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Lochland, located in Geneva, New York, is a small non-profit organization providing day habilitation and residential services to adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Lochland was established in 1933 by Ms. Florence Stewart, who was widely recognized as a pioneer in the education of disabled children. Ms. Stewart remained as Lochland's Executive Director for over fifty years until her death in 1983. Ms. Stewart is honored with her portrait proudly displayed at Lochland in the front foyer where it all began, suitably named Stewart House.
Lochland was, and remains a leader in the support of people with disabilities to achieve what was once thought impossible. Much has changed from Lochland's formative years, when residents' choices were shaped by the limitation of society and community acceptance had not yet begun. In fact, many people with disabilities were placed in institutions, rather than remaining at home or being offered an opportunity in a residential setting. Fortunately for all people with disabilities, public sentiment has progressed and independence, choice, working and living in the community has changed.
At Lochland there have been many changes through the years. When Lochland School began in 1933, it was an exclusive privately funded educational and residential facility for children. The children were taught daily lessons in a one room schoolhouse and lived and played at the beautiful Lochland School Estate. Lochland flourished as a school for children with disabilities. Lochland was renowned in the United States and other countries for its unique and progressive training and luxurious residential facilities.
An enormous change occurred at Lochland in 1977, New York State regulations no longer allowed children and adults to live in the same residential setting. This presented quite a dilemma to Ms. Stewart and the Board of Directors. Many of the people living at Lochland had grown into adulthood and a choice was required, displace many people who called Lochland home or enroll children. After much contemplation, Lochland's Board of Directors determined to no longer provide an educational environment for children and opted to have Lochland remain a home setting for adults only.
There have been many changes at Lochland over the years. One milestone was the opening of Campbell House in 1994, as Lochland's first Office of People with Developmental Disabilities (OPWDD) certified home. This was an adjustment for Lochland as it was the first residence not privately funded through tuition, but through Medicaid funding and the first residence that would be governed by OPWDD regulations.
In an effort to enhance and maintain the quality services at Lochland, we converted many of the private residences to OPWDD certified residences. There were 16 years between the opening of the first OPWDD certified residence and the opening of the fifth residence in 2010. Today, Lochland is primarily funded with Medicaid dollars for our residential and day program, as are most all facilities in New York State.
Lochland is a beautiful facility that overlooks shaded groves of chestnut and oak trees and spacious well-trimmed lawns that slope to Seneca Lake. The atmosphere is picturesque and park-like. Lochland is a beautiful place to live and work.
Lochland residents have been active in many community activities through the years. Lochland participants have volunteered at the Linden Shop, Meals on Wheels, The Smith Opera House, Beverly Animal Shelter and March of Dimes – March for Babies, just to name a few. Many of the Lochland participants are well known in the community.
In 2007, Lochland began working toward the expansion and modernization of that one room schoolhouse that was our day habilitation program. In 2010, we were proud to host a ceremonial ribbon cutting of our new state of the art Chandler Day Program Center. In 2010, we also celebrated the opening of our newly built Administration Building. Though our philosophy and dedication remains the same as in 1933, much has changed. Medicaid funding offsets much of our daily operation expenses.
Today, just as it was in 1933, Lochland still places an emphasis on self-determination, greater independence, individuality and inclusion in society for those who are disabled. With support from friends and the community, Lochland will continue to be, with foresight and imagination, an asset to the Finger Lakes Region.
Lochland Campus 2010
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