About Us

A Leader in Disability Rights 

The Arc is the largest national community-based organization advocating for and with people with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (IDD) and serving them and their families. We work tirelessly to uphold our vision that every individual and family living with IDD in the United States has access to the information, advocacy, and skills they need to support their full inclusion and participation in the community throughout their lifetimes. With hundreds of state and local chapters across the country, The Arc’s chapter network is on the frontlines to ensure that people with IDD have the support and services they need to be fully engaged in their communities.
As one of The Arc’s state chapters, The Arc Rhode Island utilizes a vast network of resources and works among some of the most highly regarded professionals. The Arc Rhode Island offers a wide variety of services, supports, and advocacy for people with IDD and their families. This includes individual and public policy advocacy; residential, educational, and vocational services; person-centered and financial planning; and other supports that meet the unique needs of our community. 

Meet Our Team Members

Carrie Hobbs Guiden is the Senior Executive Office of Chapters and Community with The Arc and the Arc Rhode Island’s Acting Director. She has 30 years of experience supporting people with IDD and their families to live inclusive lives in their communities. Carrie’s previous work includes directing MLTSS HCBS programs for people with IDD, leading state chapters of The Arc in Arizona and Tennessee, and leading programs for waiver and state funded services with a local chapter of The Arc in Indiana. Her areas of work include public policy and systems change, coalition building, program development and implementation, employment, person-centered practices, secondary transition, and decision-making supports. Carrie’s educational background includes an M.S. in Special Education from IUPUI, a Graduate Certificate in Non-Profit Management from Indiana University, and a B.A. in Sociology from Indiana University. In her role as the acting Director at The Arc Rhode Island she provides her expertise and guidance to our staff. With her support on processes and procedures she is moving our organization onto a trajectory that promises continued success. Her innovative ideas and desire to support the IDD community are of great value to our organization.
Dycia “DeeDee” Santos is the Advocacy and Community Resource Specialist for The Arc Rhode Island. She has 15 years of Administrative Human Resources experience. DeeDee has certifications in Early Childhood, HR Development, and Mental Health First Aid. In 2022, DeeDee was nominated and given the Equity Award from The Arc United States. The Arc recognizes DeeDee’s impact on access, equity, and inclusion (AEI). Her work promotes diverse communities, and social justice. In two years with The Arc RI, she created two programs, Direct Support Professional (DSP) for the State of Rhode Island and Building Inclusive Futures (BIF). She organizes community events; she held the Latin Festival DSP in Providence in 2022 with WKKB FM 100.3, Latina radio station. For two consecutive years DeeDee has initiated The Arc RI Backpack Drive, held over 2 days in 2 locations, which supports children by providing them essential school supplies. She is an enthusiastic advocate eager, and effective providing vital resources for children with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities. (IDD). DeeDee’s continuous collaborations with other organizations gives her the wealth of knowledge that she uses to assist parents and children with IDD. DeeDee’s enthusiasm for helping children and families with IDD, was inspired by her daughter. Her promise to the community, “To protect Civil rights and ensure access to vital programs for those with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities.”
Wanda Tabares is the Program Director for the Building Inclusive Futures (BIF) program. She is highly skilled and passionate and has over a decade of experience in executive recruiting and management as well as being the owner of several small businesses. With a solid background in the corporate sector, Wanda has transitioned into non-profit to make a significant impact on the lives of individuals with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (IDD). Having joined The Arc Rhode Island Wanda has demonstrated exceptional dedication and expertise in leading programs that focus on youth in transition and young adults with IDD. Throughout Wanda’s career, she has successfully developed and managed various inclusive programs, fostering a supportive and empowering environment. Her extensive experience in Executive Recruiting and Management has equipped her with a deep understanding of organizational effectiveness, leadership development, and talent acquisition. She believes in the power of collaboration and actively engages with stakeholders, community partners, and individuals with disabilities to ensure that the BIF program is responsive and impactful. Wanda possesses a strong commitment to social justice and equity, which is evident in her ability to create innovative and transformative programs that cater to the unique needs of the IDD community. Through her strategic leadership, strong interpersonal skills, and passion for advocacy, she strives to create a more accessible, inclusive, and equitable society for the IDD community.
Kimberly Hedenberg is the Communications and Public Awareness Specialist at The Arc Rhode Island and has an extensive background that lays a strong foundation for her position in the organization. She holds a Bachelor’s degree and Certificate in Community Development, from Roger Williams University. Her background includes printing, advertising, social media campaigns and extensive fundraising and event planning. Kim’s ability to build and nourish crucial networks and partnerships is one of her strongest attributes. Collaboration and a desire to build inclusive communities has long been her number one passion. She made the decision to enter non-profit after 20 years of work in the corporate sector as an Executive Administration and Office Manger when she realized her energy level was well over 100% when networking and event planning for corporate fundraisers to support local non-profits. She acted as a liaison between the corporate offices and non-profits to get as much funding as possible into the hands that needed it most. Her career in graphic design and printing and the experience of owning her own small business has positioned her to be flexible, knowledgeable and driven to succeed. Kimberly designs all the printed materials, The Arc RI website, and monthly Newsletter. Her approach to social media and digital campaigns is informational, educational and personal with focus on inclusion and an equal voice for all.
Jessica Dos Santos is a Life Coach with The Arc Rhode Island, as part of the Building Inclusive Futures program.  Jessica has dedicated her career to guiding and supporting clients as they navigate their unique life paths. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology and has over 7 years of experience in the field. With an extensive background as a Life Coach and a strong reputation for her empathetic and results-driven approach, Jessica is joining our organization to continue making a positive impact on the lives of others. Jessica believes that “True transformation comes from within.” She is dedicated to empowering her clients helping them to uncover their inner potential and maximize their personal growth. Through a combination of active listening, thoughtful questioning, and practical strategies, she helps clients identify their values, leverage their strengths, and break through the barriers that hinder their progress.  Jessica brings a wealth of experience and a commitment to helping individuals create purposeful and fulfilling lives. She is excited to continue making a positive impact, supporting others on their journeys of self-discovery, growth, and achievement.