arc, we support others to envision themselves living independently and pursue the many opportunities that are presented to them. We do this by providing many services to those that walk through our doors. Everything from residential services to community connections, day services, psychological and therapy services and so much more.

Our Education and Recreation program offers a wide range of activities to satisfy every interest that are not only fun but broaden social skills and encourage independence. All our Education and Recreation programs are located at the Timothy Grant Newport Activity Center in Springfield. The activity center has a fully equipped gym and heated indoor swimming pool that aren’t only available to those that receive services, but also those in the community.

Our Ed/Rec program offers a No Limits Summer Camp program to children and young adults ages 6-21 with developmental disabilities. This summer camp provides a wide variety of activities designed to promote the educational and recreational interest of each camper.

It is a multi-week program that encourages participants to swim, play games, participate in arts and crafts, attend field trips to locations throughout our community and more. This experience encourages growth in people not only by doing fun activities, but by becoming more independent in daily living and socializing.

Don’t just take it from us! Meet Destyn. He’s all smiles and has been a camper at No Limits for 4 years. Since coming to camp, Destyn and his family has gained confidence to visit places in the community. That is because during summer camp, our campers go on community outings daily. During these outings, our team supports and challenges our campers to engage and interact in a variety of community settings designed to help them learn and grow. Our camp also gives the opportunity for our campers to make new friends, build self-esteem and gain self-confidence.

We are excited to be hosting a smaller version of our No Limits Summer Camp this year, after canceling last year due to COVID-19. For more information about The Arc or No Limits Summer Camp, please visit www.TheArcOfTheOzarks.org.