In the mid 1960’s an epidemic of Rubella (German measles) swept through the United States causing more than twenty thousand babies to be born with varying degrees of deafness, blindness, limb defects, heart defects as well as intellectual and developmental disabilities. In NJ, several families impacted by what is known as Congenital Rubella Syndrome (CRS) formed a support group and quickly realized the need for action.
There were no services in place in NJ that could meet the unique education, communication, mobility and daily support needs of their children. Doctors and other professionals consistently told families their children cannot be taught and cannot be raised along with their siblings. That a life in an institutional setting was their best and only hope.
These families – our founders, wanted something different for their children and those like them in NJ. Through their dedicated work and advocacy our organization was incorporated in 1978, and we received funding from the state of NJ to begin providing community based, daily living support to people with deaf-blindness in NJ.
In the 35 years following our incorporation, the evolution of our experience with this low incidence, yet intensive support needs population, cultivated the highly adaptive, creative and resourceful organization we are today. We have grown from this unique starting point to include people beyond the scope of sensory impairments, and work to support independence and community inclusion for people with various disabilities and other specialized needs.
We continue to honor the vision of our founders that all people are valued members of our communities. We are innovators, providing support solutions that enable people across a broad spectrum of ability to be connected, achieve goals and participate in life.