About VersAbility

Since our founding in 1953, we have grown tremendously and now serve 1,600 people with disabilities and their families each year in early childhood, community living, day support, and four diverse employment programs. Services range from coordinating developmental therapies for children to building successful business partnerships that provide staffing solutions for employers and provide jobs in Hampton Roads and beyond for people with disabilities. Adults with disabilities participating in VersAbility Resources employment programs earn millions in wages and benefits annually. We provide federal contract staffing through our government contracts, through which people with disabilities work alongside enlisted and civilian personnel at military bases as far away as Hawaii.

VersAbility Resources is a 501c3, tax-exempt organization. Your donations help people with disabilities live, work, and thrive in our community. We are also a major service provider, as well as a major business and employer in the community, serving people with disabilities from Hampton, Newport News, Poquoson, York County, and the 10 counties on the Middle Peninsula and Northern Neck. VersAbility Resources hosts two annual signature events – The Ability Am Golf Tournament in May and a Fall Gala in October.

View our Organizational Brochure

Organizational History

January 1, 1953

A group of parents and other concerned community leaders joined with the Woman’s Club of Warwick to promote the welfare of people with developmental disabilities. Out of this first effort, the Peninsula Council for Help of Retarded Children (PCHRC) was formed. The early years can be characterized as a period of education for individuals with disabilities, their parents, and the community as a whole. The organization connected with the national movement by affiliating with the Virginia and National Councils for Retarded Children. The organization’s primary goal was to establish services to fill the void that existed at that time. Emphasis was placed on working with school officials to establish special education classes in public schools.

January 1, 1959

Preschool classes began operating in the community and a Parents Auxiliary organization was formed to provide social and recreational activities for individuals with disabilities.

The Council also established the Peninsula Vocational Center, an on-site employment program in downtown Newport News to provide work activities for adults with developmental disabilities.

January 1, 1960

The organization grew substantially in the 1960s and changed its name to the Peninsula Association for Retarded Children (PARC). Chester Carlson, inventor of the xerographic process, and his wife Dorris became interested in helping the PARC secure quality facilities for their services. The generosity of the Carlsons enabled the organization to purchase 38 acres of land in Hampton and establish the Sarah Bonwell Hudgins Center as a regional alternative to institutions. PARC subsequently created the Sarah Bonwell Hudgins Foundation for the purpose of owning and managing the physical property. Also during the 1960s, Boy Scout Troop 140 and Girl Scout Troop 65 were formed and became the primary organizations to sponsor recreational and social activities for individuals with disabilities. These two troops were eventually combined into Explorer Post 140, which today is the largest special-needs scout troop in the United States.

January 1, 1970

The expansion of facilities and services for individuals with developmental disabilities continued during the 1970s. Emphasis was placed on the creation of programs and services aimed at enhancing the skills of individuals. Additions were made to the Vocational Center and a gymnasium was built on the Sarah Bonwell Hudgins campus. Two residential cottages were also built on the campus, each housing 10 individuals. The cottages were subsequently converted into two ICF/MRs (Intermediate Care Facilities for the Mentally Retarded) and were the first ICF/MR facilities in the state.

January 1, 1980

Inclusion was the dominant theme for PARC throughout the 1980s, as the organization created community-based programs and services for individuals with disabilities. Major accomplishments included:

  • Initiation of a Government Contracts program to create employment opportunities for people with disabilities via a unique set-aside program created under the Javits-Wagner-O’Day Act (JWOD). The Arc’s first contracts included custodial work at federal facilities, as well as a large commissary contract at Langley Air Force Base.
  • Establishment of two community-based group homes, one in Hampton and one in Newport News.
  • Creation of the Early Prevention and Intervention for Children (EPIC) program, initially sponsored by the Virginia United Methodist Agency for the Retarded (VUMAR). The program was originally housed in a facility in Hilton Village to be close to the families involved.
  • Development of the Supported Employment program, a specialized job placement and support service that helps individuals succeed in community-based jobs.
  • Establishment of an after-school and summer program for school-aged children with developmental disabilities.
  • Creation of an adult day support program in the Denbigh section of Newport News for older individuals and those with more significant disabilities.

