In the early 1970s, the expectations for the quality of life for people with developmental disabilities were low. A group of local parents banded together to educate physicians about interacting with families affected by disabilities.
This support group was known as Parent’s Information Group for Exceptional Children. In 1976, the organization officially incorporated and two years later the group established their first direct services program. Take a Break was a respite program for children with developmental disabilities and their siblings. We still offer this service today.
Referral services were formalized and an adult social/recreation program was established to help ease the isolation of adults with developmental disabilities. During this time, we hired our first Executive Director and changed our name to Exceptional Family Resources.
Medicaid waiver funding opened up new ways to provide services to people with developmental disabilities and we hired our first service coordinator. We also added Senior Outreach, Educational Advocacy and parent support in Cayuga, Madison, Oswego and Cortland counties as well as Residential Habilitation.
Located on Syracuse’s North Side, EFR is now represented by a staff of over 400 employees who provide direct care and office support. Our services have expanded to include 15 programs across four departments, which continue to provide services to consumers and their families. In addition, EFR remains a leader in the developmental disabilities community as it responds to new opportunities presented by the New York State Office for People with Developmental Disabilities.