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About Hawthorne Foundation Inc.


Our History

Hawthorne Foundation Inc., formerly the Margaret Chapman School, has been educating children in New York since 1968.  Hawthorne Foundation Inc. is an organization that has grown to serve more than 500 children and adults with autism and other intellectual disabilities and is an important organization in the community.


Margaret Chapman School was certified as a school for children with special needs in 1968; at that time individuals with severe intellectual disabilities first received the right to be educated. Even then as a new teacher, Eileen Bisordi was an advocate for the rights of individuals with severe disabilities.  She felt all students, regardless of the severity of their disability, have a right to learn. She fought for educational rights, for better educational conditions, and for opportunities to participate in the community.  She quickly knew that her role was to advocate. To do that she needed to take a larger role in the school.  She soon became the Executive Director, went right back to graduate school to prepare her to teach a differently-abled type of student, and found a professor who was exploring innovative approaches to education, training, and organizational management.  He came to Hawthorne Foundation Inc. to help her make a difference.


In 1980, Hawthorne Foundation Inc. began to serve individuals using Applied Behavior Analysis.  Hawthorne served individuals ranging in age from five to twenty-one years, at their residential school in Westchester County, New York. HFI successfully developed innovative teacher training programs, education methods, and organizational frameworks that continue to influence teachers and administrators in the region and beyond.

Today Hawthorne Foundation Inc. provides educational day programs (early intervention, preschool, school age Westchester, and school age Manhattan) to assist students ages eighteen months to twenty-one.  HFI is an OPWDD provider of adult programs (residential community-based homes and day habilitation) focused on educational, vocational, and meaningful post-high school experiences for adults twenty-one years and older.  Hawthorne Foundation Inc. also offers fiscal intermediary services to support self-direction, community work-based learning experiences, and independent living opportunities that support our families.  As we continue to grow and expand our high quality educational, vocational, and habilitative person-centered services, one thing has not changed—our commitment and dedication to individuals with autism and intellectual disabilities.  It is truly our people - board members, staff, volunteers, families, individuals with disabilities and community partners - who make HFI a place of growth and hope for the future by supporting our philosophy of individual worth and human dignity.

Hawthorne Country Day School Graduation

Our Mission

An Applied Behavior Analysis approach to life long quality Education, Habilitative, Vocational and Recreational programs for individuals with autism and other Intellectual Disabilities.

Using evidence-based education practices to promote Independence, Integration, Individualization and Productivity.

HFI Summer Program Ice Cream Day

Our Vision

To foster independence, integration, individualization and productivity while enhancing the quality of the lives for the people we serve.  Our goal is to enable each and every individual to reach his or her maximum potential in the least restrictive environment by selecting and promoting educational practices that are grounded in research and science-in particular Applied Behavior Analysis and to assist each and every individual in identifying and realizing his or her own goals.


Hawthorne Foundation Inc.

A Behavioral Approach to Lifelong Care ®

Hawthorne Foundation Inc, is celebrating it's 40th anniversary in 2024! We have spent these years developing community based programs to enable individuals with Autism and Intellectual Disabilities to live the way they choose.

Hawthorne Foundation Inc. is a non- profit 501©3 organization whose mission is to provide quality education, habilitation, vocational and recreation programs for individuals with autism and intellectual disabilities. Our goal is to enable each and every individual to reach his/her maximum potential in the least restrictive environment and to assist each individual with identifying and realizing his/her own goals. The training provided by Hawthorne Foundation Inc. enables each individual in our programs to make wise choices so they can live a productive and meaningful life. 

For 40 years Hawthorne Foundation Inc. has maintained a program that supports a behavioral approach to life long care.  Hawthorne Foundation Inc. supports early intervention programs for children under three, a preschool program for 3-5 year olds, K- 12 school age programs in Westchester County and Manhattan, adult day habilitation and vocational training programs in Elmsford, NY, group homes in Westchester County, and programs for self-direction and fiscal intermediary services, all designed to ensure person-centered services that are responsive to each individual’s needs and preferences.

We serve more than 500 children, adults and their families.  All of these programs are based on teaching in an Applied Behavior Analysis framework.  Our staff graduates from top universities that support programs in special education, applied behavior analysis and human services.  Our students and adults enjoy the benefits of this cutting-edge program that prepares them to become contributing members in their home communities.   

Hawthorne Foundation Inc. enjoys a growth in services each year due to our success in providing the individuals we serve with opportunities for lifelong learning in the community.

Hawthorne Foundation Inc. is proud to provide the education of tomorrow to the children, adults and families we serve today. 

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