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  • Participants who regularly go out in the community


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Founded in 1948, The Arc of Philadelphia, through its volunteer board, staff and membership has led the way in protecting the rights of and promoting opportunities for children and adults with disabilities by advocating with and for all children and adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities and their families to promote active citizenship, self-determination and full inclusion. The Arc of Philadelphia affiliated with The Arc of Pennsylvania and The Arc of the United States and is a member of the SpArc Philadelphia family of organizations.

The Arc of Philadelphia’s mission is to advocate with and for all children and adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities and their families, to promote active citizenship, self-determination, and full inclusion.


The Rights of People with Cognitive Disabilities to Technology and Information Access

People with cognitive disabilities have an equal right to technology and information access. A coalition of disability organizations and individuals asserted this right in a formal declaration, announced at the Thirteenth Annual Coleman Institute National Conference on Cognitive Disability and Technology, held October 2, 2013, in Broomfield, Colorado.

We invite all of you to read this declaration, The Rights of People with Cognitive Disabilities to Technology and Information Access, and to affirm your commitment to the equal rights of people with cognitive disabilities to technology and information access by endorsing it on the website.


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SpArc Philadelphia Announces CEO Departure

Following a decade of service as CEO of SpArc Philadelphia, Laura Princiotta will be retiring effective June 30, 2023. Laura has dedicated her career to serving vulnerable populations and worked for 34 years at SpArc, initially as a Direct Support Professional, then steadily moving up through the organization. Laura’s most notable accomplishments are best seen through the vibrant programming and advocacy services offered to all individuals with disabilities and their families, and the many successes that span her tenure. 

Laura oversaw a rebranding of the organization that was a catalyst for expansion and growth. Under Laura’s guidance, SpArc Philadelphia brought The Arc of Philadelphia and SpArc Services together in a meaningful way, facilitating their integration into one collaborative family of organizations to best serve people with disabilities and their families. She managed the transition of SpArc Services’ programming from primarily site-based, to programs that have a significant presence in the community. She stewarded the organization through the challenges of the Covid pandemic, maintaining her commitment to the organization’s mission and values.

Under Laura’s leadership, SpArc established the Neurodiversity in the Workplace initiative, a Mutual of America Community Award winning program that places people with disabilities into high-paying technology-related jobs, unlocking access to employment for a population previously frozen out of the workforce.

During Laura’s tenure, the Cultural Arts program grew exponentially, and gave artists in the program an innovative way to express themselves, while educating the community to the talent and value of artists with disabilities. Community-based art studios, art exhibitions throughout the area, and theater performances during the Philadelphia Fringe Festival became available to program particpants for the first time.

Under Laura’s leadership, The Arc of Philadelphia and our partners, The Arc of the United States and The Arc of Pennsylvania, developed the HealthMeet program and the Include Me program. She expanded Adult and Child Advocacy Services with the goal of equity and access for the disability community, especially equity in healthcare and education.

Laura has been a mentor to countless employees and young leaders throughout the years, always a facet of her job that she felt was vitally important. She served on the boards of The Arc of Pennsylvania, Allegheny West Foundation, Pennsylvania Council of Executives, UniqueSource Products and Services, and the Pennsylvania Rehabilitation Council.

Laura’s contributions are celebrated, her presence will be missed, and we are excited to see what the next chapter brings for her. Whatever that is, we know it will include giving a voice to the voiceless, mentoring young professionals, and spending time with her beloved family, especially her two granddaughters who are the light of her life.