1996: The Virginia Institute of Autism (VIA) first opened its doors in the winter of 1996 through the tremendous efforts of four parents who were given diagnoses for their children, but found no resources.
1998: In 1998, VIA moved to a house on Park Street, allowing the school to accommodate 12 full-time students. As staff expertise grew, VIA also expanded its outreach work, offering ABA workshops for parents and professionals, hosting interns and collecting a small lending library of books to make available to the community.
2001: VIA moved into its current location, a three-building campus that accommodates up to 45 students, faculty workspace, outdoor activities, and facilities for life-skills training. This site has allowed VIA to host larger groups for workshops and expand its library to hold more than 700 volumes.
2006: VIA’s school program was renamed in honor of a generous benefactor, James C. Hormel. As VIA continues to develop its programs to meet the growing needs of area families and professionals, we are extremely grateful to be part of such a supportive community, without whom, none of these accomplishments would be possible.
2010: Dr. Ethan Long joined VIA as the Executive Director and developed a new vision with the board to establish the Center of Excellence based on the three program pillars of education, outreach and adult services.
2012: VIA recognized the lack of services available to adults with autism and launched the VIAbility Day Support Program for adults with autism and related developmental disabilities.
2012: VIA receives the CARF accreditation for three years. The summary report noted:
“The program staff training at VIA is superior.“
“Is a gold standard for the field.“
“Stakeholders interviewed were overwhelmingly complimentary of the programs.“
2013: VIA receives Mitch Van Yahres Family Friendly Employer Award through the Children Youth and Family Services of Charlottesville and is honored as an employer with practices that instill a family-friendly work culture.