January 1, 1990

Throughout the 1990s, PARC continued to work diligently to create programs that met the changing needs of individuals with disabilities. Significant activities this decade included:

  • To remain consistent with the state/national organizations and out of respect for self-advocates who asked for limiting the use of the term retarded, the organization changed its name from Peninsula Association for Retarded Citizens (PARC) to The Arc of the Virginia Peninsula, Inc. (The Arc).
  • Center-based Employment continued to grow, as more individuals chose to work on-site and The Arc received more work contracts.
  • The Arc’s EPIC program moved onto the Sarah Bonwell Hudgins Campus in 1997.
  • A primary challenge during this decade was obtaining housing for individuals with disabilities. The Arc was successful in securing HUD grants to purchase three houses in the community.

January 1, 2001

With support from United Way, The Arc created the Transition to Work program to guide students from the special education program to successful employment. We continue to work with local school systems to expand this program. The Arc assumed operation of the Lewis B. Puller Center in Gloucester in 2001. The Puller Center is the only work program serving the ten counties on the Middle Peninsula and Northern Neck.

January 1, 2002

The Arc was named the prime contractor for ship provisioning services for the United States Navy on the West Coast. The Arc created an innovative e-Recycling program to keep waste out of landfills. The new program of Electronics recycling in Hampton Roads creates jobs for individuals with disabilities.

The local Infant and Toddler Connection selected The Arc’s EPIC program as the primary provider of service coordination services for children from birth to age three in Hampton and Newport News.

January 1, 2005

The Arc moved its headquarters and day programs to a newly renovated 100,000 square foot facility in Copeland Industrial Park in Hampton. This new location has provided staffing solutions that facilitated a number of successful business partnerships and allowed us to expand our work programs and continue to provide jobs in Hampton Roads for people with disabilities.

January 1, 2007

Soluble Systems established a partnership with The Arc and built a clean room at the Copeland site to manufacture TheraGauze TM, a revolutionary wound-care product. The Arc created a Therapeutic Recreation program with a grant from the Bernardine Franciscan Sisters Foundation. The goal of this program is to increase recreational opportunities, teach new skills, and expand social and volunteer activities that improve the health and well-being of individuals with disabilities.

Through a partnership with local Kiwanis Clubs, The Arc created an Aktion Club. The club is a social and service organization for individuals with disabilities.

The Arc hosted its first Winter Gala, an annual event to raise money for The Arc and increase community awareness. The event is now held each December.

January 1, 2008

Services for individuals on the Middle Peninsula and Northern Neck were greatly improved when The Arc purchased and renovated a much larger facility and moved the Puller Center’s operations. The revitalized Puller Center provides meaningful work and quality services for individuals with developmental disabilities from the ten counties on the Middle Peninsula and Northern Neck. The Center is also contributes to the local economy, becoming a source of pride for the region and can ultimately serve up to 100 individuals with disabilities.The Arc’s Envisions Day Support program expanded to additional space at the Hampton facility.

January 1, 2009

The Arc was awarded a contract to provide official military mail services for the United States Air Force at ten Air Combat Command Bases across the country.

January 1, 2010

The Arc was awarded the East Coast ship provisioning sites when the Navy decided to bundle the contract (The Arc had been providing ship provisioning services on the West Coast since 2002). As part of the contract, The Arc hired approximately 100 employees with disabilities to fulfill the contract at Naval Station Norfolk.

The Arc’s partnership with Alcoa Howmet was expanded in 2010 with the support of a grant from the Virginia Department of Rehabilitative Services (DRS). The grant helped add six new positions at the plant for individuals with disabilities and provides the salary for a full-time supervisor from The Arc. Alcoa has expressed their desire to continue to expand their partnership with The Arc and possibly replicate it around the country.

The Arc launched a new document imaging line of business to generate additional revenue and provide more employment opportunities for individuals with disabilities.

