Union County

The Arc of Union County started alongside The Arc of Mecklenburg County in Charlotte. In 1981, The Arc of Union County became its own 501(c)(3).  We have had a rich history of providing advocacy services to the residents of our county ensuring that people with intellectual and developmental disabilities are included in the comunity. 

Our Monroe office is located just off Highway 74 at the eastern edge of town, just across the street from Hilltop Bistro and inside the Metro Medical Campus. 

Below is information about specific services provided in Union County. For a full listing of our services, please visit our services page

Information and Referral

We provide information and referral in response to telephone and web inquiries about services, resources, and issues related to developmental disabilities. We provide information about educational issues and opportunities for children and adults, people's rights in school and community settings, transportation options, leisure and recreational activities, guardianship and alternatives, housing options, vocational and job opportunities, parent and family support, respite care, in-home support, Cardinal Innovations Behavioral Healthcare, faith communities, how to apply for benefits, futures planning, and various other requests. We make referrals to public and private agencies. Contact our office at 704-261-1550.


Aktion Club

In collaboration with the Monroe Kiwanis Club, The Arc leads a self-advocacy group in Union county. This Aktion Club is a service organizations for adults with developmental disabilities. Members hold leadership positions within the club, make decisions about their own activities, and conduct 8-10 service projects per year in their community. The Aktion Club meets monthly for business/planning meetings and then at various other times for additional service projects, fun outings, educational workshops, and regional conferences. The Arc handles meeting space arrangements, all back-end functions such as insurance, fund development, and partner collaborations, and provides a trained staff member who facilitates the Aktion Club, manages & supports volunteers, and ensures the Club members’ projects & ideas come to life.

The Monroe Aktion Club usually meets the 2nd Thursday of the month @ 6:30pm at Benton Heights Presbyterian Church. Contact Steve McIllwain at 704-261-1550 ext. 103 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. for more information about Aktion Club activities.

*Please note: All in-person meetings are temporarily halted due to COVID-19. For information and links to virtual Aktion Club meetings during this time, contact Steve McIllwain at 704-261-1550 ext. 103 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..



Accepting registrations now! Sibshops acknowledge that being the brother or sister of a person with special needs is for some a good thing, others a not-so-good thing, and for many, somewhere in-between. They reflect a belief that brothers and sisters have much to offer one another — if they are given a chance. Sibshops are a spirited mix of new games (designed to be unique, off-beat, and appealing to a wide ability range), new friends, and discussion activities. The Sibshop curriculum is used throughout the United States, Canada, England, Ireland, Iceland, Japan, New Zealand, Guatemala, Turkey, and Argentina. It is designed for children ages 8-13 who have a brother, sister, or relative living in their home who has special needs. Please call Shirese Palmieri at 704.261.1550 x 101 for more information.


Circle of Parents

Circle of Parents is a parent-led and professionally facilitated parent support group program that gives parents the opportunity to share in each other’s challenges and successes while developing a network of support. Our bilingual Circle of Parents group focuses on the successes and challenges of raising children from birth to age 5 with special needs.  Participants learn how to advocate for their children and how to parent in a positive way. They also build leadership skills and gain a network of support. For more information in Spanish, reach out to Nanette Vallecillo at 704-261-1550 x 106 or by This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. For more information in English, reach out to Amy Oster at 704-441-7029 or by This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Circle of Parents is funded by Alliance for Children, a non-profit organization dedicated to improving the health, education and emotional development of children birth to age five. To learn more, visit www.theAllianceforChildren.org or call 704-226-1407.


Wings for All

Many people with autism and other intellectual & developmental disabilities and their families have tried unsuccessfully or have not had the confidence to travel by air. The sights, sounds, and movement by thousands of people in a busy airport can be overwhelming. Wings for All™, a national initiative of The Arc, gives people with autism and other intellectual & developmental disabilities the opportunity to participate in an airport rehearsal program to help them feel more comfortable with air travel.

Co-hosted by The Arc of Union/Cabarrus, Delta Airlines, and Charlotte Douglas International Airport, and in partnership with the Transportation Safety Administration, Wings for All™ is held each April in honor of Autism Awareness Month.