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Rive rsi de...empowering
people with developmental disabilities to live rich and full lives
Riverside’s roots began in our community in 1968 with family
members, local businesses, and Father Robert Wagner establishing a small
manufacturing business whose workers were people with developmental
disabilities. Riverside opened its doors
to these workers in Leeds, MA in 1968 after the Kennedy Foundation made a
philanthropic donation, local businesses provided bonefide work, and the
community embrace and invested in Riverside’s mission through monetary and
in-kind donations such as equipment, labor, and materials. In 1968, with the Civil Rights Movement
underway, Riverside’s founders had a vision of communities welcoming people
with disabilities to participate in typical life endeavors and enjoy the same
rhythms of life that their contemporaries did.
Since we believe that one size does not fit all,
that different people need different combinations of support, Riverside has
grown from its original concept of offering only manufacturing work. Today, Riverside provides individualized
services combining life skills development, rehabilitation, and employment
options for more than 250 adults with developmental disabilities. We have been a long-standing advocate for
client-driven supports, helping those with perceived limitations and typical
ambitions in their quest for satisfying jobs, life direction, and meaningful
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