Today is a special day at the Barber National Institute. We are celebrating Founder’s Day to commemorate the legacy of our founder, Dr. Gertrude Barber and our enduring mission.
If we take a look back in time to the year 1952 services for persons with disabilities were nonexistent. As an Erie School District psychologist it was Dr. Barber’s responsibility to tell parents that their son / daughter could not attend school because of their disability. The parents had two options: send their child to a faraway institution or keep them at home. She and the parents wanted so much more. Thus began the Barber Center.
Her dream was to enable all children to learn and grow up in their own community where they would find acceptance and opportunity. Her vision has touched thousands of children and adults over the last 62
years and has brought hope into the lives of their families. This vision has opened doors and minds by promoting acceptance, understanding and tolerance. I truly believe that Erie, PA serves as an example to the state and nation of an inclusive community. Our commitment remains strong and steadfast to this mission.