The Arc of the Emerald Coast

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By Elizabeth Eulberg, Social Lee PR

The Arc of the Emerald Coast, formally known as Horizons of Okaloosa County, Inc., was founded in 1992 and is an affiliate of The Arc of the United States. The Arc is the world’s largest grassroots advocacy organizations for individuals of all ages with cognitive, intellectual, and developmental disabilities, and their families. The Arc of the Emerald Coast provides services in Okaloosa, Santa Rosa, and Walton Counties, focusing on abilities, respect, choice, and encourages active citizenship and inclusion in every community.

The Arc has three Adult Day Training Centers, two in Fort Walton Beach and one in Milton. The Fort Walton Beach Center serves approximately 65 people with intellectual, cognitive, and developmental disabilities between two locations, and the Milton center services approximately 40 individuals. The Adult Training Center operates Monday through Friday from 8:00 am – 2:00 pm and provides individuals a variety of opportunities to have fun, be creative and explore new activities. Clients enjoy lifestyle activities like dancing, having lunch in the park, going on boat rides, working on crafts, as well as educational learning through classes in cooking, math, reading, safety and hygiene. Participants also have an opportunity to work in small groups outside the setting to earn wages and be productive members of their community. All activities are designed specifically to help people with developmental disabilities reach their personal goals – whether the goal is learning to write their name or learning to get along with each other; The Arc is here to help!

In the fall of 2019, Mills Heating and Air donated $20,000 to The Arc of the Emerald Coast to fund an extensive renovation project for the Fort Walton Beach Adult Training Center. With this donation, The Arc was able to install all new flooring throughout the entire building, as well as purchase two new refrigerators and a stove to update the kitchen! The new flooring and appliances will enhance the experience for those who use the center daily. The staff is bursting with pride for the clients to see the completed project.

The Arc of the Emerald Coast offers a variety of opportunities for individuals with developmental disabilities and behavioral challenges to live and work as independently as possible in their communities. The Arc offers a variety of services in addition to Adult Day Training. Some of the additional services provided are as follows:
• Money Management
• Behavior Analysis
• Residential Habilitation in Group Homes
• Supported Employment
• Supported Living
• Personal Supports
• Respite
• Transportation for Adult Center Participants

The Arc of the Emerald Coast’s mission is “From Disability to Capability.” Their vision is to empower individuals with developmental disabilities to live meaningful lives through the opportunities provided by The Arc of the Emerald Coast. Visit arcemeraldcoast.org.