Before we founded the ellis center…
My husband Tim and I spent exhausting years hearing from others what wasn’t possible because our son’s needs were not addressed through a standard special education curriculum. Meanwhile, we saw him begin to slip away due to a system that didn’t work for our nontraditional learner. Our son, who once loved interacting with the world and those around him, had retreated into his shell.
This all changed when we made the bold decision that would change our lives forever—to start Ellis. We absorbed as much knowledge from therapists, educators and national experts as possible and quickly realized we were on to something amazing. Creating a place where every child could be heard and communicate was formed with a mission focused on what IS possible.
Our son started this new way of learning, and we watched him quickly blossom into to a happy and engaged child. As word spread about his changes and the magic we had unknowingly created, parents reached out to me daily wanting to know more. We made the decision that we couldn’t keep this groundbreaking idea to ourselves, and—working together with dedicated providers, experts in sensory impairments and communication, as well as special education leaders—Ellis began growing. Years later, we now provide Camp ImpAACt, Community Education Events, Evaluation Services and a School Program that includes summer school and year-round programming for our students each with a one-on-one Intervener.
At the end of the day, what we want is to provide an outlet and opportunities for other children and their families to be heard in our community. Of course, we have not gotten where we are alone. Through the support of our friends, families, board members, donors, staff and volunteers we can make this all possible for the over 130 people we directly serve each year. We have captured something great at the Ellis Center, and we know that we must continue to reach more and serve more in our community.
Executive Director/Co-Founder/Dedicated Mom of Three