ETTA’s story is the story of our clients

Etta Story

ETTA supports adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities, such as autism and Down syndrome, and believes in creating an inclusive, aware Los Angeles community where people with disabilities are safe, valued, and able to achieve independence to the fullest extent of their potential.

Since 2003, the incidence of major developmental disabilities has increased, among them intellectual disabilities (34%), epilepsy (21%), cerebral palsy (19%). This decade alone, 500,000 children with autism are entering adulthood. In California, since 2000, the number of people with autism served by the Department of Developmental services has increased by 238%. Yet state funding is static. There is an absence of affordable housing.

There is great need for more jobs programs, social programs, life skills programs and other supports for people with disabilities. Through its homes, services, and programs, ETTA is building a community while improving the quality of life for so many families and individuals. With your support, ETTA can continue to expand its services to help more people, and as shared members of the Los Angeles community, we all benefit.

A couple of our client stories:

Rachel recently attended Summer@ETTA for the first time – the first time she had attended any program so far away from her family. “I like movies, baseball, my family, cooking, and helping my friends with math,” shares Rachel, who was diagnosed with mental retardation as a toddler. Her mother, Debbie, was worried about Rachel being at camp so far away, but could see her grow and take steps towards independence, making both Rachel and her mother happy. “ETTA has opened my eyes to more of a future for my daughter and for me,” she says. “Thank G-d we have this organization in Los Angeles… It’s giving me more hope for the future.”

Neal was diagnosed with severe, non-verbal autism at age 3. His mother, Elaine Hall, founder of The Miracle Project, says “A real turning point was when we attended a Hanukah party at one of the ETTA homes and Neal looked at me and just said, "bye", and went off to hang out with others. Later, I asked him, do you want to live there? He said, “yes.” That's the first time he said he would want to live away from us.” Neal uses technology to communicate and at 22, he is ready to live as an independent adult. “My son’s world is a place of overwhelm and of wonder, and it’s taught me to be appreciative of every moment and every celebration,” says Elaine. “For moms of people with special needs, we celebrate everything – and that’s what ETTA does, it helps us celebrate.”


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