About us

Our History


  • 1948- Kingsport families organized to provide facilities and programs for the treatment and schooling of children with what was then termed “crippling disabilities.”
  • 1949- A building was secured for the provision of services at the Holston Ordnance Plant, and the facility began receiving children.
  • 1951- The Tennessee-Virginia Cerebral Palsy Center, Inc. was chartered.
  • 1957- The current Palmer Center building was constructed using funds provided through a special community fundraising effort conducted by the Community Chest and Easter Seals.
  • 1965- Kingsport City Schools and others formally contracted with the Palmer Center to educate children with disabilities.
  • 1975- The United States Congress passed public law 94-142 which made the separate education of children with disabilities illegal. The contract between the Palmer Center and the city school system ended.
  • 1976- The Palmer Center became a part of Kingsport City Schools. Students with disabilities were integrated into the city’s schools. The Palmer Center building began to be used for a number of purposes. The Palmer Center Advisory Board, Unincorporated, was formed. The original members were Fred Kays, J. D. Wininger, Hope Burton, Jerry Dahill, Ross Kingdon, Holiday Smith.
  • 1991- The Palmer Center Advisory Board was re-chartered as the TN-VA Cerebral Palsy Center, Inc.
  • 1992- The organization’s name was again changed to the Palmer Center Foundation. The foundation was designated as a {501-C-(3)} organization.
  • 2010- The Palmer Center Foundation acquired dedicated office space in Kingsport’s newly renovated V.O. Dobbins Center.