Center for Discovery

Address: Benmosche Road, P.O. Box 840
Harris,, NY 12742
Phone: (845) 794-1400 Website:

The Center for Discovery, Inc. is a not-for-profit, nationally known provider of educational, health and residential services for children and adults with severe disabilities and medical frailties, including a growing number of individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorders. The Center offers individuals – and their families – innovative educational, clinical, social, creative arts and recreational experiences designed to enrich their lives through personal accomplishment.

MISSION: The Center for Discovery offers individuals with a range of disabilities and medical frailties – and their families -innovative educational, clinical, residential and social and creative arts experiences designed to enrich their lives through personal accomplishment.

VISION: The Center for Discovery is inspired by people with disabilities to evolve new options for living.

Services Provided and Individuals Served:

The Center is located on a multi-campus setting in the Catskill Mountains of Sullivan County just 90 minutes northwest of New York City. Distinguished by a philosophy that celebrates each individual’s abilities rather than his or her disabilities, the agency cares for an ethnically and demographically diverse population
through the following programs:

Pediatric Services:
With 171 children in 23 residences, The Center is the largest provider in New York State’s program for children with significant disabilities. The Center provides special education services to a total of 269 school age children, including 100 day students. The Pediatric Program includes beautiful, universally designed residences for children, an integrative nature-based special educational program; health/medical and clinical services; advanced rehabilitation technology; adaptive physical education; music therapy, art therapy, and other key services/programs. Services are provided by a highly trained staff that operates 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. In addition The Center’s daycare program for children of its staff serves 60 children.

Adult Program
The Center’s Adult Program features a continuum of residential opportunities for 144 adults, from 21 to 87 years old with severe disabilities and medical frailties, including those with aging issues. Our adult options range from 24-hour nursing residences, to five-bed homes on our renowned Thanksgiving Farm, CSA.

Health & Clinical Services:
The Center provides comprehensive health/medical and clinical services, including primary care and dental services, coordinated by a team that includes a Medical Director, primary care physicians and specialists, nurse practitioners, psychologists, physical therapists, occupational therapists, speech language pathologists, audiologists, and 123 registered nurses (RNs) and 29 licensed practical nurses (LPNs). The Center also operates the Discovery Health Center, a 27,000 square foot NYS Department of Health certified clinic that offers Center residents and hundreds of individuals from the larger community a broad range of outpatient services. It is the first health care facility in the world to receive the U.S. Green Building Council’s Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Certification.

Family Support Services: The Janet and Gerald Carrus Institute is a major educational resource for families who have children with multiple impairments, providing a highly skilled professional team assessment for their child. The team develops an individualized educational/training plan in the areas of motor skills and mobility, communication, oral-motor, assistive technology for personal and environmental access, medical and wellness, and daily living skill development. The Institute also provides support, information resources and training to individuals and families with disabilities while conducting advanced research. The Carrus Institute also provides specialized training for professionals (teachers, administrators and clinicians) in the treatment and education of those with a wide range of disorders.

Discovery Health Center:
The first LEED certified healthcare facility in the United States.
Music Therapy integrates the power of music with treatment goals.
Adaptive physical education program helps motor skills and mobility.
Resident tending to the greenhouse at Thanksgiving Farm, CSA.
At the Wild Turkey Bed and Breakfast, a renovated farmhouse located on campus, The Center provides comfortable, convenient, affordable and accessible accommodations to facilitate visits by families of residents, students and friends.

Special Programs & Resources
• Thanksgiving Farm Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) Program – is the heart of The Center’s Demeter Certified biodynamic agriculture program. The Center’s Adult residents are engaged in a variety of work/vocational opportunities in the large-scale production of organic food for use by The Center and the more than 300 families/members of the CSA. The farm properties include an organic farm with herb gardens, greenhouses, livestock, a Food Co-Operative and Bakery.

• Adaptive Physical Education Program – promotes motor and athletic skills to help children develop agility,coordination, muscle tone and flexibility through enjoyable and challenging physical indoor and outdoor activities in a unique program that has become a national model.

• Music Therapy Program – integrates the power of music with the treatment goals of therapy using an improvisational approach to therapy in which children and adults are engaged in their own music making through the playing of instruments, vocalization and/or creative movement. A team of seven highly trained musical therapists, all Board Certified, facilitate these sessions. The Center also serves as an international site for a Clinical Training Program in Music Therapy that is recognized by the American Music Therapy Association.

• Therapeutic Swimming Pool – is a heated, indoor pool for children and adults that is used for deep muscle relaxation in conjunction with facilitation of movement and recreation. Special lifts, equipment and ramps enable individuals in wheelchairs and those with other disabilities the full use of the pool and freedom of movement with therapists and other personnel.

• Milligan Hill Equine Assisted Therapy Program – a “therapeutic riding program” set in a Amish style barn and large indoor riding arena enables multiple clinical disciplines with the aid of specially trained horses, including a range of Physical, Occupational and Speech Therapies in an unconventional, fun and challenging setting.


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