In an era of social change, the 1950s and early 1960s saw the rise of a national parents’ movement demanding civil rights for children with disabilities.
Dr. Gunnar Dybwad (1909-2001), prominent and early advocate for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities, noted how “disability” is a natural part of the human condition. He framed intellectual and developmental disabilities (I/DD) as a civil rights issue rather than a medical or social work problem. As he once stated, “There will always be people who are treated unequally because they are perceived as different.”
In 1962, a group of Venice area parents joined the growing national parents’ movement and sought to be the dominant voice in our community and advocate for educational and community services for their children; therefore, establishing the South County Association for Retarded Children, Inc., now known as the Loveland Center.
For nearly sixty years, Loveland Center has been an agent for change, fostering a social agenda aimed at destigmatizing and normalizing how our community views the population we serve.
Today, Loveland Center continues its quest to bring visibility and opportunity not only for our participants at Loveland, but for those in our surrounding communities.
Loveland’s programs provide various services that enable individuals the opportunities to discover untapped potential, build self-confidence, and further develop skill sets that allow for increased independence – creating the platform to advocate for themselves. Through self-advocacy, individuals are empowered to become a part of their community and not be apart from it.