On a local level, the Ozaukee County Arc (OCArc) has been effective in advocating for, and in many cases providing, community-based services for people with developmental disabilities. The OCArc owns two homes in Port Washington that are designed to meet the needs of individuals with disabilities. The OCArc is also a major sponsor of organizations that support individuals with disabilities and their families. These organizations provide a variety of community-based services including recreational, employment, group and independent living, and life skills assistance for Ozaukee County persons with disabilities.

The Arc of the United States has been one of, if not the leader, in many of the gains for people with developmental disabilities in the past 50 years. Their advocacy efforts have created the service system that now exists. Recent major examples of the efforts of the Arc on a national level include:

  • American with Disabilities Act (ADA). This is the law that requires public spaces to accommodate the disabled.
  • Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). This is the law that mandates that children be given the same educational opportunities as other children.
  • Olmstead Decision. This is the Supreme Court decision that challenges government to develop more opportunities for people with disabilities through more accessible systems of cost-effective community-based services.