Waterbury Arc serves the needs of adults with intellectual disabilities in Waterbury, Bethlehem, Middlebury, Morris, Naugatuck, Plymouth, Prospect, Southbury, Thomaston, Watertown, Wolcott, and Woodbury. We strive to offer numerous opportunities by providing updated services and innovative programs, thereby encouraging each individual to reach their full potential.

We are a nonprofit organization founded in 1950 by a group of concerned parents who wanted appropriate education and vocational services for children with intellectual and developmental disabilities. It was incorporated in 1952.

About Intellectual Disabilities

An intellectual disability occurs before the age of 18 and is characterized by significant limitations in intellectual functioning and adaptive behavior as expressed in conceptual, social, and practical adaptive skills. It is diagnosed using standardized tests of intelligence and adaptive behavior.

Studies have shown that somewhere between 1% to 3% of Americans have intellectual disabilities, depending upon how they are counted. Based on IQ score alone, the percentage would be closer to 3%.

Many adults who have been diagnosed with intellectual disabilities live wonderfully independent and productive lives.

People First Language

People First language is age-appropriate language that puts the person before the disability, as in “a person with disabilities” as opposed to “the disabled person,” or “the man with blindness” as opposed to “the blind man.“ When putting the person first, it eliminates the invisible barrier that is created by identifying with a disability instead of the person.

Banning the “R” Word

We do not use the word “retarded.” Its colloquial use today means to be demeaning and insulting.


Waterbury Arc is a qualified vendor for and funded by the Connecticut State Department of Developmental Services, local Boards of Education, the Bureau of Rehabilitation Services, and the Department of Children and Families.


Get in touch with us to learn more about what we do and to see how you can get involved!