The Arc Erie County Pennsylvania
Now Hiring - Director of Development, Achieva
This key position will assist with leading and directing the organization’s fundraising, grant-seeking, and event planning and managing functions. Learn more and apply today
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The Arc Erie County, Pennsylvania

Information, Support and Advocacy

Navigating through educational, medical, government, and adult service systems can be difficult and overwhelming when a family member has a disability. The Arc Erie County can help.

About The Arc Erie County

As part of a national organization, our primary goal is to improve supports and services available for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. That’s our responsibility. But locally, we see ourselves as much more! Together, we are a “family” of individuals working together to improve the quality of life for those in the greater Erie area facing challenges. Siblings, parents, friends, teachers, physicians, employers, and social workers – we see everyone as a valuable member of our community.

The Arc Erie County was founded in 1952 by Dr. Gertrude A. Barber and a group of dedicated parents sitting around a kitchen table. Together they worked to procure services for children and adults who were denied an education, the right to attend day care and preschools, and the right to work. Today, more than 70 years later, The Arc continues to build on the strong traditions of the past by serving all individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities throughout the county.
The Arc Erie County is now an affiliate of The Arc of Greater Pittsburgh as a member of the Achieva Family of organizations. The affiliation will help to support advocacy services needed by people with intellectual and developmental disabilities and their families in Erie County when navigating complicated special education and adult service systems, as well as give them access to professional, compassionate, and innovative disability services offered by Achieva’s other affiliate organizations (Achieva SupportThe Family TrustAutism Connection of Pennsylvania)
We offer information, resources, technical assistance and advocacy on issues including early intervention, special education, inclusion, transition to adulthood, employment, housing, transportation, health care, Medicaid waivers and government benefits including Medicaid, Medicare, Social Security Income, Social Security Disability Income and non-government benefits including Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) and utility assistance.

We also work with state and federal legislators on issues that impact children and adults with disabilities and their families such as increased funding for early intervention and special education, increased funding for the waiting list and increased rates for home and community based services.
The Arc believes that all people with intellectual and developmental disabilities are defined by their own strengths, abilities, and inherent value, not by their disability. The Arc believes that people with intellectual and developmental disabilities are entitled to the respect, dignity, equality, safety, and security accorded to other members of society, and are equal before the law. We believe in community, diversity, self-determination, and self-advocacy.
The Arc leads by articulating a positive vision for the future of people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. We represent the public interest, supporting and acting with and on behalf of all people with intellectual and developmental disabilities, and their families regardless of the type of disability. The Arc conducts its business with integrity, accountability, and open, honest and timely communication. The Arc is committed to quality and excellence in all it does.
Our new office is opening soon at the Peninsula Plaza Shopping Center, 1101 Peninsula Drive, Suite 209, Erie, Pennsylvania 16505.

Phone 1.888.272.7229

Charitable Residual Program

Providing goods and services to PA residents who have a disability and a demonstrated need.

Some individuals and families lack the resources to access critical special needs support. Achieva Family Trust's Charitable Residual Program provides supplemental supports and services for children and adults with disabilities and a demonstrated need.

Learn More

Achieva Family Trust, like The Arc Erie County, is a member of the Achieva Family of Organizations.

The Arc Erie County Staff

Eric  McLaughlin

Eric McLaughlin

Executive Director, The Arc Erie County
Deborah  Wisniewski

Deborah Wisniewski

Disability and Family Supports Advocate - The Arc Erie County
Empowered Voices


Empowered Voices

Aug 15 2024

Empowered Voices meet virtually on the third Thursday of each month from 6 - 8 p.m. Achieva's Empowered Voices Leadership Group is driven by the voices and interests of its self-advocates.

Learn More

Northwestern PA Down Syndrome Group

Northwestern PA Down Syndrome Group by The Arc Erie County Pa

For questions about the Northwestern PA Down Syndrome Group, contact Erin Kelly at 412.692.6255 or

Contact The Arc Erie County PA

Call Us!

Our advocates are all family members who empathize with your concerns and are happy to support you.

We're here for you!

Easily request support from an advocate and tell us more about how we can assist you.

Dyslexia and Grant Funding 101

Marcia Maust will provide an informative presentation on the thinking style of the dyslexic learner and how that perceptual talent can lead to the development of a learning disability.


Arc Erie Conference - 2022

This virtual conference covers topics like person-centered planning, future planning, assistive technology, and government benefits.


How to Pay for College for a Student with an ID


The advocates have empathy deriving from their personal experiences. Each advocate has a family member with a disability which has cultivated the perservance and knowledge needed to support others.
Our advocate has been a true blessing to me and both my children. She has taught me so much about the IEP process and has given me the support my kids and I needed. I wish I had called sooner!! I can't thank her enough for all she does.
Our advocate was able to guide me step by step as to everything I needed to do to get help for my daughter. Before stopping to see her I had no idea to where to even begin. I am soo grateful for her knowledge and graceful personality.

The Arc Erie County Trustees

Rhonda  Schember

Rhonda Schember

The Arc Erie County Immediate Past Chair
Melanie  Hoover

Melanie Hoover

The Arc Erie County Chair
Shawn  Miller, Ed.D.

Shawn Miller, Ed.D.

The Arc Erie County Chair Elect
Imarii  Anderson

Imarii Anderson

The Arc Erie County Vice Chair
Dr. Sean  Carroll

Dr. Sean Carroll

The Arc Erie County Trustee
Jerry  Wegley, Esq.

Jerry Wegley, Esq.

The Arc Erie County Trustee; Attorney, Knox McLaughlin Gornall & Sennett, P.C.

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