New Horizon Center was incorporated under the laws of the State of Illinois on March 6, 1967. The agency was started by a group of pioneer parents of children with severe disabilities. These children did not participate in any type of educational or instructional program. Their lack of communication skills and their inability to walk prohibited them from entry into the limited "special classes" sporadically offered at some local public schools. At that time the law did not require that a child with disabilities have the right to a free and appropriate education. These parents led the fight for better services for their children. In 1997 Public Law 94-142, the Education for All Handicapped Children Act that is now called the Individuals with Disabilities Act was landmark legislation. It opened the doors for children with disabilities by giving parents and their children rights and responsibilities they had never experienced.
New Horizon Center for the Developmentally Disabled is a not-for-profit agency that provides education and training to children and adults with severe disabilities and autism. The agency serves students and adults from the Chicago and suburban areas.
New Horizon Center’s children’s program is approved by the Illinois State Board of Education in the areas of Mental Impairment and Autism. All teachers are certified. Teachers are well-trained professionals. All teacher–assistants are state approved paraprofessionals.
The Adult Developmental Training Program is accredited by the Department of Human Services. The program offers Home-Based Facilitation Services for families.
In September of 2006, New Horizon Center’s built a 31,000 sq. ft. state of the art facility that would develop the unmet needs and challenge abilities of students and adults with severe disabilities and autism. Our existing programs were strengthened and new programs developed. New Horizon Center is a leader in developing proven and effective approaches that gives each student and adult purpose and fulfillment in their complex lives.
New Horizon Center’s organizational structure includes a governing Board of Directors and an administrative staff. Board Members are elected for two year term. The board establishes policy, oversees financial plans and budgets, and formulates strategic planning goals. The administration implement approved policies and recommends new programs and modified changes that will meet the needs of children and adults who are served. The administration will ensure that the agency is in compliance with all state and federal guidelines.
New Horizon Center's goal has always been to provide children with disabilities the opportunity to reach their full potential. Their satisfaction is observed on the expression of a child's face when they speak their first word or take their first step toward independence.
The fundamental concept on which New Horizon Center for the Developmentally Disabled was founded and remains to this day is that all children, regardless of their educational capacity, have a right to an appropriate education and that every individual must be given the opportunity to achieve maximum independence.