It was a very different world in 1974 when Community Mainstreaming Associates, Inc. (CMA) was born. There were few group homes or adult programs on Long Island for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Professionals and physicians all too often recommended institutional care.
CMA founder Joan Brenner’s dream was to secure the future for her developmentally disabled son and others who needed similar care. She and a group of like-minded parents wanted their offspring to thrive, not merely survive. Through the tremendous dedication, perseverance and efforts of these pathfinders — and many others — their dream became a reality and Community Mainstreaming Associates has become a regional leader on Long Island, caring for the needs of people with intellectual and developmental disabilities.
CMA’s goal is to help the men and women they serve lead full and purposeful lives in their communities. Our first group home, in Kings Point, New York, opened in 1980, and others followed. The first residence in CMA’s Fred and Mary Trump Supportive Living Program, for men and women able to live without 24-hour supervision but with regular support from CMA staff, opened in 1996. Another home, in Glen Cove, for medically fragile men and women — those with Alzheimer’s disease or other similar geriatric conditions, opened in 2004. The house is designed to meet the individuals’ needs as they change, allowing them to age in place and remain in their home.
Now, with eleven homes, and soon a twelfth, CMA’s supervised and supportive living programs have fulfilled the greatest hopes of many men and women with intellectual and developmental disabilities and of their families. And we have moved beyond residential programs to offer vocational and case management services.
Everyday life for CMA program participants is special because it is so ordinary: they work, do household and personal chores, and participate in recreational activities. CMA creates a normal living environment for its residents, believing that with the appropriate support, they can live successfully in the community.