L’Arche USA exists to amplify the voices of people who have intellectual disabilities; provide growth opportunities for people of all abilities; nurture the faith life of local communities; strengthen communities with resources and collaborative leadership; develop strategic partnerships; and found new communities.
The Federation represents its members on a global level. It also supports communities, through leadership structures, training, administrative or financial assistance depending on the local needs. Through meetings and other means the Federation facilitates the sharing of experiences and resources.
The International Federation of L’Arche Communities is incorporated in France, with main office in Paris, France. The Federation is governed by an international board of directors and a General Assembly composed of representatives from its 152 member communities, each of which is incorporated, governed, and operated independently.
Watch the L’Arche International “As I Am” video series!
Faith and Light
Faith and Light is an international prayer community with more than 1,600 prayer groups in 81 countries made up of people who have intellectual disabilities, their families, and friends. They meet regularly for worship as a community and in small groups. The organization was born out of a desire to help people who have intellectual disabilities find a place within the church and society. L’Arche Greater Washington, D.C. participates in a local chapter.
We recommend developing a network of relationships with other families and groups that can support you, share resources, and provide guidance. (These are all organizations outside of L’Arche GWDC and we are not liable for their activities and information.)
- Henri Nouwen – The internationally renowned priest and author, respected professor and beloved pastor Henri Nouwen wrote over 40 books on the spiritual life. Henri spent the last 10 years of his life (1986-1996) in the L’Arche community of Daybreak in Richmond Hill, north of Toronto, Canada. The Henri Nouwen Society fosters the spirituality of solitude, community, and compassion that was embodied in the life and teaching of Henri Nouwen.
- University Legal Services is a private, non-profit organization that serves as the District of Columbia’s federally mandated protection and advocacy system for the human, legal and service rights of people with disabilities.
- Quality Trust works with individuals and family members to solve problems, identify opportunities for learning and contribution and find creative ways to minimize “differences” and make the most of each person’s abilities.
- Potomac Community Resources is a private, nonprofit organization that promotes the inclusion of persons with developmental differences into the community in Potomac, Maryland.
- The Arc of Northern Virginia promotes and protects the human rights of people with intellectual and developmental disabilities and actively supports their full inclusion and participation in the community throughout their lifetimes.
- Autism Society of Northern Virginia serves individuals and families in the region who have been touched by autism by providing a full range of services and supports, including information and referral assistance, advocacy and education, family fun and respite, support groups, Intervention Assistance Fund mini-grants, and fundraising events and programs.
- Down Syndrome Association of Northern Virginia ensures that all individuals with Down syndrome and their families receive the support necessary to participate in, contribute to, and achieve fulfillment of life in their community.
- Jewish Community Center of Northern Virginia offers quality programs, activities and services which emphasize Jewish culture, identity and values to people of all ages and backgrounds. The Center is a nonprofit social service organization committed to providing social, educational, fitness and wellness programs guided by Jewish values.
- Independent Living Research Utilization provides research, education, and consultation in the areas of independent living, the Americans with Disabilities Act, home and community based services and health issues for people with disabilities.
- U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission enforces the employment provisions of the ADA. This question and answer page explains how the ADA applies to job applicants and employees with intellectual disabilities.
- St. Joseph’s House is a Silver Spring based day care, respite home, and summer camp serving children with multiple disabilities in Silver Spring, Md.
- DC Department on Disability Services – Government agency
- Arlington County Aging and Disability Resources – Government agency