Trudeau Center – Celebrating 50 Years of Dedicated Service to Those with Developmental Disabilities

This year, the Trudeau Center is proudly celebrating their 50th anniversary.  As one of the biggest nonprofit agencies in Rhode Island, the Trudeau Center employs over 950 people and serves more than 1,500 individuals in Rhode Island and Massachusetts. Their annual revenues exceed $26 million, allowing them to continue growing and providing innovative programs that enhance the quality of life for people with intellectual and developmental issues.

Created by a group of families that wanted an alternative option to the Ladd School, the Trudeau Center’s mission is to help people with disabilities become members of their communities through comprehensive recreational, vocational, and special education programs. “Trudeau offers an array of services, ranging from educational and social facilitation to assisting and finding employment and residency and beyond.  Our staff are wholly committed to helping those who are in need and we expend the maximum effort to ensure their needs are met,” said CEO Don Armstrong.

The Trudeau Center’s services include:

Integrated Day Care – Crayons

Early Intervention

Community Support Services & Home-Based Children Services

Residential & Community Living

Recreation & Leisure Services

Respite and Family Support

Pathways Strategic Teaching Center for Children with Autism

The Trudeau Center’s new company, Employment Concepts, has helped many people with developmental disabilities find jobs at all kinds of companies, from banks to restaurants to department stores.  The company gets to know their clients’ interests so they can determine which jobs to apply for and which skills need to be developed to get that job.  Once they’ve built their skills, Employment Concepts sets the clients up with businesses that are hiring and continues providing them with support as they move forward.  According to Armstrong, the Trudeau Center hopes to provide employment services for 40-50 additional clients over the next couple of years.

Another integral part of the Trudeau Center is their schools.  Located in Coventry, Pathways Strategic Teaching Center is a school for autism and related disorders that uses proven teaching techniques to improve the lives of their students and their student’ families.  Currently, the school is at full capacity at 70 students and they’re looking to expand in the future to meet the increasing demand.  The Trudeau Center’s second school, Crayons Early Care and Education Center, is one of the few preschools in Rhode Island to be nationally accredited and offers early care and education for children ages 6 weeks to 36 months.

The Rhode Island community has been very supportive of the Trudeau Center, and as a way of saying thank you, the organization is holding a Hall of Fame Gala at Quidnessett Country Club at 6pm on September 5, 2014.  Every mayor that has served in Warwick during the Trudeau Center’s 50 years will be inducted into the Trudeau Hall of Fame, including Phil Noel, the former governor who notarized the articles of incorporation 50 years ago, and the Honorable John Orton, who signed the articles of incorporation.  The Trudeau Center also invites all to their golf tournament on August 25, 2014 at the Warwick Country Club and their annual Keep the Dream Alive breakfast fundraiser on November 18, 2014.  If you are unable to attend their events and are interested in helping out, the Trudeau Center can be reached at 401-739-2700, X 278 –, or by mail at J. Arthur Trudeau Memorial Center, 3445 Post Road, Warwick, RI 02886.

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Avatar About the Author: The Rhode Island Small Business Journal is a printed monthly magazine and an online resource for the aspiring and start-up entrepreneur and small business owner.

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