Not so long ago, we were RIO: A shortened, modified version of our founding name, The Rehabilitation Institute of Southern California. Now, as Reimagine, we are celebrating our 70th Anniversary of creating opportunities for people with disabilities to live an enhanced quality of life.

But how did we get here?

Our journey began in 1950, when a group of brave parents of children with disabilities banded together to help their kids get the specialized care they needed. Those parents opened doors for others to step out of the shadows and ask the same for their family members. Their bold action sparked our decades-long evolution of focused, individualized care and extended support for people with disabilities.

Since then, an environment of diversity and inclusion has driven our passion to keep unlocking possibilities for the differently abled. We have expanded our programs and services over the years, always believing that growth, learning and development in people with disabilities, from infants to seniors, was possible.

In 2018, when Dr. Motola joined us as CEO, we stepped back to re-evaluate our identity and began planning the continued evolution of our programs, services and partnerships. In addition to sharing his vision for expansion, Dr. Motola inspired us to redouble our efforts to challenge stereotypes and eliminate the barriers that stood in the paths of our participants to thrive.

2020: A New Name…

Earlier this year, we officially became Reimagine—Relentlessly Pursing Possibilities under the values of courage, passion, inclusivity, collaboration and integrity. It’s about never being afraid to try, never giving up, embracing all participants, working together and always honoring our participants and partners.

In the face of the COVID-19 pandemic, we were one of the first in Orange County serving people with disabilities to offer a “virtual campus” delivering programming to our clients at home via iPads or laptops such as:

  • Arts and crafts
  • Cooking
  • Dance movement
  • Games
  • Health and wellness
  • Math skills
  • Peer relationships
  • Music
  • Science experiments
  • Storytime
  • Zumba

We continue to track with our local public health officials and the California Department of Developmental Service to keep apprised of optimal COVID-19 safety guidelines. In doing so, we are taking all precautionary steps to protect the health and well-being of our clients and continue providing services for our medically-fragile participants—these interactions are essential for both the physical and mental well-being of these clients and our staff members who care so much for them.

Even in virtual or socially distanced settings, our specialized therapies, enrichment services and independent living support have awakened the possibilities for participants and given their families renewed hope for the futures of their loved ones.

We’ll have more exciting announcements to come in the months ahead. Stay tuned!