About Us


Our Beginning and History: LIFESPAN's story begins in 1973 when we started a class for five children with developmental disabilities who were excluded from public school. The class was held in space donated by St. Mark's Lutheran Church in Charlotte, and we adopted the name St. Mark's in honor of the church and its members who helped us.

Our children's program was very successful, and we soon added programs for adults. By 1980, we had outgrown our home in St. Mark's Lutheran Church and moved to a new facility on North Graham Street in Charlotte, which is now home to one of our Circle Schools. And, during the 80s and 90s, we continued to add new services and began reaching out to individuals beyond the Charlotte region.

Although we've been through many changes and experienced phenomenal growth during the past three decades, our mission has remained the same - to develop and operate programs that emphasize inclusion and choice in order to provide education, employment, and enrichment to individuals with developmental disabilities.

In 2000 our name changed to LIFESPAN to better reflect the work we do: offer opportunities through an individual's lifespan.

Today, we serve over 1,200 children and adults in 20 program locations between Haywood and Alamance counties in North Carolina.