Toll Free: 1 (877) 533-7098
Phone: (717) 920-2727
Fax: (717) 920-2730
2569 Walnut Street, Harrisburg, PA 17103

Programs and Services


The Advocacy Program assists individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities and their families to become informed about resources, services and supports that are available to meet their needs. Our Advocate help consumers navigate through service systems such as education, developmental programs, federal funding streams, medical assistance, legal assistance, housing transportation, social security, trusts & wills, and community supports and resources. 
If you are in need of advocacy support, contact Kathy Gingerich, (717) 920-2727; by fax at (717) 920-2730; or by email.

Life in the Community

The Arc provides socialization/habilitation services with a focus on community integration for adults who are developmentally disabled. Some activities include self-enhancement, participant and spectator sports, trips, and social events. The majority of activities offered by this program are determined by the consumers themselves

Options Habilitation Classes

Options Habilitation Classes afford consumers the opportunity to live more independently and/or become more productive and active in their community. This service provides for individualized life skill training and community integration opportunities based on the individual's specific needs interests and abilities, consistent with a self-determined lifestyle. Because each class is customized, courses are tailored to each individual's abilities, goals and interests. Classes are generally scheduled in one or two hour blocks depending on each Student's need. Computer Training: Learn computer skills at all levels through Computer Training at The Arc of Dauphin County. Classes are designed to teach everything from basic computer functions to complex office programs depending on the individuals knowledge. Budgeting and Money Handling: Improved budgeting and money handling skills allow students to gain independence in their everyday lives. Budgeting and money handling students work on everything from basic number skills to math skills and more complex budgeting. Cooking and Nutrition: Students of all ability levels excel at cooking classes. These classes, held in a fully equipped kitchen, cover a wide variety of cooking and nutrition topics. Some of the focus areas include: kitchen sanitation and safety, how to read and follow a recipe, how to operate kitchen equipment, microwave cooking, basic math for measuring, healthy eating choices and much more! For more information, please contact Barb Fruhwirth, Director of the Options Program at 717.920.2727 or email

Positive Behavior Support

What makes Positive Behavioral Support (PBS) Different:
  • It is person-centered
  • It causes positive change
  • It is outcome focused
  • It provides collaborative support
  • It is a proactive approach to behavior
  • It facilitates long term change

Principles of Positive Behavioral Supports
  • Designed in a person-centered process involving the individual;
  • Developed within the broader context of all aspects of the individual’s life which may include: medical, psychological, educational, and facilitative services;
  • Based on a functional assessment of the behavior and the circumstances under which it occurred, a thorough assessment of each individual’s unique abilities and contributions, and an understanding of how previous interventions worked;
  • Provided through a least restrictive strategy and described in a written plan;
  • Grounded in evidence-based procedures that will:
    • prevent challenging behaviors;
    • teach new skills that may replace challenging behaviors;
    • prevent the on-going reward of a challenging behavior;
    • reinforce positive behavior;
    • used in a humane and caring manner respecting individual dignity;
    • ensure safety (when necessary); and
    • provide systemic information on the effectiveness of the support.
  • Implemented in positive, socially supportive and culturally appropriate environments including the home;
  • Carried out by individuals (i.e., staff, family members and others) who have been trained to effectively apply positive, non-aversive approaches;
  • Include adaptations to the environment and reinforcers that people with intellectual and/or developmental disabilities and their families identify as positive; and
  • Monitored continuously and systematically to ensure appropriate implementation and that the support is consistent with individual needs, positive in its methods, successful in achieving established goals, and changed in a timely fashion if success is not evident or occurring at an appropriate rate.