It may surprise you to learn that there are many organizations nationwide which serve the developmentally disabled and mentally retarded. These organizations are charged with finding vocational services and community access to those with disabilities. These national organizations are advocates for the mentally handicapped and work toward giving the developmentally disabled a normal life with careers, recreation and independent living.There are smaller organizations that are community-based, as well. While the national organizations may seem larger and better funded, community-based organizations can be just as beneficial, advocating for the equality of disabled citizens within the community.Vocational organizations primarily help the mentally challenged find work and place them in paying jobs. Goodwill Industries is one such company. Goodwill will place members of the mentally retarded community in their stores for employment. These placements range from sorting donations to stocking the store. Employees placed within Goodwill may even help customers on the sales floor and work as a cashier.Other vocational services help find gainful employment within the community on behalf of the developmentally disabled. They work with companies and organizations to place members of the mentally challenged community into a normal work environment where they can thrive and enjoy working and making money.The ARC is an organization that has branches in many cities and towns. ARC once stood for the Association of Retarded Citizens, but is now known simply as ARC. The ARC provides social and community activities for the developmentally disabled and trains their members to advocate for themselves with local, state and federal government bodies. Many handicap-accessible parks, playgrounds and buildings have been constructed thanks to the hard work and persistence of those in the ARC.This organization provides opportunities for developmentally disabled people of all ages to participate in community service endeavors, develop job skills, learn new trades and cultivate new recreational talents. Teaching mentally retarded teens and adults the skills to live an independent life is a key focus of the ARC.The ARC provides events such as dances, dinners and celebrations for the developmentally challenged. Socialization allows the mentally disabled to be comfortable and fit in amongst peers in the community, as well as participate in sporting programs, such as the Special Olympics. The Special Olympics offers athletic competition including bowling, skiing, track and field and softball. Competitors can compete at the local, state, national or – if they’re really great – the world level.There are many organizations in the United States that provide support to the mentally retarded community. Families with a developmentally disabled member should look into all the options available in the area. These organizations enhance the lives and the livelihoods of not just the developmentally disabled, but the family members as well.