Our Via

OUR VIA

At VIA Centers for Neurodevelopment, people are more than just a diagnostic label.

Like all of us, individuals with autism and other unique learning abilities have their own distinctive strengths and weaknesses, creating a myriad of points that form the unique constellation of their own identity. We work to highlight the brightest points of an individual’s constellation in such a way that builds independence and connection.

In response to a diagnosis that is associated with isolation, VIA builds community bridges. Our individualized approaches help the people we serve play a larger role in their family and their community. These bridges multiplied with the merger of the Virginia Institute of Autism and St. Vincent’s Home in 2023, expanding the like-minded efforts of both organizations and ensuring more opportunity for the people we serve in Virginia.

OUR MISSION, VALUES AND VISION

Mission

We seek to address the unique learning challenges of the individuals we serve throughout their lifespan by using our decades of combined expertise to translate science into service.

At VIA, we are committed to building an understanding, collaborative, family-oriented environment for all by leveraging our shared values of inclusivity, diversity, and connectivity. Success to us means VIA’s impact extends far beyond our walls—breaking down barriers, not just among the people we serve and their immediate circles, but within our communities at large.

We believe that everyone is different, and our world is a more vibrant place because of it. At VIA, we are building a richer, more inclusive world.

VIA is dedicated to helping people overcome the challenges of autism and related neurodevelopmental disabilities through innovative, evidence-based programs in education, outreach, and adult services.

OUR APPROACH

VIA employs state-of-the-art, evidence-based approaches, built around the principles of Applied Behavior Analysis tailored for each individual and their family. Through our collaborative partnerships with premier colleges, universities, and institutes of higher education, we develop innovative services that result in meaningful and profound changes in the lives of the people we serve. With our Day School Services, Adult Services, and Behavioral Health Services, VIA addresses the unique learning challenges of the individuals we serve throughout their lifespan.

Our Approach

OUR HISTORY

1996
1996

The Virginia Institute of Autism was founded by families desperate to find effective education for their children with autism.

2006
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.

2009
2009

The Achievement Center (TAC) merged with the Blue Ridge Autism Center (BRAC) to form the Blue Ridge Autism Achievement Center (BRAAC), which existed under a DBA as St. Vincent’s Home. Shortly after the merger, the Lexington and Lynchburg locations of St. Vincent’s Home opened.

2010
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
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
2012

The James C. Hormel School 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."

2016
2016

St. Vincent's Home expands its offerings by providing SVH Family Services and SVH Adult Services.

2018
2018

For the first time, all three core VIA programs (James C. Hormel School, Outpatient Behavioral Services, and Adult Services) receive accreditation from CARF. The summary report noted VIA's "extremely deep commitment to its mission, vision, and values," and a "notable and impressive history and culture."

2020
2020

VIA is runner up and receives "Honorable Mention" from the Mid-Atlantic Telehealth Resource Council for its Breaking Barriers through Telehealth Award, as well as the Charlottesville Area Chamber of Commerce Pivot Awards, recognizing VIA's shift to remote delivery of essential services during the COVID shutdown.

2021
2021

VIA is recognized as the "Above and Beyond Nonprofit" as part of the United Way's 2021 Caring for Community Awards.

2021
2021b

VIA celebrates the grand opening of the Center for Adolescent and Adult Autism Services (CAAAS).

2021
2021c

Ambassador James C. Hormel, one of VIA's most devoted supporters, passed away August 13, 2021. To honor his generosity, VIA named our school at our Westwood campus after him in 2006, making it the first school specializing in autism services named in honor of an openly gay person.

2023
2023

The Virginia Institute of Autism merges with St. Vincent's Home to form the VIA Centers for Neurodevelopment, a strategic move to expand access throughout the state of Virginia.

ACCREDITATIONS & PROFESSIONAL AFFILIATIONS

accreditation

VIA Centers for Neurodevelopment is a proud member of the Council of Autism Service Providers, and is an authorized continuing education provider of the Behavior Analyst Certification Board.

VIA is accredited by CARF International – the Commission on the Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities and by VAISEF – the Virginia Association of Independent Specialized Education Facilities.