January 1, 2011

The Arc opened a new home, Cloverleaf House, to transition a Waiver home to an ICF house (Intermediate Care Facilities, which are very similar to nursing homes). The Arc increased our outreach to various partners to help transition residents from state-run training centers to homes in the community.

The Arc’s Board of Directors expanded their advocacy activities by creating the Governmental Affairs Committee.

The Arc of the Virginia Peninsula adopted a new logo, which was designed by The Arc of the US as part of their nationwide branding campaign.

The Arc received a two year, $200,000 grant from Bank of America in support of our employment programs for people with disabilities. The grant supports The Arc’s expansion of our lines of business that meet community needs while providing ongoing jobs for people with disabilities.

January 1, 2012

The Arc transformed its existing golf tournament, The PenAm, into The Arc Am. The revitalized event also adopted a new home, Cedar Point Country Club, and boasted an after party for golfers and the community, Party at the Point. In its first year, The Arc Am raised more than $70,000 for The Arc! The Arc of the Virginia Peninsula was awarded a significant grant from The Arc of US and the Walmart Foundation to expand its e-Recycling program. This grant allows The Arc to market the recycling services throughout the community and create more jobs for people with disabilities.

The Arc’s Firsts
The Arc prides itself on creating programs that meet the changing needs of individuals with developmental disabilities and their families, including:

  • The Arc prides itself on creating programs that meet the changing needs of individuals with developmental disabilities and their families, including:
  • The 1st Vocational Training Center on the Peninsula and the 15th in the nation
  • The 1st preschool for children with developmental disabilities on the Peninsula
  • The 1st Summer Day Camp children with developmental disabilities on the Peninsula
  • The 1st Boy & Girl Scout Troops for people with disabilities and the 1st Explorer Post on the Peninsula (scouting units for people with disabilities)
  • The 1st early intervention program on the Peninsula
  • The 1st provider of specialized transportation on the Peninsula
  • The 1st small, community-based Intermediate Care Facility for the Mentally Retarded (ICF/MR)
  • The 1st group homes located in community neighborhoods on the Peninsula
  • The 1st supported employment program on the Peninsula
  • The 1st on the Peninsula and one of the 1st group work models (enclaves) located at a regular business in Virginia
  • The 1st JWOD federal set-aside contract on the Peninsula (now known as an AbilityOne contract)
  • The 1st ever multi-state contract to provide support functions to the U.S. Navy by partnering with other nonprofits and for-profit agencies (National Ship Provisioning contract)

Looking forward to the future of our organization, it was decided that in 2013, our 60th anniversary year, The Arc of the Virginia Peninsula would adopt a new organizational name and brand. While still affiliated with The Arc of the United States, the name The Arc of the Virginia Peninsula no longer represented our services, some of which are nationwide in scope.

On October 1, 2013, we adopted a new name – VersAbility Resources. This name is a fusion of Versatile and Abilities, a true representation of the individuals with disabilities we have proudly served for 65 years.  This new name reflects our growing service area and commitment to creating new opportunities that highlight the abilities of people with disabilities.

  • We are United Way partner agency, with a designation number of 7026.
  • We are a CVC charity (# 3317) and a CFC charity (# 62268).
  • View our most recent Audit Reports: FY18
  • View our most recent 990 Forms: FY17

VersAbility Resources gives public notice of its policy to assure full compliance with Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and all related statutes. Title VI requires that no person in the United States of America shall, on the grounds of race, color, or national origin, be excluded from the participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be otherwise subjected to discrimination under any program or activity for which VersAbility Resources receives Federal financial assistance.

Please contact VersAbility Resources to request a copy of the department’s Title VI program.

Any person who believes that he or she has, individually, or as a member of any specific class of persons, been excluded from the participation in, been denied the benefits of, or been otherwise subjected to discrimination under any program or activity for which VersAbility Resources provides assistance, and believes the discrimination is based upon race, color, national origin, gender, age, economic status or limited English proficiency has the right to file a formal complaint.

If a complaint addresses a particular service provider, the complaint should be lodged with that provider. A complaint must be submitted within 180 days of the alleged discriminatory act. Complaints may also be filed with the US Federal Transit Administration. If a complaint addresses DRPT, you may file the complaint thru email via the link below, by phone or in writing.

