Disability Rights Arkansas (DRA) commends Arkansas Rehabilitation Services for its decision to end the residential program at the Arkansas Career Training Institute (ACTI) in Hot Springs. In doing so, Arkansas is taking a huge step forward in reducing its reliance on large institutional settings for people with disabilities.
DRA has been vocal in our criticism of ACTI over the years. We have long advocated that Arkansans with disabilities would be better served by redirecting federal dollars toward programs that train students in their local communities. By making the decision to close residential services at ACTI, Commissioner McClain and Director Childers have made a very positive step toward increasing competitive integrated employment opportunities for people with disabilities in our state. Today’s announcement brings renewed promise that Arkansans with disabilities will achieve a competitive wage in their trade of choice, and participate fully in the economy of our state.