Since 1957, the YAI Network has been a pioneer in life-adjustment, transitional and community-based services. Years before the exposure of the deplorable institutional practice of “warehousing,” YAI established innovative support services, including a one of the very first community group homes in the nation. Other ground-breaking initiatives developed and grew. Day services. Family support and recreation. Employment initiatives. Health care. Camping and travel. In short, every service those with developmental disabilities need to succeed.
Just a few decades ago, conventional wisdom held that people with developmental disabilities were best served in institutions. However, they were often treated cruelly and subjected to inhumane medical procedures and practices. Thanks to the efforts of families and professionals, since the 1970s, community-based services have become the option of choice for people with developmental disabilities.
Through the creation of innovative programs, training, education and advocacy, the YAI Network has helped lead a revolution – professionalizing the field, transforming the public’s perception and championing basic human rights: live one’s unique life; to determine the course of that life; to make a difference; and to participate in the community. These principles, the touchstones of YAI's work, inspire every program and services.