Expanding AbilitiesOne Person at a Time

About Coarc

We are the Columbia County Chapter of The Arc New York, the largest family-based provider of services to individuals experiencing disabilities in the United States.  Every chapter focuses on meeting the needs of people with disabilities on a daily basis, whatever their income level, age, gender, race/ethnicity, or language.  Coarc provides support to more than 500 individuals experiencing developmental/Intellectual disabilities through our facilities and programs. To review our Quality and Compliance policy click here.

Our Mission

To expand abilities, one person at a time, so individuals experiencing disabilities can achieve their individual goals.

Our Vision

To be an ethical organization that is part of a society that recognizes people with different degrees of abilities as full contributing members of their community.

History of Coarc

Coarc is supported through state and federal funding, our membership, and contributions from individuals, businesses and foundations.  It was established in 1965 by a group of concerned parents of children with disabilities who believed that every child deserved a healthy, happy, productive life.  At that point in time, there wasn’t an organization or agency offering services or programs for children experiencing disabilities.  This group established themselves and received its official charter from Nysarc, Inc. on May 5, 1965.

  • Camp Mahican, a free summer day camp established in 1966, is currently a four-week program serving children experiencing disabilities from ages five to sixteen.
  • The Community Workshop, now known as The Training Center, opened in Hudson in 1971, moved to Mellenville in 1976, and currently employs individuals in molding, packaging, assembly, and decoration departments.
  • Community Residences were established to fulfill a variety of individual needs.  The first home opened in Hudson in 1976 and the fifteenth opened in Kinderhook in 2013.  Additionally, since 1985, the Apartment Program offers residential choices for more independent individuals.
  • The creation of a number of day activity programs.  Promenade Hill Center opened in 1981 and was expanded in 1997; Evergreen Hall opened in 1987 and relocated to a larger space in 2003; and Dove Hall, and Cardinal Hall also offer day programs. In 2012 “Without Walls” day services began.  Without Walls offers individuals programming not attached to a site, rather individuals spend their day in the community.
  • The Early Intervention Program (children’s services) was established in 1983 and evolved into The Starting Place in 1994, providing home-based and center-based care for children.  The program also offers universal pre-kindergarten classes and day care.
  • Injection molding machines arrived at Coarc to ensure a steady supply of assembly work for employees. The Training Center achieved the ISO 9001-2008 certification early in 2006, to make Coarc one of only a few not-for-profit agencies in the nation to be accredited with the International Standards Organization (ISO) in manufacturing. Coarc currently maintains ISO compliance.

  • Columbia Work Link, a program which connects area employers in need of skilled employees with individuals that Coarc supports, was launched in 2006; in 2010 it added its School-to-Work program, providing vocational training for teenagers experiencing disabilities still in high school.
  • “Work It!” was started to match individuals who require a greater level of support, opportunity to work one hour a week at a local business with a Coarc staff working alongside them.
  • “Be Amazing” a line of handcrafted body products was developed in 2013. Be Amazing is unique in that individuals who require the highest level of support are the workforce.
  • Coarc to Columbia-Greene opened in 2013 creating a modified College Experience program. This program provides individuals with disabilities an 11-week, 22 Session college learning experience.
  • Tradewinds – Coarc’s retail store opened in 2014. Tradewinds sells socially conscious items from around the world. The store offers employment training in an integrated setting.
  • Transitions, a holistic day program focusing on employment skills and activities of daily living, was created in 2017.

Our Beliefs

  • Choice

    We respect CHOICE and support individuals in expanding their abilities and determining the direction of their own lives.

  • COMMUNITY

    We recognize our COMMUNITY as a resource for expanding opportunities and enriching individuals’ lives through the sharing of common values and interests.

  • TEAMWORK

    We achieve healthier attitudes, broader understanding, and greater individual and organizational success through the use of TEAMWORK.

  • COMMUNICATION

    We rely upon effective COMMUNICATION created by listening without judging and the open exchange of ideas throughout all levels in the organization.

  • EMPOWERED

    We recognize the value gained from the learning experience, especially when people are EMPOWERED and given the tools and support needed to expand their abilities and realize their goals.

  • WELLNESS

    We recognize and value WELLNESS, promoting healthier lifestyles that foster overall happiness and improve the quality of life for everyone in the community.

501(c)(3)

Coarc is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, primarily supported through New York state and federal funding, and also by members, donors and other foundations.  Coarc serves over 500 individuals who are experiencing disabilities.

Who We are

Coarc was established in 1965 by a small group of parents and interested community members within Columbia County, New York to provide a place for their children who were experiencing developmental disabilities to live, learn and work.

Coarc is the Columbia County Chapter of The Arc New York, America’s largest non-profit organization supporting people with intellectual and other developmental disabilities and their families since 1949.  The Arc New York is a chapter of the The Arc.

Coarc residences, services and programs are offered throughout the community and in more than 20 different Columbia County locations. Coarc operates transportation services to individuals who experience disabilities to provide access to these locations.

Information on our Board of Directors can be found here.

  • Denise Barry, Ed.D.
  • Mary Blass
  • John W. Craft
  • Mary Anne VanDenburgh
  • Annette (Mickey) Dennis
  • Mary Ann Harris
  • Donna Knight
  • Dorothy (Dodie) Wheeler
  • Tracy Cantele
  • Doris Meier
  • Karen Blass
  • Karen Engel

Council on Quality Leadership

The Council on Quality Leadership (CQL) is an internationally renowned organization that helps agencies like Coarc provide services and supports that meet CQL’s standards for excellence in person-centered planning.  CQL’s Person-Centered Excellence Accreditation process is grounded in over 40 years of CQL leadership and peer-reviewed research. As a CQL Accredited agency, Coarc meets the standards for CQL and more importantly, Coarc provides services and supports to people that are based on each person’s defined outcomes for a quality life.  Accreditation by CQL is an ongoing learning and improving process, which is monitored by CQL every four years in order for Coarc to maintain accreditation.