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The Point/Arc Celebrates 49 Years

With the new year here, the Point/Arc is celebrating its 49th year.

The Covington-based agency that assists individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities was founded in 1972 by Judi Gerding, who sought to improve life for her son, Steve, who was diagnosed with Rubinstein-Taybu Syndrome at a young age.

Gerding is still president of the organization.

In 1972, three parent groups united to form an advocacy group to assist their loved ones diagnosed with intellectual/developmental disabilities (I/DD). Today, that group has evolved into a holistic agency with a wide-range of around the clock programs.

“Our history of filling in the gaps by creating integrated programs gives individuals with I/DD the opportunity to become contributing and inclusive members of our community and provides the self-esteem and pride that we all seek,” Gerding said.

In 1982, The Point/Arc opened its first social enterprise, the Point Restaurant, to provide vocational training to individuals with I/DD. In 1985, the Point Commercial Cleaning Company and Employment Program to provide job training, placement and life-long follow-up was created.

The Point Commercial Laundry was established in 1996. In 2012, the Point/Arc opened the doors to the Point Apparel Company, and the Point Perk coffee shop opened in 2015, “as a way for the community to come in for a feel good cup of coffee, and to see our mission in action,” Gerding said.

The Point/Arc established its first group home in 1995. Currently, the Point owns and operates 15 homes in neighborhoods that house nearly 60 residents. The group homes are located in Campbell, Kenton and Boone counties.

In 1999, to fill a social void in the lives of those The Point/Arc serves, the Point Activities Program was launched with weekly social events, seasonal sports, monthly dances and vacations. In 2004, to provide community awareness and education for individuals with I/DD, The Point Outreach and Educational programs were established.

Today, The Point/Arc has educational programs, which include social communication, transition programs and career development. In 2013, The Point/Arc added case management as a way to assist individuals and families with finding resources and services through person centered planning that will support them in achieving their dreams and aspirations.

The Point/Arc now serves more than 1,400 people annually through its programs and services.

“We’re always looking for new ways to fill in the service gaps and to integrate individuals with I/DD in the community to reach their fullest potential,” Gerding said.

-Staff report

Photo: Judi Gerding (provided)

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