The Resource Center has been providing services to persons with disabilities in the Chautauqua County area since 1959. From our humble beginnings as a gathering of parents and concerned citizens who wanted to provide educational and training opportunities for persons with developmental and intellectual disabilities, The Resource Center has grown into a comprehensive agency providing services to thousands of persons with all types and levels of disabilities.
The mission of The Resource Center is to support individuals with disabilities and other challenges in achieving maximum independence, contributing to their community, experiencing lifelong growth, and enjoying quality of life.
Statement of Beliefs
- We believe every individual is unique.
- We believe in respect for human dignity.
- We believe in the inherent value of every individual.
- We believe every individual has the right to make choices.
- We believe every individual has their own unique contributions to make to the community.
- We believe every individual has the opportunity for lifelong growth.
- We believe in the right of all individuals to achieve maximum independence.
- We believe individuals have the right to experience life to the fullest extent possible.
- We believe the interests of people we serve come first.
- We believe all individuals have the right to share in the resources and responsibilities of the community.
- We believe “families,” friends and relationships are important to every individual.
- We believe individuals should be encouraged to believe in themselves.
The mission statement is not merely reflective of a lofty purpose. It is the result of a collective commitment sustained through the personal and financial support of our community, our government, and countless supporters and benefactors. By visiting our Web site, you are indicating that you share our concern about improving the lives of persons with disabilities and their families.
The Resource Center is governed by a Board of Directors composed of community leaders and family members who volunteer their time, experience and expertise to guide our agency in pursuing its mission.
As you view our Web site, you will gain an understanding of our dedication toward meeting the challenge of fulfilling our mission in the face of ever-changing expectations, demands, opportunities, and constraints. While we work hard to provide the best possible services and supports, we know we can do even better, so we are continually trying to remain on the cutting edge of developing new services, new strategies for individual, family and community support, and innovative ways of delivering them.
We hope you will enjoy learning about The Resource Center during your virtual tour of our organization. And we hope you will join with us to “Share the Vision!” of a day when ALL people have the same opportunities to live their lives to the fullest potential and to achieve their every aspiration.
“The Resource Center – Leading the way in strengthening the partnership among individuals with disabilities, their families and friends; organizations providing services and supports; and our entire community in Making a Difference in People’s Lives.”
In 1958, a group of parents and doctors’ wives, frustrated at the lack of available services for persons with mental retardation, set out to do something about it. Energized￼ by the power of their convictions, the group formed an organization called “Parents and Friends of Mentally Retarded Children.” The agency that would become The Resource Center had been born.
At the time The Resource Center was started, public schools were not required to accept children with severe intellectual disabilities. So most families either committed their retarded children to institutions or kept them home, out of sight. “There was no place for our children to be,” said one parent who was instrumental in forming the organization that would become The Resource Center. “They just sat there in a corner and watched TV.”
Well, times certainly have changed. Today, persons with disabilities are an integral part of the fabric of our community. And The Resource Center, which began as a volunteer organization serving nine children with mental retardation in a borrowed classroom, is now one of Chautauqua County’s largest employers, helping thousands of persons with all types of disabilities as they proceed along their life paths.