Vision

In 1957, The National Council of Jewish Women in Tulsa researched community needs not being addressed. One critical problem identified was that few but the wealthiest families could afford the resources to provide enriching life experiences for children and adults who were mobility-, dexterity-, or sensory-impaired.

The Council founded The Center to provide organized social, cultural and recreational opportunities for persons with physical disabilities. Within two years, the agency became a separate entity from the National Council of Jewish Women, with its own community-based Board of Directors and 501(c)(3) status established in 1959.

The Center’s history also includes two examples of successful collaboration to serve the needs of persons with disabilities.  In 1980, after years of effort by leaders of The Center and City of Tulsa officials, the Tulsa Housing Authority opened Murdock Villa, a public housing development accessible to persons with disabilities.  The Center leases the land to Tulsa Housing Authority for the 144-unit building.  The Center was also instrumental in founding The Independent Living Center, now Ability Resources, which provides peer counseling, job placement and coaching, advocacy and independent living skills training to persons with disabilities.

The Center is a charter agency of the Tulsa Area United Way, having been a member in long-standing of the Community Chest.