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Creation and First Years

In 1946, several groups of parents of disabled children from around New York State formed an association to increase public awareness, sponsor parent and professional training, encourage research, and to engage in legislative advocacy for the development of services needed for their children.

This loose group of committed local leaders later became known as Cerebral Palsy Associations of New York State (CP of NYS). Within a few years, the Association grew to include cerebral palsy treatment centers throughout New York State to help widen access to support services.

In the 1950’s, with the establishment of the Willowbrook State School in Staten Island and other State Schools, CP of NYS began to provide in-service training for staff of these facilities to ensure the quality of programs and care for person’s with cerebral palsy and other developmental disabilities.

In 1972, Geraldo Rivera aired a hidden-camera story on the decline and conditions at Willowbrook. After public outcry, the facility was shuttered and the manner of treating people with disabilities was forever changed. See our participation in the fiftieth anniversary event on of the airing of the program and the dedication of The Willowbrook Mile.

Post-Willowbrook

The shift in care launched the era of “de-institutionalization” and CP of NYS remained a leader in the field. The Agency developed mini-teams to work with former residents and to provide further staff support and training. This initiative marked the transformation of the organization from a State Association to a direct service provider.

During this period, CP of NYS was asked to take over seven buildings on the Willowbrook grounds to create community-based living opportunities for previous residents of Willowbrook and other State Developmental Centers, in collaboration with the newly formed New York State Office of Mental Retardation and Developmental Disabilities. Today, we still support the largest cohort of former residents in CP settings throughout New York City and Hudson Valley.

State Expansion

The 1980’s brought an expansion of day treatment programs, clinics, sheltered workshops, and supported employment programs for person’s now living in the community. CP of NYS Affiliates throughout the State also advocated for the need for pre-school and early intervention services for young children with disabilities.

By 2018, CP of NYS had evolved into a broad-based, multi-service organization serving person’s with all types of intellectual and developmental disabilities. In June of that year, the Agency established its Hudson Valley Division to provide residential, day habilitation, and Article 16 clinical services to adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities throughout Putnam and Dutchess Counties. The organization now included Metro Services and Metro Community Health Centers located in New York City, an Affiliate Services office in Albany, New York, and twenty-four Affiliates throughout New York State.

CP Unlimited Today

In 2019, the organization shifted its focus to the New York City and beyond to better care for a growing population of people with I/DD in need of support. Our suite of options featured enhanced community living, day programs, vocational and employment programs, medical and clinical services, early intervention, educational, recreational and family support services.

With this pivot came a new name: Constructive Partnerships (CP) Unlimited.

Given our roots, we remain closely associated with our Affiliate Services office in Albany as well as with our Affiliate co-agencies located throughout the State. We are also working with development partners to expand our offerings in all these essential areas and convene varied agencies to better offer integrated support for people with I/DD. Throughout all of our work, we remain excited to shape the next chapter of CP Unlimited’s history and grow our impact.

Learn more about our Board and Leadership >> | Apply to join the CP team >>

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