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Opportunities Unlimited for People With Differing Abilities, Inc. incorporated in September 1996 and secured status from the IRS as a 501 (c) (3) not for profit entity later that year.

The three principals of the company, Linda Ward, Marilyn Drummond and Michelle Hayes bringing a total of over 50 years experience of providing services to people with differing abilities and having worked at a larger organization determined there was an underserved population whose needs would be better met in a smaller, more personalized environment. This population included people who are “classified” as dually diagnosed i.e. a developmental disability coupled with a psychiatric diagnosis and/or behavioral concerns.

With the support and encouragement of the State Department of Mental Health, Retardation and Hospitals, Opportunities Unlimited, Inc. was certified as a provider of services and opened for business on January 7, 1997. Our original intent was to provide services and supports to individuals in their own or family’s home. That intent soon expanded when in June 1997 we were asked to provide 24 hour supports to a young man in his own home. In August 1997 that need became a reality and our first “group” living situation began.

Shortly thereafter, we were asked to develop a program for a young woman moving back from an out of state placement and so the agency’s second “group” living situation developed in June 1998. Each of our current eleven 24-hour supported homes/apartments have developed from specific needs of each individual and are located in various communities often times in the person’s own community. The agency also supports people who live in their own homes or with family. We pride ourselves on this individualized approach to developing and delivering services and supports.

In 1999, in response to the need of one of the women we were supporting residentially, the agency began offering community based day services. This program has expanded since its inception and continues to offer individualized services based on interests of the person engaged. In 2008, the agency responding to the desire of the people being supported became certified as an ORS (Office of Rehabilitative Services) vendor.

We have a long history of working cooperatively with families, other agencies (both in and out of our service system) and the community. We sponsor and support people to participate in a variety of activities - the Advocates in Action Leadership series and local self advocacy groups. We have participated in the statewide self advocacy annual meetings as well as at the “Celebration “– sponsored by the local chapter of the Alliance for Full Participation.

We believe strongly in giving back to the community and have demonstrated this through holding blood drives at least annually, participating in the Making Strides for Breast cancer Walk ( for the last 6 years) and food drives for the RI Community Food Bank. The people we support and our employees take great pride in what they do and how they give back to their local community.

We are a constantly developing organization responding to the ever changing needs of those we currently support and planning for the needs of the future. The needs, desires and dreams of those we support will always drive what it is we do and the implementation of our mission - SUPPORTING PEOPLE TO LEAD RICH AND FULFILLING LIVES!