AEI opened its doors as a sheltered workshop in downtown Attleboro in the mid-1960s, offering employment for men and women with intellectual and developmental disabilities (ID/DD). Known as “The Workshop”, subcontract work was procured from local corporations, and The Workshop’s employees were paid on a piece rate basis for completing jobs such as light assembly and mass mailings. In 1978, The Workshop filed for legal status as Attleboro Enterprises, Inc.

As the needs of the individuals we supported changed, so did the organization. During the 1980s, supported employment and job placement programs assisted in the placement of participants in gainful private sector employment with local companies. In the 1980s, AEI also opened its first residential homes offering 24-hour staffing supports to individuals living in these homes.

The 1990s brought even greater change. The first Day Habilitation program funded through MassHealth offered medical, clinical, and developmental services to individuals with their own unique challenges. AEI also played a major role in the closing of the Dever Developmental Center, an institution that once housed thousands of individuals in an isolated, self-contained campus in Taunton. AEI built fully accessible homes in community settings that the remaining residents of Dever moved into through its two subsidiary corporations, Attleboro Enterprises Properties Inc., and Attleboro Enterprises Development Corporation.

The 2000s have brought more growth serving not only the ID/DD population, but individuals on the autism spectrum, and programs for high school students with Individual Education Plans (IEPs). Annually, over 600 individuals will receive supports through our array of services.

AEI has been recognized by the Commission on the Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities (CARF) and the State of Massachusetts DDS Office of Quality Enhancement (OQE) who have given AEI its highest ratings as a provider of essential services to individuals with disabilities and other challenges. AEI, as it has in the past, shall continue to adapt to the changing needs of the women and men we support in our communities.