Mission & History
The Work Activity Center enriches the lives of people with disabilities by actively providing opportunities for independence and individual growth.
The Center was founded in 1958 by a group of parents whose children had disabilities. The group was able to rent a barracks building at Fort Douglas for $1.00 per year, and the building was made habitable with help from Fort Douglas personnel, service clubs, and friends. When public education for all children was mandated in 1975 by Public Law 94-142 (now known as the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act or IDEA) our focus changed to assisting adults with disabilities. Throughout the 1970’s and 1980’s, services grew to support a wider variety of the needs of adults with disabilities. Employment programs were begun so that individuals could go into the community and earn a paycheck.
Residential services were started to address the needs of individuals that were no longer able to live at home but needed support to live on their own. In 1985 the Center began to raise funds in order to build its’ own permanent facilities. With the help of Salt Lake County, West Valley City, and South Salt Lake, that vision became a reality on June 30th, 1988. Additional day locations were opened in the 1990’s so that individuals with very significant disabilities could have community and sensory experiences. Today the Center is one of Utah’s most vibrant work and training alternatives, providing an invaluable resource for over 250 participants and their families.