The Arc Rapides is formerly known as John Eskew Training Center. John Eskew was a school for exceptional children with disabilities at a time when those individuals were not allowed to be admitted into “regular” school. Many of those students worked at Handi Works Productions and later transitioned into the RARC services.

In 1955, our nonprofit began as The Rapides Association for Retarded Children (RARC) to help children diagnosed with mental retardation, a term that’s now fallen out of favor. The name was changed to The Rapides Association for Retarded Citizens in the late 70s; and further amended to The Arc Rapides, Inc in 2013 to better reflect its affiliation with Arc chapters across the country and within Louisiana.

Today, The Arc Rapides services roughly 130 consumers and we are still growing!

Our Mission

The Arc Rapides’ mission is to provide individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities with a place of work and enrichment. We are dedicated to creating, through education, advocacy, and support, a greater Central Louisiana community that includes, accepts, and celebrates people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. The Arc Rapides advocates with and for all people with intellectual and related developmental disabilities and their families so that they shall live to their fullest potential.

The mission of The Arc Rapides is:

  • To deliver person-centered services to our physically and intellectually disabled consumers. 
  • To empower through individual support those persons who choose The Arc Rapides as an agency to provide vocational training, in home attendant services, community services, supported employments, and day habilitation
  • To ensure that The Arc Rapides staff have opportunities to contribute to the improvement of the organization as a whole
  • To inspire empathy and mutual appreciation for the abilities and talents of the consumers
  • To enrich the lives of the consumers our agency serves

Our Vision 

It is the vision of The Arc Rapides to provide well designed and well managed vocational and community-based training to the population it serves. Our vision is also to continue to assist our intellectually and developmentally disabled adults and allow them to achieve as much independence as possible in their home, work, and community. The Arc Rapides will strive to empower self-worth and self-respect of the individuals we serve.

Values and Guiding Principles

All citizens should be supported to live, work, and play in our communities. It is our responsibility to search for and promote the gifts and talents of those we support. The Arc Rapides Staff will advocate for freedom of choice and equality. The Arc Rapides will build bridges for community inclusions. The Arc Rapides services will promote the health, safety, and dignity of those we support.

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