What began as a grassroots, parent-led organization has grown into the largest service provider of its kind in the North Bay with sites in Santa Rosa, Healdsburg and Sonoma Valley.
In 1967, parents organized Sonoma County’s first community-based program for adults with developmental disabilities, called the Manual Skills Training Center. Two years later, the State Legislature affirmed that people with disabilities had the same rights as other people and declared the responsibility of government to ensure that those rights are achieved, through the Lanterman Act.
Over the next decade additional support programs were established in Sonoma County to provide adult activities, independent living support services, and to advocate for people with disabilities. In January 1980, this group of programs incorporated as a 501c(3) tax exempt charity under the name of Becoming Independent and within a few years expanded to provide services in Napa and Solano counties, and to include a jobs program.
Since then, BI continues to grow and evolve serving nearly 1,000 people each year — and always staying close to the values that matter most:
Human Dignity. Empowerment. Integrity. Community. Innovation