We, as an organization have been sensitive to the impact of terminology on our constituency and have adapted accordingly. As the words 'retardation' and 'retarded' became pejorative, derogatory and demeaning in usage, the organization changed its name to 'The Arc.'
Today, the term 'mental retardation' remains the terminology used in the medical field and referenced in many state and federal laws. However, 'intellectual disability' and 'developmental disability' are making their presence known, and we are doing everything in our power to make sure they're adopted more broadly.
Caddo Bossier Association for Mentally Retarded Children was organized and incorporated by a small group of parents. They established a volunteer Board of Directors with 21 members, had a class of 15 students and 3 employees with a $10,000 budget coming from donations. The association membership was 30 people. They held classes for school-age children (8-18 years) at St. John Berchmans Cathedral’s property at 940 Margaret Place.
The Association was renamed Caddo-Bossier Association for Retarded Children (C-BARC) and had 98 students in three locations. The budget was $45,000 with funds received from the Caddo Parish School Board, the state of Louisiana, and United Way. The Rosa T. Smith program of agricultural projects began in Dixie, LA, and the E. A. Frost Memorial property at 351 Jordan Street was donated.
In 1960, a preschool program began at the E. A. Frost home, and a work activity center moved to this location.
In 1962, the David H. Goldman School was built at 351 Jordan Street with three classrooms and 45 children, and the preschool moved to this new building.
The E. A. Frost Home was demolished in 1976. C-BARC worked on accompanying state legislation and were key players in the enactment of Public Law-94-142, the Education for All Handicapped Children Act which guarantees a free appropriate education for all children with disabilities.
1977 - 1978
In 1977, the Association was renamed Caddo-Bossier Association for Retarded Citizens (C-BARC), and the first Community Home was opened in the state of Louisiana by C-BARC initiating Alternative Residential Services. The Association membership reached 495. In 1978 C-BARC established the first Respite Program in the state creating an in-home or out-of-home model to be replicated, and the Vivian Work Activity Center Opened.
Mid-City Child Development Center was housed in four classrooms in the basement of First Presbyterian Church in Shreveport and was licensed for 45 children promoting an inclusive environment for early childhood learning. This was the first licensed early intervention program in the state, and all of the pre-school programs merged in the early 1990’s.
1984 - 1986
In 1984, the Beaird-Poulan plant and acreage on Greenwood Road was donated to C-BARC and dedicated as the James Conly Work Activity Center. In 1986 C-BARC was awarded the first contract at Barksdale Air Force Base post office through National Industries for the Severely Handicapped (NISH).
1990 - 1992
Mr. Jim Gardner was the first person from Louisiana to serve as President on the national Board of Directors of The Arc of the United States from 1990 - 1992.
1993 - 1995
In 1993, the Association was renamed The Arc of Caddo-Bossier and had a membership of 648. Mid City Child Development Center consolidated with the David H. Goldman School merging all of the inclusive pre-school programs. In 1995, the Goldman School became the first school in Louisiana to reach full National Certification due to educational accomplishments of the staff. The Arc of Caddo-Bossier was a leading chapter of The Arc of the United States advocating for the landmark Americans with Disabilities Act.
2000 - 2007
In 2000, Greenwood Equine Assisted Therapies (GREAT) became a program of The Arc. This cutting-edge therapeutic horseback riding program started at Lickskillet Ranch. In 2004, with a membership of 2,459, The Arc Caddo-Bossier celebrated its 50th Anniversary and received the Largest Membership Award from The Arc of Louisiana. In 2007, GREAT changed their name to Great Results Equine Assisted Therapies and began a capital campaign to build a new facility.
In January 2007, The Arc Caddo-Bossier invited the community to tour the newly remodeled Guest Home, a respite home that was the first respite center opened in the state of Louisiana in 1978 .
The Arc Caddo-Bossier Foundation exists to maximize the Mission and ensure the financial stability of The Arc Caddo-Bossier and its affiliates by generating and accepting contributions, creating and administering funds, and making grants or loans that support both start-up and ongoing programs. The Mission of The Arc Caddo-Bossier is to provide opportunities for children and adults with disabilities to realize their full potential, to fulfill their gifts and talents, and to become self-directed and contributing citizens.
Whether directly or indirectly, chances are your life has been touched by a person with a disability. People with disabilities have the same dreams as any of us, to lead productive, meaningful lives in their community of choice. This dream is attainable when the proper support and opportunities are provided. By supporting The Arc Caddo-Bossier Foundation you are ensuring the continuation of programs essential to giving citizens with disabilities of our community a chance to live this dream..
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