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Allegheny Valley School

2016 AVS logo

Allegheny Valley School (AVS) has been providing lifelong opportunities for people with intellectual  disabilities (IDD) since 1960. Today, AVS offers a variety of residential and therapeutic programs to nearly 900 individuals through 125 programs and facilities in nine Pennsylvania counties. AVS cares for some of the most vulnerable citizens in our communities.

Proceeds from the PVGP are used to cover expenses at AVS that are not reimbursable by Medicaid including equipment, new program development, renovations, improvements and so much more. The PVGPA helps to improve AVS’ programs and facilities throughout western PA.

AVS Chimes and waterfall

Sensory Garden at AVS

AVS provides a comprehensive continuum of services to support each person and help the individual continue to grow and learn at every stage of life.  Each person is cared for with individualized services ranging from physical, occupational and communication therapies to special education and vocational training. To enhance services provided, AVS has developed, implemented and distributed an innovative sensory program.  The program provides a variety of activities and settings to help the individuals to interact more comfortably within their surroundings.  Innovative sensory rooms, gardens and specialized activities have made a real difference in the lives of the individuals.

One recent project of the PVGP is an outdoor learning and sensory environment at Kennedy Program Center.  This beautiful three-season space includes a pavilion, musical instruments, a fountain, a variety of plants, and more.  “For years we’ve wanted to expand our program to the outdoors,” comments Program Director Jan Harvilla.  “The Pittsburgh Vintage Grand Prix’s generosity has made this dream a reality.  Whenever the weather permits, the individuals love spending time in the garden – listening to the wind chimes, potting plants, smelling the variety of herbs and flowers, playing the bells, and feeling and breathing in the fresh air.  THANK YOU!”



Dorothy Gordon/AVS Interview


Terry McNelis/AVS Interview


AVS has applied PVGPA support to numerous projects including most recently:

Pittsburgh Campus – Allegheny County  Slings for our residential buildings and on campus group homes.  The slings are used to safely transfer residents. 

Patricia Hillman Miller Campus – Allegheny County  Industrial dryer for the laundry facility at PHMC. We also purchased a laptop for use with equipment used by the residents.

Patterson – Beaver County  Flooring in group home.

Slippery Rock Program Center – Butler County  Funds were used to help establish a senior center .


The mission of Allegheny Valley School is to provide quality programs and facilities to help the individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities entrusted to our care to live with purpose and dignity, and to provide opportunities and choices for our clients to grow and function at their full potential as independently as possible.

To stay up to date with AVS’ news and events, visit their website.  In addition, please friend them on facebook.

To arrange a personal tour of Allegheny Valley School please contact Dorothy Gordon at 412-299-7777.

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