The idea of smaller institutions became the vehicle for bringing services closer to the community. This model was applied in Connecticut, for instance. Instead of building a third large institution, Connecticut went to a regional center approach.

Smaller facilities were built. Instead of building large residential buildings, smaller cottages were designed for 18 people. The Connecticut Center also operated group homes and other residential programs.

Initially, however, the Center was not seen as a direct service provider:

"In theory, a regional center could function in rented space in an office building, with its director and coordinators never giving direct assistance… In practice this has not worked out that way. Realistic considerations, including financial necessities, dictated the creation of additional bed space."

Large Institution
Photo courtesy of the Connecticut
Department of Mental Retardation
Photos of the New Haven, CT Regional Center, courtesy of the Connecticut Department of Mental Retardation
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