Opportunities for Education | 1965 – 1974
Over 50 years ago, a handful of people in Manassas, Virginia saw things differently. They passionately believed that all people deserved access to opportunities for growth, especially education. Committed to this belief, they created the Didlake School to provide opportunities for children with disabilities to learn and develop their full potential. Soon, other communities across the United States also began to see things differently, and in 1975 the U.S. Congress passed the Education for All Handicapped Children Act (PL 94-142), making special education available at all public schools.
Opportunities for Employment | 1975 – 1985
Once the Education for All Handicapped Children Act was in place, the Didlake School pivoted and became the Didlake Occupational Center to provide employment opportunities for 16 former students who were now beyond school age. We launched a mailing business which offered jobs for people with disabilities in a supportive work environment. For individuals who were interested in competitive employment in their community, we offered employment services to help them achieve employment success.
Opportunities for Enrichment | 1986 – Today
Now expanding well beyond Manassas, Virginia, Didlake creates opportunities that enrich the lives of people with disabilities throughout Maryland and Virginia. We are a top producer in the AbilityOne® Program providing employment opportunities across about 40 federal contracts in Maryland, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and Washington D.C.