Trudeau Center with American flag, daffodils and 60th anniversary banner on building

J. Arthur Trudeau Memorial Center Celebrates 60 Years of Transforming Lives

For the past 60 years, the J. Arthur Trudeau Memorial Center has been a beacon of hope and empowerment for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities in Rhode Island and the surrounding region. On April 16, 1964, the organization was officially incorporated, marking the start of its unwavering commitment to providing exceptional services and support to those in need. Today, the Trudeau Center kicked off a year-long celebration of its 60th anniversary with fun activities and a vision toward the future. 

During a time when services for individuals with disabilities were scarce, the late J. Arthur Trudeau and his wife Evelyn refused to accept the status quo. Disturbed by the abuses occurring at the state’s institution, The Ladd Center, they bravely stepped forward to create something better – an organization that would uphold the rights and dignity of people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. 

“The Trudeaus were true pioneers in the field of human services,” said Dr. Al Vario, President and CEO of the J. Arthur Trudeau Memorial Center. “Their forethought, vision, and determination to ensure that everyone, regardless of their abilities, has access to the support and resources they need to thrive is truly inspirational. Their legacy continues to guide our work as we strive to empower the individuals and families we serve, now six decades later, and continue to build on that legacy through continued service and innovation in the months and years ahead.” 

Over the past 60 years, the J. Arthur Trudeau Memorial Center has grown to become one of the leading providers of services for children and adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities in the region. Currently serving more than 3,000 people annually throughout Rhode Island, Massachusetts, and Connecticut, the organization offers a comprehensive array of programs and services designed to meet the unique needs of each individual. 

From early intervention and educational services for children to job training, vocational support, and independent living assistance for adults, the J. Arthur Trudeau Memorial Center has been a steadfast and reliable partner for individuals and families navigating the challenges of intellectual and developmental disabilities. 

“As we celebrate our 60th anniversary, we reflect on the remarkable progress we’ve made and the countless lives we’ve touched,” said Dr. Vario. “But our work is far from done. We remain committed to expanding our reach, enhancing our services, and ensuring that every individual we serve has the opportunity to live a life of dignity, independence, and fulfillment.”