Since the seventies, however, the service delivery system for people with intellectual and other developmental disabilities has changed dramatically. From virtually no choices (other than home or institutional care) to an array of opportunities for those with a variety of disabilities, NYSACRA now represents more than 200 not-for-profit service provider agencies with a combined workforce of approximately 70,000 employees. The supports provided by these agencies and their staff are wide-ranging and include: supportive and supervised residential living alternatives, day habilitation, prevocational and vocational training, family care and respite services, clinical services, and educational and preventive education services.
Founded in 1977, NYSACRA originally afforded not-for-profit service provider agencies with the opportunity to meet and share ideas and information while the development of community residences for people with intellectual and other developmental disabilities was in its infancy. NYSACRA also began providing an important public voice representing the needs of its members at the federal, state, and local levels; vital work we continue to this day.
The 1990s saw an unprecedented change in the intellectual and other developmental disabilities service delivery system, i.e. services that were once peripheral, such as case management and family supports, emerged as central to the service delivery system. In 1994, in order to meet the challenge of providing appropriate support to its members in this rapidly changing field, NYSACRA implemented a strategic planning process. That process has helped NYSACRA prepare for the changing needs of its members.