The TALL Institute was envisioned, designed and created by Barb Thomas, the Executive Director who, after 34 years of experience in the field of special education, identified an unmet need for Lifelong Learning opportunities for adults with developmental disabilities. As Director of TECS (Thomas Educational Consulting Services), Barb has spent the last 15 years providing human sexuality and social skills education to individuals with developmental disabilities. These years of experience in this particular field, raised her awareness of the lack of continuing education opportunities available to adults with developmental challenges.
Over the years she spent in the field of special education, Barb developed an extensive network of clients and family members who were in need and interested in Lifelong Learning opportunities. At the same time, she established an extensive network of professionals and para-professionals with a heart and passion to educate. She also knew there were many other adults with developmental disabilities within the Greater Cincinnati area that had the same unmet needs and interests as the many she had already met. During 2006, Barb was directly recruited by Carol Heil, Director of Community Relations at the Warren Country Board of MRDD, to consider developing a day learning program for adults with developmental disabilities. The need was clear and the solution was at hand. Hence, her dream of bringing the two networks of people together under one roof took shape on November 13, 2007 when the TALL Institute proudly began its first session of classes. Upon opening its doors in the fall of 2007 the TALL Institute had a waiting list. As we continue our journey as a private pay only educational institute, we are daily looking for assistance in funding for the adults with intellectual and developmental challenges that need and deserve this opportunity for lifelong learning.
The goals of the TALL Institute are fairly straightforward. By providing an educational setting that is safe and supportive participants will:
- Make new friends
- Develop healthy relationships
- Be happier people
- Demonstrate appropriate behaviors that are necessary for success in life areas such as work, independent living and healthy relationships.