According to Robert Perske,” denying the mentally retarded exposure to normal risks…tends to have deleterious effect on both their sense of human dignity and the personal development.” Every person with mental retardation is entitled to be integrated into society and to participate as fully as possible in the activities of that society.Independence Residences, Inc., was founded in 1984 and incorporated in 1988 under the law of the state of New York. IRI was founded for the purpose of serving adults who have visual impairment, mental retardation, mental illness and emotional disturbances. By authority of its charter and response to the perceived need, IRI concentrated its first efforts on providing residential services.
IRI programs are structured to provide a secure living situation that encourages the growth of the individual person. The program is centered around individualized programming, normalization, independence, and responsibility. Each individual is educated and integrated through actual experience in all levels of daily living responsibility.
Independence Residences, Incorporated (IRI) is a not-for-profit human service agency, committed to supporting the highest quality of life for adults with developmental disabilities, visual and other impairments, by providing innovative residential and community support services. This commitment is rooted in integrity, growing as a supportive extended family: starting with our consumers and the talented men and women who comprise our agency staff and Board; extending to our family partners, civic and professional; the communities where we live and work; and reaching all the way to the homes of the individuals who comprise our greater service family. IRI’s mission begins with the dreams in the hearts of our consumers, is strengthened by their community of supporters and nurtured by IRI’s ever-widening circle of supports, turning dreams into reality.
From the beginning, IRI was designed to create opportunities where none existed before: opportunities for severely disabled adults to live a more rewarding life as an integrated member of society, in homes designed for their special needs, and with an extensive circle of support to give them access to opportunities to learn, grow and dream. At the time IRI was founded there were few agencies that supported individuals with developmental disabilities, visual impairments and behavioral difficulties. Now, the need for these services is growing. Our founding parents recognized a dual challenge: their disabled children were “aging out” of existing programs as they grew into young adulthood as the parents themselves grew older, and they became concerned about what kind of future their children would have if each family had to develop their own care-giving solutions. These parents recognized the need for housing and support services designed to give their adult children a brighter future, so together they began with one group, one house at a time, and set about designing a community-wide solution that became known as IRI. Founding families became members of our Board. Some of the founding members still serve to help IRI remain focused on its mission.To provide the highest quality of life for consumers, IRI approaches each person as an individual. Every support is guided by the voice of each individual. The settings in which our consumers live and work must be comfortable for them, and for our staff working directly for them. Our team members reflect the deepest values of our agency, integrity and compassion. The staff of Independence Residences, Inc. is courteous and friendly; they are good communicators, with a passion for learning more. From the first day new staff members join our team, and throughout their careers, IRI ensures they have the support, values and skills necessary to turn consumers dreams into reality.