For complainants who may be unable to file a written complaint, verbal information will be accepted by Jennifer Williams, (757) 896-6474, jwilliams@versability.org as well as by the individual service providers.

To submit a formal complaint or to request additional information on Title VI obligations contact:

VersAbility Resources
Jennifer Williams
(757) 896-6474
jwilliams@versability.org

Notice Under the Americans With Disabilities Act

In accordance with the requirements of Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA), the VersAbility Resources will not discriminate against qualified individuals with disabilities on the basis of disability in its services, programs or activities.

  • Employment: VersAbility Resources does not discriminate on the basis of disability in its hiring or employment practices and complies with all regulations promulgated by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission under Title I of the ADA.
  • Effective Communication: VersAbility Resources will generally, upon request, provide appropriate aids and services leading to effective communication for qualified persons with disabilities so they can participate equally in DRPT’s programs, services and activities, including qualified sign language interpreters, documents in Braille, and other ways of making information and communications accessible to people who have speech, hearing or vision impairments.
  • Modifications to Policies and Procedures: VersAbility Resources will make all reasonable modifications to policies and programs to ensure that people with disabilities have an equal opportunity to enjoy all of its programs, services and activities.
  • Anyone who requires an auxiliary aid or service for effective communication, or a modification of policies or procedures to participate in a VersAbility Resources program, service or activity, should contact Jennifer Campbell, (757) 896-8479, jcampbell@versability.org as soon as possible but no later than 48 hours before the scheduled event.
  • The ADA does not require VersAbility Resources to take any action that would fundamentally alter the nature of its programs or services, or impose any undue financial or administrative burden.
  • Complaints that a VersAbility Resources program, service or activity is not accessible to persons with disabilities should be directed to Jennifer Campbell, (757) 896-8479, jcampbell@versability.org.
  • VersAbility Resources will not place a surcharge on a particular individual with a disability or any group of individuals with disabilities to cover the cost of providing auxiliary aids/services or reasonable modifications of policy.

See grievance procedure below.

This Grievance Procedure is established to meet the requirements of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (“ADA”).  It may be used by anyone who wishes to file a complaint alleging discrimination on the basis of disability in the provision of services, activities, programs, or benefits by VersAbility Resources.  VersAbility Resources’ policies and procedures governs employment-related complaints of disability discrimination.

The complaint should be in writing and contain information about the alleged discrimination such as name, address, phone number of complainant and location, date, and description of the problem.  Alternative means of filing complaints, such as personal interviews or a tape recording of the complaint, will be made available for persons with disabilities upon request.

The complaint should be submitted by the grievant and/or his/her designee as soon as possible but no later than 60 calendar days after the alleged violation to:

Jennifer Campbell, Director of Quality and Compliance
c/o VersAbility Resources, Inc.
2520 58th Street
Hampton, VA 23661

Within 15 calendar days after receipt of the complaint, Jennifer Campbell or her designee will meet with the complainant to discuss the complaint and the possible resolutions.  Within 15 calendar days of the meeting, Jennifer Campbell or her designee will respond in writing, and where appropriate, in a format accessible to the complainant, such as large print, Braille, or audio tape.  The response will explain the position of VersAbility Resources and offer options for substantive resolution of the complaint.

If the response by Jennifer Campbell or her designee does not satisfactorily resolve the issue, the complainant and/or his/her designee may appeal the decision within 15 calendar days after receipt of the response to the President/CEO, Kasia Grzelkowski, or her designee.

Within 15 calendar days after receipt of the appeal, Kasia Grzelkowski or her designee will meet with the complainant to discuss the complaint and possible resolutions.  Within 15 calendar days after the meeting, Kasia Grzelkowski or her designee will respond in writing, and, where appropriate, in a format accessible to the complainant, with a final resolution of the complaint.

All written complaints received by Jennifer Campbell or her designee, appeals to the designee, Kasia Grzelkowski or her designee, and responses from these two offices will be retained by VersAbility Resources for at least three years.