Our Story

Who We Are

RWC is a private non-profit agency in the Monmouth, Oregon area. Founded in 1974, it is the oldest agency of this type in Polk County and continues to be recognized as a leader and innovator in providing services to people with intellectual and developmental disabilities (I/DD).

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Our Mission

At the heart of Ron Wilson Center’s mission is the belief that people with intellectual and developmental disabilities deserve the same opportunities to lead a life as every other citizen does.

Supporting a person as they work to develop their own autonomy and independence can be challenging work, but our person-centered values guide our teams as we work with each person.

Our History

Ron Wilson Center was established in the summer of 1974 by community members who wanted their loved ones with intellectual and developmental disabilities to have the same opportunities as everyone else. Families, advocates and students at the local college worked together to create the supportive environment all people with I/DD deserved. Thanks to their dedication to the cause, RWC opened its doors and eight people began thriving in a community instead of just existing in an institution.

While this group didn’t know that they were creating a legacy of support for decades to come and positively impacting hundreds of people, they knew they wanted to honor the legacy of one advocate – Ron Wilson.

Ron Wilson was a student and athlete at what is now Western Oregon University. He was passionate about supporting people with disabilities, and his motivation for equality combined with his hope that a better world was possible inspired the program. That is why when he tragically died in an unrelated construction accident just prior to implementing the final plans, the founding board chose to honor him. The program was named The Ron Wilson Center for Effective Living, Inc, and it still stands at the same location that gave hope to those eight people nearly half a century ago.