Since 1945, Via Services has been devoted to turning disabilities into capabilities. It all started with two women who helped a single, working mother and her 13-year-old boy with cerebral palsy see and experience the world outside his window.
Because school was not mandated for children with disabilities in the 1940's, the single mother of a 13-year-old boy with cerebral palsy was forced to leave her son alone every day. She positioned his wheelchair byt the window, placed his food on a nearby table and reluctantly left him there from early morning until she could return from work in the evening.
Frances Anderson and Faye Braely noticed the boy sitting in the window every day. When the two women approached the mother about taking her son on weekly excursions, she welcomed their help.
Climbing two flights of narrow stairs, the women would first bring down the boy's heavy wheelchair and then climb the stairs again, carrying the boy down in a "chair" they made with their arms. They took the boy on short field trips and city excursions, expanding his horizons.
The two volunteers were soon helping five people with disabilities. Generous people, businesses, and organizations donated transportation and a vacant house to use. With borrowed chairs and tables, the growing group of volunteers provided lunch, entertainment, and day activities at their first facility.
That act of generosity led to the creation of the Crippled Children's Society, an organization that would become Via Services, a non-profit organization that continues to grow and serve families, children, and adults with special needs and disabilities in Santa Clara County.
Two innovative programs that make real changes in the lives of the special needs community are at the heart of what we do:
First Step Early Intervention provides developmental assessments of infants and children up to age 8, and also offers a wide array of speech-language and occupational play-based therapy to address developmental delays or disorders and help each child realize their potential.
Via West Campus, located on 13 wooded acres in the Cupertino Foothills, provides residential respite care with weekend and week-long programs throughout the year. The children, teens, and adults who stay with us enjoy innovative programs and activities that include both learning and outdoor experiences, plus skill building activities that are specifically designed to improve self-sufficiency.