The Institute of Professional Practice (IPPI) was established in Vermont in 1981. We emerged in response to the social policies of the 70’s and 80’s, when thousands of people with developmental and psychiatric complexities left institutions and returned to their local communities. Once there, however, these individuals, their families, and community leaders realized that their neighborhoods were ill-equipped to provide the specialized services they needed.

At first, we simply offered technical assistance and consultation. Soon, we received appeals from parent groups and government agencies to become a direct service provider. We answered the call. For the past four decades, we have continually evolved and customized our services to respond to the changing needs and interests of the people we support.

Starting with individualized residential services, we expanded our work to foster individuals’ participation in work, leisure, and civic activities in their communities. Those communities have gradually expanded to include Connecticut, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, and Vermont.

In the 1990s, parents and educators once again looked to us when a growing number of children were being diagnosed with autism, once a rare disorder. In response, our service system grew to include a number of programs for children and young people on the autism spectrum -- including early interventions for birth to age 3 and specialized support for elementary, secondary and high school education.

As an IPPI associate said “We are, all of us, in the dignity business.” We believe in the principle that ALL people are 100% whole, just as they are. Every person excels with a unique set of aptitudes and struggles with a unique set of challenges. Every person deserves to be recognized, validated, and celebrated as whole members of society.

In 2020, as we approach our 40th anniversary, we are excited to share that we will be updating the IPPI brand and will be changing our name at the end of the month to better reflect the nature of the work we do and also speak to the growth and transformation that we see every day in the individuals we support. Follow us on social media for the latest updates!

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A Reflection – 40 Years of Transformative Services