At Community Mainstreaming (CMA), we believe people are defined by what they can do — not by what they can’t. We’re a Long Island non-profit organization committed to helping those with intellectual and developmental disabilities lead more meaningful and productive lives within their communities by:
- Providing personalized services to help those with intellectual and developmental disabilities maximize their potential at home;
- Offering customized vocational training and support to assist them in pursuit of employment; and
- Creating opportunities to enjoy recreational activities and socializing opportunities with their peers.
Since our inception, we’ve grown from a single residence in King’s Point into an advocate for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities — offering a range of services and helping shape public policy.
Community Mainstreaming was founded out of a dire need within the Long Island community and a mother’s unwavering determination to give her son the quality of life he deserved. Like every other parent, she wanted to know her child would be okay. She needed to feel secure that her extraordinary son could learn the skills and create the connections to lead an ordinary life.
When Geraldo Rivera’s story broke in 1972 on the nightmarish conditions at the Willowbrook state institution, it sent ripples throughout the community. In 1974, a group of concerned and determined parents decided to take a stand and create a solution by forming and incorporating Community Mainstreaming. By 1980, the parents of Community Mainstreaming had united, pooled their resources, raised money, and opened a gorgeous home in Kings Point for those with intellectual disabilities.
The six years between incorporation (1974) and the opening of the house (1980) was highlighted by fierce legal battles, which ultimately helped shape New York State’s Site Selection Law. Today, Community Mainstreaming has evolved and grown to provide the supports, connections, and structure to help extraordinary people lead ordinary lives.
For over four decades, Community Mainstreaming has grown to meet the unique needs of people with Autism, Down Syndrome, and other Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (IDD). By utilizing our vast network of community connections, we help parents, caregivers and people with intellectual and developmental disabilities — aged 18 and above — navigate the often confusing period following the completion of their secondary education. We provide professional assistance and solutions to help bolster the skills they already have, so they can live more independently within their home or community. Some of the key services and solutions we offer include:
- Vocational & Day Programs are designed to help participants learn different skills, develop work readiness, and engage in community activities through building community connections and an array of supported employment opportunities.
- Community Habilitation assists people with intellectual/developmental disabilities in enhancing or developing the skills required to live a more independent life in the community or home.
- Our Residential Programs are designed to allow families and those with intellectual/developmental disabilities to choose the level of support most appropriate for their personal exploration and growth in a supportive, safe environment.
- Self Direction allows the individual and their family to choose the most suitable types of services and supports to help them achieve their personal goals, such as making friends, volunteering, finding a job, acquiring an apartment and living independently, and maintaining a healthy lifestyle. The individual and family is much more involved in managing their supports and services. Community Mainstreaming is available to assist as a Broker and a Fiscal Intermediary in the Self Direction program.