Our History

theArc_finalLogoType-The Arc of Dunn County, Inc. was organized as a member unit of The Arc-Wisconsin and The Arc-National in 1967. We were started by a group of parents due to the need of programs for pre-school children who were developmentally disabled. The first classes were taught by the mothers of children with disabilities due to the lack of funding for a teacher. The group later contacted the Dunn County Board of Supervisors for funding to operate the program. Later they became part of the programming of the Tri-County Mental Health Clinic in Baldwin, Wisconsin. The three counties consisted of Dunn, Pierce, and St. Croix. Classes were held for several years at Christ Lutheran Church in Menomonie, until these programs were taken over as a mandated program of the public-school system.

The Arc began to explore how to start a program for adults who were developmentally disabled who resided in the county, whether in a home or in State Centers. With the help of a Vista Volunteer, people were identified, and members began to look for ways to obtain facilities and funds to begin programs. With the help of Dr. Don Brolin from the University of Wisconsin-Stout, a grant application to the Federal Developmental Disabilities Board was made and received, thus beginning the first Adult Activity Center in the area. This began at the home of Avis Wolske, who was the first Director. This program also came under the administration of Tri-County Mental Health.

When the 51.42-437 legislation came into effect, consumers were appointed to this board that became the Unified Services of Western Wisconsin, located in Elmwood, Wisconsin. After this agency was dissolved by the three county boards, Dunn County Human Services Board asked The to form a private non-profit corporation to operate a sheltered workshop. The Arc established this non-profit workshop, which today is called Indianhead Enterprises, Inc. This organization is now its own entity and is one of the most successful non-profit facilities in the area.

The Arc has given scholarships over the years to college students who are majoring in Special Education or related fields of study. The Arc has been involved in education programs in local High Schools, UW-Stout, Dunn County Coalition for People with Disabilities, local service clubs and local radio. The Arc obtained funding for advocacy throughout the years from the United Way of Dunn County. The United Way of Dunn County Members have been supportive as solicitors and aiding the program at its Kick-Off Campaign.

In 1987, The Arc was able to obtain an office and hire an Executive Director. This made The Arc  more accessible to the public. In November of 1987, The Arc began a Residential Program and hired a Residential Director. In August of 1989, the Corporate Guardianship program was established and hired a Guardianship Director. In 1997, The Arc purchased a home to be used as a group home for men who are cognitively disabled, thanks in part to a WHEDA grant. In 1998, an Otto Bremer grant enabled The Arc to remodel and updated the group home.

In 2003, The Arc purchased a group home at 538 Woodridge Ct, in Menomonie. It housed the offices for The Arc until 2008, which then became the building for an Adult Family Home. In 2008, The Arc built a new office building at 2602 Hils Court in Menomonie to sustain its growth and continue serving the community where there is a need.