Two pressures then led to the development of day activity programs.

  • First, as workshops gained experience they saw the need for a different kind of program. "Where the skills of daily living in the community were grossly deficient, it seemed pretentious to place major stress on vocational training" (PCMR, 1972).
  • Second, as public education authorities expanded services to children labeled trainable, more and more parents kept their children at home rather than institutionalize them. Then, at age 17 or 18, these young adults left school. This created a crisis for families who were then without a day program for their children. As a result, the demand for institutionalization increased for young adults between the ages of 20 and 24, as did the demand for day programs.

organization chart

John Holahan and Jerry Walsh, The Arc of MN, issued this design of the service system in 1956

Click to view larger version (PDF)

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