A nonprofit publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

The Point/Arc and Judi Gerding have been going strong for 49 to provide ever-expanding I/DD services

By Andy Furman
The Point/Arc

It’s 49 years and counting for The Point/Arc.

And for Judi Gerding, President and Founder of The Point/Arc, it has been a personal journey to foster a better life for her son Steve, as well as other individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities – known as I/DD.

Steve was diagnosed with Rubinstein-Taybu Syndrome at a young age.

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.

Judi Gerding

“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 well-maintained 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.

And, The Point/Arc has been doing it for 49 years.

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