Frequently Asked Questions

At The Arc, we strive to provide the community with the most comprehensive array of programs, services and information available. But sometimes you need a little background information to help you know what will be best for you or your loved one and why. The frequently asked questions (FAQs) below are designed to provide you with that information, and we will be happy to answer any other questions you may have at any time. Please feel free to call The Arc at 561-842-3213 or visit the Contact Us section of our website. 

How can I become involved with The Arc of Palm Beach County?

Volunteers are an invaluable to the operation of the agency, whether as individuals or groups. Our volunteers assist us with our fundraising events, programs and more. A wide variety of volunteer opportunities are available, so you are sure to find something that fits your interests and your schedule. Please feel free to contact our Community Relations Manager at 561-842-3213 to learn more.

How can I provide financial support to The Arc of Palm Beach County?

Community support is an essential element in the continued successful operation of our programs. In addition to donations of funds, contributions of unique items or gift certificates for fabulous experiences to be used as auction and raffle items at fundraising events are always appreciated. Please contact us at 561-842-3213 for more information.

How do I get information about the Florida Department of Transportation Title VI plan?

The Arc of Palm Beach County receives financial support to purchase accessible vehicles from the Florida Department of Transportation in accordance to the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) Section 5310: Enhanced Mobility of Seniors and Individuals with Disabilities. The Arc utilizes these vehicles to provide transportation to community-based activities for clients participating in our Community Living and Residential Programs.

If you are in need of public transportation please contact Palm Tran for information about both fixed route and para-transit services at

For more information about The Arc’s Title VI Program for current clients please see the Notice below.

pdfFlorida Department of Transportation: Title VI Notice to the Public

pdfFlorida Department of Transportation Title VI Complaint Procedure

How do I obtain services from The Arc of Palm Beach County for myself or a family member?

Individuals interested in receiving services or learning more about the programs and services offered by The Arc of Palm Beach County should contact the agency at 561-842-3213 or submit an email through the Contact Us section of this website. The Arc offers a comprehensive array of programs and services, and we look forward to the opportunity to speak with you about which are most appropriate for you or your loved one.

Is there a difference between developmental disability and intellectual disability?

The National Institutes of Health provides the following definitions:

Intellectual disability refers to a group of disorders characterized by a limited mental capacity and difficulty with adaptive behaviors such as managing money, schedules and routines, or social interactions. Intellectual disability originates before the age of 18 and may result from physical causes, such as autism or cerebral palsy, or from nonphysical causes, such as lack of stimulation and adult responsiveness.

Developmental disability is a severe, long-term disability that can affect cognitive ability, physical functioning, or both.  These disabilities appear before age 22 and are likely to be life-long. The term “developmental disability” encompasses intellectual disability but also includes physical disabilities. Some developmental disabilities may be solely physical, such as blindness from birth. Others involve both physical and intellectual disabilities stemming from genetic or other causes, such as Down syndrome and fetal alcohol syndrome. 

What are developmental disabilities?

The CDC defines developmental disabilities as a group of conditions due to an impairment in physical, learning, language or behavior areas. These conditions begin during the development period, ay impact day-to-day functioning, and usually last throughout a person’s lifetime.

What are developmental milestones?

According to MedlinePlus, a service of the U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health, developmental milestones are behaviors or physical skills seen in infants and children as they grow and develop. Rolling over, crawling, walking, and talking are all considered milestones. Although each milestone has an attached age range, there is significant variation in the actual age when a normally developing child reaches each milestone.

It is important to identify and address delayed milestones as early as possible, because the sooner assistive services begin, the better the outcome. 

What are some of the causes of developmental disabilities?

According to the CDC, developmental disabilities begin anytime during the developmental period and usually last throughout a person’s lifetime. Most developmental disabilities begin before a baby is born, but some can happen after birth because of injury, infection or other factors.

Most developmental disabilities are thought to be caused by a complex mix of factors. These factors include genetics; parental health and behaviors (such as smoking and drinking) during pregnancy; complications during birth; infections the mother might have during pregnancy or the baby might have very early in life; and exposure of the mother or child to high levels of environmental toxins, such as lead. The cause of most developmental disabilities remains unknown.

The CDC offers the following information regarding certain specific developmental disabilities:

  • At least 25% of hearing loss among babies is due to maternal infections during pregnancy, such as cytomegalovirus (CMV) infection; complications after birth; and head trauma.
  • Some of the most common known causes of intellectual disability include fetal alcohol syndrome; genetic and chromosomal conditions, such as Down syndrome and fragile X syndrome; and certain infections during pregnancy, such as toxoplasmosis.
  • Children who have a sibling are at a higher risk of also having an autism spectrum disorder.
  • Low birth weight, premature birth, multiple birth, and infections during pregnancy are associated with an increased risk for many developmental disabilities.
  • Untreated newborn jaundice (high levels of bilirubin in the blood during the first few days after birth) can cause a type of brain damage known as kernicterus. Children with kernicterus are more likely to have cerebral palsy, hearing and vision problems, and problems with their teeth. Early detection and treatment of newborn jaundice can prevent kernicterus.

What is the purpose of developmental screening?

Developmental screening determines if a child is learning basic skills when he or she should.

Who does The Arc of Palm Beach County serve?

The Arc of Palm Beach County offers an array of programs and services for children and adults with developmental disabilities, as well as their families. The agency's services address needs throughout the continuum of the life cycle, from prevention and early childhood programs to camps for youth to group homes for adults in which many clients reside for decades. Our family support and respite services are designed to provide the rest of the family with the tools they need to best care for their loved one. Please click on the Programs and Services tab or call 561-842-3213 for more information.

Who is affected?

There is no one segment of the population that has shown a predisposition for developmental disabilities. Developmental disabilities exist among all racial, ethnic and socioeconomic groups. It is estimated that approximately 15% of children have a developmental disability, which may include ADHD, autism spectrum disorders, cerebral palsy, Down syndrome, fragile X and many more.