About Us

Day Hab group at Boldt Castle

Our History

The history of the Arc of Oswego County, like most human service agencies, is one of struggle, constant change, growth, and courage. Driven by the love, devotion, and unending determination of families seeking fulfilling lives for their children with disabilities.

In 1953 a group of parents, concerned about the lack of educational programs, and services, available for their developmentally disabled children, parents formed the Arc of Oswego County. They organized small classes in homes, and churches, around Oswego County. They charged a nominal fee that would be used to pay the teacher.

The Arc of Oswego County soon formed the Alice Macken School. Named after Alice E. Macken, a local educator, the program was housed at Fort Ontario in what is now the Ponzi Recreation Center. According to Mark Slosek, a lifelong resident of Oswego, a former educator, and the City of Oswego’s historian, “As a youngster, some of my classmates were students that had no chance of succeeding, in a regular classroom setting, without extra support. Instead of keeping them in a regular classroom setting, the philosophy at that time was, to pull them out and create a setting, such as the Alice Macken School, where they would succeed.”

It wasn’t until the late 1960s, when mental health programs were established, that a new impetus was created where the Arc of Oswego County would become a catalyst to pilot and establish broad-based services for the Developmentally Disabled (DD) population in Oswego County.

The agency’s history has since been one of collaborating with all segments of the community, both public and private, to create a network of community resources, programs, and services. The agency has maintained programs, which fill the needs of individuals, not offered by other providers in the community.

Our Mission

We provide quality programs for children and adults with disabilities.  Services include specialized training and therapy, training and consultation, a senior day rehabilitation program, guardianship assistance, recreational respite services, and more.

The Arc of Oswego County is a private, not-for-profit organization that has been a leader in the provision of services for individuals with disabilities since 1953. Our mission is to be a leader in the field of developmental disabilities, committed to meeting the needs of individual growth, productivity, and independence through education, advocacy, and community participation.

All of our programs promote social, economic, and personal independence. Our sister agency, Oswego Industries, Inc., provides services to adults with disabilities: together, the two agencies create a comprehensive support system for individuals with disabilities in Oswego County.

Our Vision

The Arc of Oswego County will be the premier provider of services to persons with developmental disabilities. Our commitment, first and foremost, will be to individuals and their families, to provide choices, information, education, and supports that will allow informed decisions and opportunities for growth, personal development, and fulfillment.

Our Values

  • Dignity
    Demonstrate compassion
    Honor the needs of the individuals we serve and their differences
  • Collaboration
    Effectively work together
    Clearly define goals, roles, and responsibilities
    Solicit input from all stakeholders
    Communicate openly
  • Partnerships
    Engage in collaborative opportunities within the community
    Promote our services and programs
    Provide leadership in our core competencies to others
  • Excellence
    Provide well-trained staff
    Provide compassionate staff
    Provide leadership
    Provide innovative, comprehensive, individual-focused programs and services
    Provide consistent quality standards
    Adaptability to meet changing and challenging needs


  • Accountability

The Arc of Oswego County receives funds from the state and federal government, corporate foundation grants, individual donors, and the United Way. The Arc of Oswego County, established in 1953, augments funding for the development and maintenance of new and existing programs.

Support Our Mission 

Support our mission by making a donation or becoming a member of The Arc of Oswego County, Every dollar makes a difference in empowering people with disabilities and their families. For more information about the services, we provide click here