WHO WE ARE
The Village is a Non-profit Public Benefit Corporation offering a day program and community center for those with intellectual and developmental disabilities (I/DD.)
There are approximately 6,800 developmentally disabled individuals in San Joaquin County. Developmental disabilities: occur before the age of 18; are expected to continue indefinitely; constitute a substantial handicap; include intellectual disabilities, cerebral palsy, epilepsy and autism; and are similar to intellectual disabilities. There are many programs that serve the needs of the disabled. We seek to serve those with severe I/DD in our community and to offer support to their caregivers and family members.
Hannah, our daughter, was born with a rare condition called Trisomy 18. In the midst of the blur that was the first few days of Hannah’s life, her dad and I just couldn’t grasp what this diagnosis meant. A doctor finally sat us down and explained that her condition was “incompatible with life.” Hannah would never walk, talk or even know us. She would not be a candidate for special education or take a bus to school. So, after spending a week in the hospital, we took our baby home to spend her precious remaining hours in peace. That was more than 20 years ago.
Today Hannah is full of joy. She loves people and can draw them to her with her warm eyes and huge smile. She can crawl, occasionally stand, play, and display preferences, such as football over anything else on TV. After almost 19 years in public school we find ourselves asking what Hannah’s adult life will look like. Without the social interaction and specialized curriculum that school gave her, she is left to spend her time at home. Yes, there are programs available to her, but none are close to home nor are able to manage her special needs. Hannah’s dad and I have discovered that the old adage is true: necessity is the mother of invention.
In December 2016 we began the process of creating a place where Hannah and other people with intellectual and developmental disabilities (I/DD) could do life together. We envisioned a day program that would seek to create a great day for each member. We saw a community component that would bring together people with I/DD, their family members, and caregivers to create friendships and offer support. Finally, we saw a gateway for people with I/DD to be fully included in our community.
Thank you for joining us in imagining The Village.