In 1952, TARC was established by parents of children with developmental disabilities because of their frustration with the lack of services available to them. These founding families passionately advocated for services and supports and it is their passion that infuses the organization today.
Since that beginning more than 60 years ago, TARC has worked to improve the lives of people with developmental disabilities such as intellectual disabilities, Down syndrome, cerebral palsy, and autism spectrum disorders. The mission of TARC is to ensure a high quality of life for individuals with developmental disabilities and their families. The nonprofit agency pursues this mission by providing a network of programs that provide education, information, support, and advocacy. TARC advocates by:
- Building community awareness of the potential and capability of people with developmental disabilities;
- Helping people with developmental disabilities and their families identify needs and navigate the service system to secure services;
- Encouraging progressive public policies and government regulations to meet the needs of this population;
- Educating the public by providing information, training and technical support on developmental disabilities topics;
- Convening support groups and coordinating the efforts of consumers;
- Coordinating volunteer advocates and guardians for people with disabilities who do not have family members to assist them; and
- Assisting people with developmental disabilities as they learn how to speak up for themselves and participate to the greatest extent possible in their community.
Each year, TARC advocates for families and individuals with developmental disabilities of all ages, from birth to death, through four major programs. In addition to the OK AIM program, they include the Family Support program, the Self-Advocacy program, and Community and Public Affairs.
TARC remains as committed today to fostering the well-being, dignity, and rights of people with developmental disabilities and their families as did those pioneering parents who founded the organization in 1952.