Opportunity Village is a not-for-profit organization that serves people within our community with significant intellectual disabilities, to improve their lives and the lives of their families.
Opportunity Village was founded in 1954 by seven dedicated, committed and loving families who were determined to give their children with disabilities the very best lives possible. 60 years later, Opportunity Village is one of the most recognized and respected community habilitation programs in the United States.
Since these humble origins, Opportunity Village has grown to become Nevada’s favorite — the largest private, not-for-profit community habilitation program, serving more than 3,000 people annually through vocational training, community employment, day services, advocacy, arts and social recreation. At Opportunity Village, people with disabilities are able to find new friends, realize future career paths, seek independence and community integration and unleash creative passions. All they want is a chance at a life we all take for granted.
During our 60th anniversary year, we are encouraging the community to get involved and help fundraise through their company’s and businesses. For more information on how to join the Year of Community Giving, Click Here.
Opportunity Village is also embarking on a $136 million dollar capital campaign to see us through the next 60 years. For more information and how you can help support and contribute Click Here.
60 YEARS OF IMPROVING LIVES
1954 – Seven families join together to form the Clark County Association for Retarded Children (CCARC)
1956 – Dessie Bailey and other founding parents establish a school for children with disabilities
1962 – The Thrift Store opens to help pay teacher salaries
1964 – CCARC establishes its first Employment Training Center at 918 South Fourth StreeT
1969 – Elvis Presley’s manager, Colonel Tom Parker, contracts with CCARC to sew Elvis’ signature scarves
1972 – CCARC officially becomes known as Opportunity Village
1975 – Congress passes Public Law 94-142 making public education mandatory for children with disabilities. Opportunity Village turns its attention to vocational training and employment opportunities
1976 – The first “Concert of Love” fundraiser is organized by Glenn Smith. The popular event would continue for the next 29 years.
1984 – Opportunity Village produces 250,000 buttons for the Reagan/Bush presidential campaign
1988 – After a long political struggle, Opportunity Village is given six acres of land near the intersection of Oakey and Torrey Pines
1991 – The West Oakey Campus of Opportunity Village opens. Fundraiser Linda Smith hosts a small holiday thank you event for donors. The event grows to become The Magical Forest, an annual tradition and major fundraiser
1998 – Project Enable is created as a program for adults with severe intellectual disabilities
1999 – Project PRIDE is established to provide therapeutic respite services for people with profound disabilities
2000 – Opportunity Village opens the doors to its second campus – the Walters Family Campus in Henderson
2002 – The Job Discovery Program launches in partnership with the Clark County School District in order to give special education high school students the chance to learn job skills before graduation
2005 – Opportunity Village hosts the first Las Vegas Great Santa Run. The event now attracts over 12,000 participants each year
2009 – The Thomas and Mack Employment Resource Center opens at the new Ralph and Betty Engelstad Campus
2010 – The Kitty Rodman Center at the Engelstad Campus opens as a home for the fine and performing arts program, as well as a commercial bakery where thousands of cookies are produced each day
2012 – Penn Jillette, of Penn and Teller, brings international recognition to Opportunity Village as he finishes as the runner up on All-Star Celebrity Apprentice again competing on behalf of OV
2013 – Opportunity Village opens a fourth campus at a temporary location in the Northwest part of the valley
2014 – Opportunity Village celebrates 60 years in the community and looks toward the future by planning to build a permanent fourth campus as well as residential communities for individuals with intellectual disabilities