History of Advancing Opportunities
Sixty years ago, a group of concerned parents of children with cerebral palsy met and formed a group. They called themselves "parent-advocates" and their mission was to help each other cope with the daily challenges their families faced in having a family member or child with a disability. On August 11, 1950, the parents incorporated as United Cerebral Palsy Associations of New Jersey, Inc.
Early on, the organization discovered the support and services it provided could benefit individuals with all types of disabilities, not just cerebral palsy, but people with mental retardation, epilepsy, hearing and visual impairments, learning disabilities, traumatic brain injury, arthritis, congenital disabilities, acquired disabilities and drug and alcohol abuse. Its mission and vision were expanded to include all persons with disabilities and the agency committed itself to becoming a leader in the field of disability services and a resource for individuals with disabilities and their families.
In 2001, the agency changed its name to Cerebral Palsy of New Jersey, Inc. and became a founding member of Disability Service Providers of America. In 2008, the organization changed its name to Advancing Opportunities to reflect the fact that it supports people with all types of disabilities and the wide array of possibilities its services create.
Today, the organization is recognized as one of the leading disability service providers in the state, with four regional offices and over 300 employees. Advancing Opportunities provides a wide variety of services to advance the independence of children and adults with all types of disabilities, including assistive technology, advocacy, community education services, family support, inclusive recreation programs, personal assistance services and residential programs.