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The best way to tell you who we are is from a family whose child was born with a disability. They didn't know where to turn-until they were referred to Jawonio. "Jawonio gave us hope and the belief that Brendan could accomplish a lot in his life. They believed he could live a life as independently as possible, which was the most important thing we could hear," Mike Salmon, speaking about his son Brendan, a 2019 college graduate.

The word Jawonio means Independence. Independence informs our mission and the thousands of children and adults who have come through our doors since 1947.

Jawonio is dedicated to advancing the independence, well-being and equality of people with special needs. Jawonio is the premiere provider of integrated lifespan services in the Mid-Hudson Valley of NYS for individuals with developmental disabilities, mental health challenges and chronic medical conditions.

Founded in 1947, by parents seeking rehabilitative and recreational opportunities for their "palsy'd" children. The agency was the first summer camp for children with disabilities in Rockland County. In 1951 it expanded to include an overnight sleepaway program called "Camp Jawonio". Today Jawonio serves over five thousand children and adults in Rockland, Westchester and Orange counties.

Jawonio provides innovative, integrated lifespan services to thousands of children and adults annually inspiring each individual to reach their highest potential. Services include:

  • Early Intervention
  • Special Education Preschool
  • School Aged Respite
  • Summer Education
  • Adult Community Living Services
  • Adult Day Habilitation Services
  • Behavioral Health Services
  • Strategic Integration / Care Management and
  • Community Employment and Vocational Services

Jawonio is 7th largest employer in Rockland County NY, with over 1,100 employees. With the national rate of unemployment for people with disabilities at near 70%, Jawonio is the top agency in the region and since 1983, has placed more than 5,000 individuals with special needs in jobs. And, although harsh budget cuts have affected early childhood programs around the state, Jawonio continues to be a leader and provider of Early Intervention services to more than 300 children with disabilities and special needs annually.

We serve thousands with special needs each year and have outgrown our out of date facilities on our Main Campus. Our "Building for Tomorrow" project will enable us to meet the increasing needs of the community, expand and enhance our lifespan services for generations to come.

Our new home will be a two-story, 70,000 square foot, state of the art facility with infrastructure to see our toddlers grow, hear them laugh and watch them learn and play in our new Early Intervention classroom and therapeutic suites. Adults will learn new skills, make new friends, and enjoy inclusive community activities in our Day Services. Other services will include: Federally Qualified Health Center, care coordination, home-care services, a staff and consumer training center, wellness center, expanded community employment services, the Jawonio Cleaning Company and administration. It will have space for new integrated life management programs, increase staff productivity, lower operating costs, and create access to affordable healthcare for low-income and non-insured members of the community.

With your help, you can be assured that the thousands of families who came before, and those yet to come will continue to share these words: "I would not be where I am today without Jawonio."

Our contact info:


For more information about Jawonio or to schedule a tour or visit contact: Diana Hess, Chief Development Officer phone: 845-708-2022 email: website: