A small group of parents who were fighting the system of institutionalizing children with mental retardation got together in 1956 and decided they were not going to put their kids away. They ran bake sales and white elephant sales and raised seed money to start a day program. With the help of the Cobb County Commission and Al Burruss, they obtained land and built a center called "Happiness Hills." They incorporated and became a chapter of the National Association for Retarded Children, Inc., which later became The Arc.
Fighting for services and programs, these parents were tireless in their efforts to create a community that welcomed and respected the special needs of their children. Many of these parents have passed on but they leave a major legacy.
Right in the Community continues on with the goals and vision of these founding families. Our vision is that Right in the Community will be the leader in developing, finding, and supporting family-focused services and programs that meet the real needs of the community.
Right in the Community is committed to promoting opportunities for all people with developmental disabilities to live full, productive, self-determined lives of the highest quality by fostering local communities which embrace all people.
Right in the Community continues to be a membership organization. For over 50 years, membership has allowed families access to the latest developments in the disability field through a newsletter and parent support meetings, keeping them up to date with the ever-changing trends.
The importance of membership in Right in the Community lies within the membership itself. Families helping families, passing on a lifetime of information, encouragement, and hope ensure its existence, focus and its continuing purpose.
Membership is open to anyone. Dues include a newsletter subscription which keeps members informed of legislative issues, events, services and programs that may be of interest to those who have a child or family member with a disability.
Members are entitled to vote in organization elections and may serve on the Board of Directors. An annual Awards Dinner is held each year to honor members and others in the community who serve this population.
In 2007, the staff and board of Arc Cobb voted to change the name to something that more appropriately reflected the vision and mission of the organization.
We are pleased to reintroduce ourselves as Right in the Community. We are happy to change from a name that, while highly respected and honored in its day, stigmatizes a population with an old-fashioned word. We are a community-based organization that focuses on the families right here in our community.