Ebensburg State Center
Ebensburg Center is a licensed intermediate care facility that provides supports to people with Intellectual Disabilities. The people living at Ebensburg Center receive support in many aspects of life, including activities of daily living, recreation, vocational service, habilitative treatment, and health management.
Ebensburg Center utilizes best practices to create a healthy and safe environment that supports people with intellectual disabilities as they develop and implement the skills needed to have an Everyday Life in the community.
This scenic campus is located in Cambria Township, near the borough of Ebensburg, in central Cambria County. The campus is situated along Route 22 on 70 acres of beautiful landscape. Ebensburg Center is comprised of numerous modernized buildings that offer a comfortable and home-like setting. These buildings are used for residential living and skill development which enhances and promotes an Everyday Life.
Ebensburg Center provides individualized supports reflecting each person's goals and desires, specifically tailored to his or her needs. These supports include 24-hour supported living, on-staff physicians, pastoral care, therapeutic/vocational services, psychology support, registered/licensed dieticians, and participation in local community events and organizations. Various other ancillary departments provide services to ensure successful outcomes.
It is the mission of Ebensburg Center to provide supports that will afford people the opportunity to live the principles embodied in an Everyday Life.
Promoting compassion, respect, and valuing one another. Working together as a team and as part of the community to provide a home and a family way of living, respecting, and exercising rights and choices, and acknowledging each person's needs, dreams, and desires.
According to the Developmental Disabilities Assistance and Bill of Rights Act of 2000, the United States Congress has found that "[D]isability is a natural part of the human experience that does not diminish the right of individuals with developmental disabilities to live independently, to exert control and choice over their own lives, and to fully participate in and contribute to their communities through full integration and inclusion in the economic, political, social, cultural, and educational mainstream of United States society;"
Ebensburg Center is committed to protecting the rights of the individuals that live here, as citizens of the United States and the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and empowering them to assert their rights to the fullest extent. These rights include but are not limited to:
- Freedom from abuse and neglect
- Respect and fairness
- Freedom from unnecessary restraints
- Freedom from experimental programs
- Freedom of expression
- Personal possessions
- Choice and access to personal belongings
- Choice of clothing
- Money management
- Voting in elections
- Being informed and ability to choose services
- Choose community services
- Notification of program changes
- Choice of day program services
- Participation in Center activities and events
- Representation by a lawyer or advocate
- Payment for work
- Personal privacy
- Private conversations
- Send and receive mail unopened
- Religious freedom
- Being informed about your rights
- Attendance at personal meetings
- Ability to read personal chart
- Refusal of treatment
- Marriage and intimate relationships
- Clean, safe and personalized environment
- Adequate nutrition
- Have complaints addressed by the Center
- Pursue interests and hobbies
In the early 1900s the land was owned by a local family and housed an orphanage. In the 1950s, the land was sold to the Department of Human Services, and the orphanage closed. The children were transferred to other orphanages in the area. The initial phase of construction for the Ebensburg State School and Hospital (now Ebensburg Center) began in 1956 and the facility opened in 1957. Ebensburg State School and Hospital was an annex of Selinsgrove Center, and initially, 150 people were admitted in Ebensburg due to epilepsy. Ebensburg State School and Hospital became an independent facility in 1961.
The facility's population grew rapidly and the second phase of construction was completed in 1963. The people admitted to Ebensburg Center ranged from age 3 to 18. From 1961 to 1972, the Ebensburg State School was a medical and custodial care facility. After the implementation of the Right to Education Act of 1972, the model of Ebensburg State School converted from medical-based to education-based. In 1972 the census of Ebensburg State School was over 1200. In the late '70s, the facility's name was changed to Ebensburg Center. During this time period, many changes began to take place. The facility transitioned from a medical and custodial care facility to a person-centered facility. Education, environmental improvements, community involvement, and the focus on rights became the priority. There was also an increasing emphasis on family inclusion in the individual's everyday life. During the late '80s, Ebensburg Center successfully challenged a U.S. Department of Justice lawsuit. This suit alleged that inadequate services were being provided to the residents who resided at Ebensburg Center. Ebensburg Center and the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania clearly demonstrated that the allegations were unfounded and the lawsuit, in its entirety, was dismissed in a U.S. Federal Court as unfounded.
The 1990s brought about further positive changes with the implementation of the principles of "Everyday Lives". This philosophy became the foundation for the changes which greatly enhanced each person's self-esteem and dignity. In this era, there was a focus on community living. Ebensburg Center continued and improved its habilitative training, and education to enhance the community living skills of each individual. This training afforded the individuals the skills needed to become integrated into their home communities.
As "Everyday Lives" evolved, several key elements of this philosophy became the guiding principles of Ebensburg Center. Some of these elements included: person-centered planning, dual diagnosis (treatment of both mental health concerns in conjunction with intellectual disabilities), family empowerment, and community integration.
The late '90s saw an increased focus on the use of positive approaches regarding mental health supports leading to better diagnosis and treatment for individuals. A Quality Improvement department was added to augment the services being provided and ensure that each person's desires and dreams for everyday life were achieved. Increased emphasis on Assistive Technology provided each individual with an improved opportunity for communication and independence.
Early in the new millennium, Ebensburg Center's population increased due to the admission of the individuals from the former Western Center and Altoona Center. Ebensburg Center's community integration training provided opportunities for the newly admitted individuals to transition into their local community. The Individual Support Plan was also introduced, which used a team-based approach to focus on each individual's needs, desires, and dreams.
Today, we continue to improve our services and create new opportunities for individuals to seek community employment. Community involvement and inclusion remain an important aspect of each person's life. Ebensburg Center, using the guiding principles and philosophy of "Everyday Lives", continues to move forward on the path of achieving a safe, happy, and healthy home-like setting.
- Recycling Center: Provides area businesses with hard drive destruction and ink cartridge recycling. Office documents may be brought to the Center for shredding; confidential and non-confidential documents are processed (pickup service is available).
- Ceramic Shop: Ever changing varieties of ceramic items for every season are available or may be ordered for purchase.
From the East:
- Take US Route 22 West towards Ebensburg (or)
- Take PA Turnpike West to the Bedford exit
- Proceed on I-99 North to US Route 22 West (approx.. 28 miles)
- Proceed on US Route 22 West to Ebensburg (approx. 20 miles)
- Ebensburg Center is on the Left, right along Route 22
- As you're traveling on US Route 22 West approaching Ebensburg:
- At traffic light at Uni-Mart – go STRAIGHT and then get in LEFT lane
- At traffic light at Wal-Mart – continue STRAIGHT in LEFT lane
- After 0.1 mile - make LEFT TURN onto campus grounds
From the West:
- Take US Route 22 East towards Ebensburg (or)
- Take US Route 219 to US Route 22 East (or)
- Take US Route 422 East to US Route 219 South to US Route 22 East
- Once on US Route 22 East approaching US Route 219 interchange or exiting US Route 219
- Proceed STRAIGHT on Route 22 East thru traffic light at Sheetz/McDonalds intersection
- After approx. 0.5 mile, turn RIGHT onto the campus grounds