Since 1983, the St. Louis Arc has been continuously accredited by The Council on Quality & Leadership (CQL), an international non-for-profit organization. We consider this distinction a badge of honor because CQL standards are recognized by federal and state government as benchmarks for excellence. Additionally, few organizations who specialize in taking care of people with disabilities ever receive this kind of recognition.

What Happened During Accreditation?

Last week CQL staff met with various stakeholders of the St. Louis Arc to assess our programs and identify future opportunities. During their four day visit, CQL interviewers reviewed documents and policies, and met formally and informally with participants, families, staff, and community members. Their goal was to “assess the agency through a firm foundation of systems and practices related to health, welfare and human security involving Basic Assurances® and implementation of CQL’s Personal Outcome Measures®”.

During their time in St. Louis, CQL interviewers held focus groups with direct support professionals, self-advocates, and family members to gain candid insight. Interviewers also visited our residential facilities, engaged in conversations with people the Arc supports, and held interviews with a participant and family in their homes.

After the initial assessment, a group of 60 stakeholders gathered to hear the findings of CQL, including the results of over 600 surveys completed by you! The group was able to discuss and vote on the top three factors that the St. Louis Arc should focus on over the next 18 months. We are currently finalizing our plan of action to address community connections, supports and services, and the workforce.

It was a long, fun, and inspiring week. We would not be able to achieve the level of quality we do without the help of everyone who committed their time. We are especially grateful to our President and CEO, Mark Keeley who set the tone for the week through the Arc’s Carpool Karaoke. Joined by Nyokka, Heather, and LaRasha, the group kicked off accreditation week with an entertaining and meaningful video.  We hope you enjoy!