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The Kennedy Center (President and Chief Executive Officer)

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The Kennedy Center in Trumbull, Connecticut, a $32M private, community-based rehabilitation organization, prides itself in celebrating potential by empowering individuals with diverse abilities, disabilities, and experiences toward optimal participation and inclusion in the community.

Since 1951, The Kennedy Center has been turning challenges into opportunities.

The Kennedy Center has long been recognized as an innovative leader in supporting people with disabilities by providing specialized comprehensive community services, from birth to senior years. Its highly experienced staff develops individual plans for those with intellectual disabilities, autism, psychiatric disabilities, acquired brain injury, Alzheimer's with cognitive disabilities, hearing and visual impairments, cerebral palsy and mobility impairments.

The celebrated history of The Kennedy Center is an inspirational story of how a small group's new idea enacted significant societal change. In the 1950s, American society did not provide for educational support for children with cognitive disabilities but simply institutionalized them. The inspirational group of founders envisioned and was ultimately responsible for the first classes for children with cognitive disabilities in public schools in New England. With societal perception of individuals with disabilities changing, the organization's program services expanded well beyond cognitive disabilities in the eighties. Over the years, the organization created Community Experience programs for individuals with multiple and severe disabilities and developed strong relationships with the Connecticut Department of Mental Health, the Department of Children and Families, the Department of Social Services, the Department of Developmental Services, and the Bureau of Rehabilitation Services.

The organization is accredited by the National Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities (CARF) and received its first accreditation in 1981. Soon thereafter, the organization opened four new residences, established five new employment businesses, and opened three Community Experiences projects. Providing community-centered opportunities to discover hidden talents and self-expression as well as developing vocational skills and employment opportunities, The Kennedy Center has continuously won numerous awards placing it in the top 1% of rehabilitation facilities in the United States. Community and Day Support Services, include Therapeutic Recreational Services, Mobility Services, The Maggie Daly Arts Coop, and The Norma F. Pfriem Foundation Alzheimer's Center at Faust Hall.

Children's Services, Adult Day Support Options, Community-Based Support Options, Employment Services, and Residential span the broad array of the most comprehensive rehabilitation facilities in Connecticut. The Center's values and vision are driven by the mission to promote empowerment and independence, plus a motivation to create new approaches and a specifically designed personcentered plan to care to ensure the people they serve reach their greatest potential and live the best life possible with dignity and opportunity.

The Center's Children's Services create unique partnerships with families for children with disabilities or special needs from ages birth to 21 to allow therapeutic, recreational, educational, and social options year- round. Services for children with Autism Spectrum Disorders provide for skill enhancements, community connections, and family support.

Rehabilitation Services provide individualized employment planning, career counseling; job development & community placement; working interviews and on-the-job training; recovery oriented employment planning & placement and peer mentoring supports; job club series; school-transition services including vocational exploration/training and community independence training; acquired brain injury support services including prevocational skill redevelopment; independent living skills training, and community reintegration.

Residential Services provide individualized group home placement (through 16 Community Living Arrangements); independent living skills training; supported living services; a Caring for the Caregiver program; a "Home of One's Own" training; family support and respite services.

Kennedy Industries provide specialized job training in through a variety of business enterprises. Additionally, Kennedy Industries provides program services through Mobility Services, Travel Training, Art Therapy, Senior Options, Children's Services, Birth to Three, The Autism Project, Alzheimer's Supports, Community Experience Programs, Therapeutic Recreation, Transportation, Supported Employment, Behavioral Health Services and Strengthening Families projects.

For additional information, please visit www.thekennedycenterinc.org.