"Disability is a matter of perception. If you can do just one thing well, you're needed by someone." -Martina Navratilova

In 1959, the Sebastian County Association of Retarded Citizens (ARC) was incorporated when Dr. Roger Bost, a prominent pediatrician, organized a group of families to bring a better quality of life to those with disabilities in our area. At the time, little was known about intellectual and developmental disabilities (I/DD), and was then referred to as "mental retardation." 

There were virtually no programs or activities in communities to assist in the development and care of children and adults with I/DD or to support their families. Like every parent, the founding ARC parents wanted more for their children. They wanted their children to lead fulfilling lives out in the community, not shuttered away in institutions. It was in that spirit that The ARC was born, excluding the Sebastian County Association of Retarded Citizens name. In 2002, we changed our name to The Arc for the River Valley ("The Arc").

Our mission at The Arc is to provide advocacy, education, and recreation for those with intellectual and developmental disabilities. As a local chapter of The Arc for the United States, we currently serve more than 450 members who live in Sebastian, Crawford, Logan, and Franklin counties in Arkansas and LeFlore and Sequoyah counties in Oklahoma.

We encourage you to explore our website, check out our Facebook page, and visit our offices to learn more about our Board of Directors, staff, and volunteers as well as the activities and events that we offer to individuals with I/DD and their caregivers. We welcome new members, volunteers, and donations to support our work.


The Arc for the River Valley is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization with federal ID #71-0511269.

Board of Directors

President: Chuck Bearden

Vice-President: Jim O'Hern

Treasurer: Mike Tickler

Secretary: Michelle Neece

Rebecca Hansel, Morgan Lockwood, Jocelyn Mitchelle, Ryan Rasmussen, Erika Rasmussen, Carolyn Scott, Matthew Scott, Stephanie Thornton, Kristina Worgan, Kasey Wilson


Executive Director: Francy Ford

Office Manager: Paula Hinsch

Contact Us

7821 Texas Road
Fort Smith, Arkansas 72908

phone: (479) 783-5529
fax: (479) 783-5394

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