In the late 1950s a small group of parents began to meet. They had recognized that their children had special needs including: socialization, appropriate educational services at all levels, and vocational opportunities, and the parents needed support. However, there were no such services and programs available.
This small group, under the leadership of such parents as Mr. and Mrs. Eli Nieman and Dr. and Mrs. Alvin Plotkin, persuaded the Board of Education to open special classes, eventually at all levels. There parents started a preschool program and a Saturday play group, originally held at community sites and in finished basements, respectively. They trained young adults for Civil Service tests and many still hold such positions. They accomplished these projects without outside funding by holding small fundraising events.
In time, hundreds of parents joined what was then a chapter of the New York State Association for Brain Injured Children (NYABIC). In 1975, we incorporated as an independent organization as ANIBIC, Inc. ANIBIC has become the leading advocate for people with special needs.
By the time the New York State Office of Mental Retardation and Developmental Disabilities (OMRDD) was established, ANIBIC was ready to move ahead. As funding became available from OMRDD and the New York City Department of Mental health and Mental Retardation, we were able to offer essential programs and services.
ANIBIC continues to reach out to families, legislators, community groups and individuals so that they will participate in our intensive efforts to extend and enhance the lives of people with a wide range of special needs and difficult challenges.