About Us

Our Mission and History

LAUNCH has been proudly serving the greater Onondaga County area since 1985. We have been honored to work alongside a tremendous community of supporters who have generously donated time and financial support throughout the years so that we may continue to impact the lives of our clients.

Our mission is to partner with children and adults in order to provide individualized services that foster learning, independence and growth -- guided by the principle that learning is unique for each individual and occurs in all spheres of life. For those who struggle with the process of learning, additional support provides opportunities for growth and increased independence. We strive to provide services and supports that promote lifelong learning and growth and exemplify the tenets that everyone should:

  • have access to education and be supported to learn.
  • have opportunities for employment and be supported to secure and maintain employment
  • have opportunities for community involvement and be supported for active membership in his/her community

Also guiding our program development are our core values of:

  • Client First – We value and respect each individual.
  • Strength Focused – We help develop individualized plans based on each person’s abilities, interests and goals
  • Empowerment - We strive to empower each individual through education and information to become self-advocates
  • Independence - We partner with clients to support their personal and individualized goal attainment

We serve and support anyone who seeks support for learning. This includes children, adults, families, parents and caregivers from all backgrounds and learning styles. Individuals may be typical learners or may have a diagnosed disability. Learning styles and abilities may be shaped by any of the following:

  • Learning Disabilities
  • Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder
  • Autism Spectrum Disorder
  • Mental Health Concerns/Illness
  • Developmental Disabilities
  • Low literacy

Some notable milestones throughout our history:

  •  1985: Central New York Association for the Learning Disabled is formed by a concerned group of parents, focused on their children’s educational needs
  •  1987: The organization becomes a full-fledged non-profit, with Suzanne Loveland as first official Executive Director
  •  1990: Children’s summer program begins, later to be named Summer Adventures in Learning (SAIL)
  •  1992: Agency begins to work with OPWDD-funded clients
  •  1992: Grant from Development Disabilities Council allows for inception of Adult Programs
  •  1994: Agency officially becomes Learning Disabilities Association of Central New York
  •  1995: Suzanne Loveland retires, and Aggie Glavin & Paulette Purdy become Co-Executive Directors
  •  2000: LDACNY doubles in size, with an addition to existing building
  •  2002: Summer program outgrows its home at the LDACNY offices and relocates to Park Hill Elementary in the ESM School District
  •  2007: LDACNY joins Syracuse Automobile Dealer’s Association’s Charity Preview Event Fundraiser
  •  2008: Community Habilitation services begin for the first time
  •  2008: Employment Services begin
  •  2011: Paulette Purdy is named as sole Executive Director
  •  2011: Learning Without Borders, summer program for teens, begins
  •  2014: 1st Links for Learning Golf Tournament
  •  2015: LDACNY outgrows its home again, and moves in August
  •  2017: Career Solutions Academy opens
  •  2017: LDACNY becomes LAUNCH
  •  2018: LAUNCH adds a second office at 1010 James St., Syracuse, NY 13203
  •  2018: Level-Up Summer School Program for Middle School student started
  •  2020: Moved into new office at Nettleton Commons in downtown Syracuse - 313 East Willow Street, Suite 204, Syracuse, NY 13203
  •  2021: Moved some programs to 441 West Kirkpatrick Street Syracuse. This allows us to expand our Com Hab programs with kitchen facilities
  •  2023: Began providing Career Specific Vocational Training programs in Janitorial and Food Service.
  •  2023: After a pandemic hiatus, LAUNCH’s Summer Learning program has been rebranded and will serve OPWDD eligible students.