Our Rich History
organization was created in 1963 out of the sheer guts and passion
of a small group of families determined to start a school for their
children. They rejected the advice of their physicians to send their
infants away to institutions. Bringing them home, they faced a world
without services, supports, funding, or examples of what might be possible.
A strong group of committed founding families spearheaded early battles
and helped keep the dreams alive. They devoted their lives to gathering
other parents who shared the same dream of building a school for their
children. They spoke to community groups. They faced a lot of opposition
from well meaning experts and parents, but persevered. Together, they
held bake sales, opened small thrift shops, and asked for businesses
In 1963, John F. Kennedy signed the Mental Retardation and Community
Mental Health Centers Construction Act into law providing federal funding
for community mental health and mental retardation centers in the United
States. Our founding families managed to raise enough funds to provide
the match money for one of these first grants awarded in the state
of Ohio. They raced against time to raise the needed funds and created
their rally cry - we are on the threshold. Threshold continues today as the name of our semi-annual newsletter about the
milestones and wonderful stories about those whose lives have been
touched by our organization.
Over the years, new legislation was enacted and funding evolved as
our country embraced more options for people with disabilities. Our
organization continued to change with the times: closing the original
school as mainstream education became best practice; opening group
homes; bringing supports, training and consultation into the home of
families and schools; developing specialized programs for those with
co-occurring mental health issues. We’ve evolved beyond the founding
vision of a resident home and school.
In 2013, in celebration of our 50th anniversary, we changed
our name to Envision. This new name acknowledges just how much
has changed in our world over the past 50 years. But at the same
time, it retains our founder’s passion for stretching into the
future, and staying on the forefront of what can emerge to expand
and enrich the lives of those we serve.
Moving forward, Envision continues to be dedicated to offer best practice
services that best support the individual. We focus on "what's
happened to you," to discover how past trauma and chronic stress
may be contributing to current behavior. This person-centered
approach to our work creates a culture of caring throughout the
organization. We welcome you become engaged with us!