National Movement Evolves

The AAMD meeting held in Columbus, Ohio in 1950 served as a launching pad for parents of children with intellectual and developmental disabilities across the country to establish the National Association of Parents and Friends of Mentally Retarded Children.

In 1953, the National Association for Retarded Children held its first meeting. Today, it is known as The Arc – for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities — and claims many accomplishments, including becoming the first organization to invest in research about developmental disabilities, helping to expose the link between lead poisoning and brain damage in infants and children, successfully pushing Congress to add disability as a protected class under the Fair Housing Act, and serving as a leader among national disability groups to advocate for the landmark Americans with Disabilities Act.