down syndrome eenage girl having good time together with family

Advocacy at
The Arc of North Carolina

The root of all our work.
Learn more about the policy issues we address and the advocacy work we do.

Family with Downs Syndrome son

The Root of All Our Work

Advocacy at
The Arc of NC

Advocacy is the root of all our work at The Arc of NC. It is how we began, and though the world looks very different now, there is advocacy in all we do each day; there is also so much work left to be done.

Besides being able to connect directly with families who need us to lend our voice so that theirs becomes stronger, we also work at the state and federal levels to advocate for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD) and their families. We focus on policy issues that are important to the IDD community such as healthcare, education, housing, employment, accessibility, and community inclusion.

If you need advocacy for yourself or for a member of your family, please let us know.

Reach out and find out how we can help.

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Our Advocacy division is actively working on these current policy issues


The Arc of North Carolina is a statewide advocacy and service organization working with and for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD) and their families for almost 70 years. The Arc remains committed to supporting innovative policies and programs that build pathways to independence through quality education, employment, health, community living options, and civic engagement alongside non-disabled peers across the lifespan.

While our advocacy work represents the broad realities facing individuals with disabilities and their families, our last legislative agenda represented specific policy priorities, reflective of immediate, critical needs and system changes for the 2021 Legislative Session adopted by our statewide volunteer board of directors.

Community Living & Group Homes

  • Increase and Secure funding for Group Home and other Community-Based Living.
    1. At minimum, Group Home providers will need $26 million, recurring, to support additional state-funded residential services.
  • Create Funding for Tenancy Support to help individuals with I/DD, Mental Illness, Substance Use and Traumatic Brain Injury to live independently in the community.
  • Fund Additional Innovation Waiver Slots and Services:
    1. Work with DHHS to obtain an accurate count of people with I/DD on the waiting list (current estimates around 14,000), and improved detail about what services and supports those people need.
    2. Provide funding for 25% of the needed waiver slots this year.
    3. Commit to funding 25% per year for an additional 3 years.
    4. Direct DHHS to develop an additional waiver providing a smaller range of services.
    5. Commit to continued and regular increases in service rates to help direct support staff meet cost of living increases, remain stable in their jobs, and improve outcomes and protect supports for people with I/DD.

Whole Person Care

  • Enact Safety Nets and Accountability with NC’s Medicaid Transformation
    1. The Arc requests that the General Assembly and DHHS bolster the checks and balances on LME/MCOs so that individuals within the I/DD community do not fall through the cracks in NC’s ongoing transition to managed care.
  • I/DD Tailored Plans at minimum should include:
    1. Special recognition that those within the I/DD community will need early and regular navigational assistance with any transition to a Tailored Plan and plans to accommodate such needs.
    2. Provisions that address I/DD members who could be on either the Standard Plan or the Tailored Plan.
    3. Uniform data collection within and between entities.
    4. Expand the current I/DD Medical Health Home Initiative pilot and permanently fund Primary Care Consultation Services and support initiatives that will assist primary care providers to better serve individuals with I/DD.
    5. Bolster oversight to ensure quality care for beneficiaries and an efficient process for providers.
  • As FASD is the only preventable I/DD, The Arc will advocate for resources and support for FASD prevention, assessment and treatment.

Employment & Education

  • The Arc encourages the General Assembly to increase funding statewide for Children with Disabilities, including children within the I/DD community Pre-K “ 12. We request that the General Assembly take prompt action to increase this funding, especially given that approximately 60 public school systems and many public charter schools in North Carolina are underfunded with the current state allotment.
  • Continue the work of the General Assembly’s I/DD Caucus. Continue to advise the Caucus and help educate legislators on the diverse needs of the I/DD community.

Support for Individuals with I/DD Throughout the COVID-19 Pandemic

  • Additional funding is needed to support I/DD providers and group homes through the course of the COVID-19 pandemic.
    1. Should a legislative action be required, The Arc of NC supports efforts to reorganize North Carolina’s corporate guardianship program as the “Office of Guardianship Management” under the Department of Human Services.
    2. Oppose moving the North Carolina corporate guardianship contract to each county office of social services.
  • Support changes to statewide approach to guardianship pending The Arc’s approval of the work of the Rethinking Guardianship Committee.

Legislative Wins from the 2021 Long Session

Group Home Stabilization. Added $10 million recurring each year of the biennium for group home stabilization

Supplemental short-term assistance for group homes. $1.8 million supplemental short-term assistance for group homes

Increase Innovations Waiver slots by 1,000 to help reduce the Registry of Unmet Needs (RUN). The final budget includes 1,000 Innovations Waiver slots.

Directs DHHS to develop a plan for adequate provider supply for services provided through the Innovations Waiver.

Continue Medicaid eligibility to twelve months postpartum for new moms.

Resume funding for adult and pediatric TBI pilot.

Increase rates to ICFs for direct care worker wages.

Increase rates to HCBS providers to increase direct care worker wages.

Increase private duty nursing rates.

$25 million in nonrecurring funds to establish the Children with Disabilities Reserve. 

Learn more about the advocacy work we are doing at The Arc.

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