The Arc of Alabama, Inc., a 501©3 non-profit organization, was founded in 1957. It is the largest organization in Alabama dedicated solely to advocating for the rights and needs of children and adults with cognitive, intellectual and developmental disabilities.

Chapters in Birmingham, Mobile, Huntsville, Tuscaloosa and Gadsden joined together in 1957 to form The Arc of Alabama. The original statewide name was the Alabama Association for Aid to Retarded Citizens Children. In 1990 the national organization changed its name from the National Association for Retarded Citizens to The Arc. The state organization changed its name the following year.

Although there is no mandate for our chapters to change their names, all of them by nature of their affiliation with The Arc/US adopt national positions that reflect the value of and respect for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities.