Disability Resources, Incorporated began as a task group of Abilene citizens formed in 1983 to study the problems of families faced with long term care of their disabled children and to make recommendations regarding alternative care.
The need for the project was documented through surveys site visits to existing facilities, attendance at national conferences, research of state and federal laws and plans, and family interviews. It was found that when a developmentally disabled individual graduated from school, he faced a future in the competitive employment environment, which generally did not make allowance for his unique needs. Usually, he was not capable of a totally independent lifestyle. Thus, his family was faced with a lifetime of care and the disabled individual was faced with limited opportunities for work, social contacts and recreation. As parents became older, their capabilities for providing care often diminished and the need for assistance became more acute.
The task group discovered that although a number of residential centers and sheltered workshops existed throughout the nation for the more youths and severely disabled individuals, residential and vocational services for the adult developmentally disabled individuals were almost non-existent. Because of the magnitude of the problems and the widespread need, the task group recommended that a private non-profit agency be created to plan, develop and administer a program to address the needs of developmentally disabled adult individuals and their families. This assessment was validated by the 1990 census that showed there were 3 million developmentally disabled people nationwide; 300,000 in Texas; 80% live with a relative such as a parent.
Disability Resources, Incorporated became chartered as a non-profit corporation in January, 1987. The purpose of the agency is to provide residential care, training and meaningful jobs for developmentally disabled individuals who qualify for the program. Disability Resources is financed by private donations, residential fees, vocational enterprises and some state funds.
Since 1987, DRI has grown. The program now has seven residences, a vocational center, administration center and recently broke ground on a new multi-purpose facility. Yet, there is still a great need. DRI receives calls and has a waiting list for our services. We are working hard to expand to be able to meet the demand for these precious “Folks” who have yet to find a home with DRI.
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