The Arc of Central Alabama provides services to over 800 people throughout both Jefferson and Blount counties. Services are provided via:

  • Community Day and pre-vocational training at seven Arc campuses
  • Residential Services for over 320 individuals in 88 homes
  • Early Intervention for toddlers and their families
  • Employment Support

What Makes Us Unique

WE TAKE ALL REFERRALS: The Arc of Central Alabama is the only non-reject program in Alabama, which means we accept all referrals through the proper channels. Individuals are not turned away due to severity of disability, psychiatric diagnosis, behavioral challenges, or medical needs. We handle the most critical cases and provide support to individuals across the spectrum of needs and abilities. The Arc of Central Alabama is the state’s largest provider of services and also designated as a crisis center for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD).

WE SUPPORT ALL AGES: The Arc serves people throughout their lifetime. Early Intervention supports infants and toddlers who present delays and provides training to their families and caretakers. Employment Support provides training in local high schools to prepare students for employment when they graduate. Residential Programs provide a safe and nurturing home environment for adults of all ages. Recently, an adolescent unit was created when the need was presented. Community Day Programs cater to adults of all ages with IDD and varying abilities. The majority of adults served by The Arc stay in our programs until the end of life.


Title VI Notice of Protection Against Discrimination: The Arc of Central Alabama operates its programs without regard to race, color, and national origin in accordance with Title VI of the Civil Rights Act. Any person who believes she/he/they has been aggrieved by any unlawful discriminatory practice under Title VI may file a complaint with The Arc of Central Alabama. For more information on the Civil Rights Act and the procedures to file a complaint, contact us at (205) 323-6383. If information is needed in another language, please contact (205) 705-1836. Further, a complaint may be filed directly with the Federal Transit Administration by contacting the Office Of Civil Rights with Attention to Title VI Program Coordinator at 1200 New Jersey Ave. SE, Washington, D.C. 20590.


Our History

1953: A group of parents concerned about the education of their children with intellectual and developmental disabilities came together to form the Association for Retarded Children and establish a school, which became known as The Opportunity Center.

1978: Federal legislation established curriculum in public schools for all children with disabilities until age 21. Since then, The Arc has focused our efforts on Early Intervention services for children from birth to three years and on Day and Residential programs for adults age 21 and older who have aged out of the public school system.

1985: With grants from the Alabama Department of Mental Health, we added our first work training facility, Arc Way Industries, on 1st Avenue North in Birmingham.

1996: We officially changed our name to The Arc of Jefferson County. To learn why we use the word ‘Arc’ instead of the acronym ‘ARC’, click here.

2005: The Arc of Central Alabama acquired The Arc of Blount County, overseeing operations and extended services to those with IDD.

2006: The Tom Leonard Center opened to provide day and vocational services in the Hoover/Vestavia Hills area.  In following years, The Arc acquired a three-home residential program serving 25 people previously operated by UCP of Greater Birmingham, as well as The Saint Andrew’s Residential Program, which served almost 30 people in four homes.

2014: The Arc of Jefferson County moved its main campus to the former Salvation Army Youth Center in Crestwood and also took over the services for more than 70 people from the Jefferson Blount St. Clair Mental Health Authority.  

2018: To better represent our footprint and service area, The Arc of Jefferson County underwent a name change to become The Arc of Central Alabama.

The Arc of Central Alabama is a proud chapter of The Arc of Alabama and The Arc of The United States.  We are also the Department of Mental Health’s designated provider for Region V Emergency Crisis Care for individuals and families in crisis in Alabama.