COEA the Arc of East Ascension, located in Gonzales, Louisiana, was founded in 1964 by a group of parents of children with developmental disabilities. The concerned parents came together in an effort to find an alternate route for educating their children and to develop meaningful activities for them to be a part of. The group quickly grew into a thriving agency, well known as the primary resource for families in need of support for their child or family member with developmental disabilities.

The organization today offers community members an all inclusive service and referral opportunity for individuals with developmental disabilities and the senior population. The services are offered from two sites in Gonzales, and also within home and community settings. Our original site is located at S.E. Ascension Complex Blvd, with our newest addition being Purpera Ave. The Purpera Ave. expansion made it possible for us to provide further services with the creation of a Center Based Respite.
The Arc of East Ascension established a wonderful fundraising and community awareness project with the development of "Dancing for a Cause" in 2009. The event has rapidly grown into a popular community event. The fundraiser is held each year in July and showcases local community leaders by pairing them with professional dances. The fundraiser is a wonderful way for the community to recognize The Arc of East Ascension’s efforts to fulfill its mission of enhancing the quality of life for persons with disabilities and their families through service and advocacy that support choice, independence and dignity.

Currently, the Arc of East Ascension is offering multiple services to the community, and we are looking to the very near future to establish a new enterprise. An additional building on the Purpera Ave. site will allow much needed room for our rapidly growing Adult Day Training Program. The Arc of East Ascension will utilize this building as a work training setting, giving individuals with disabilities the opportunity to learn valuable work preparation skills.