Welcome to Universal Institute Inc.; a place like no other. Jerry and Lisa Lasso founded Universal Institute in 1989. I met Jerry and Lisa during a wave of change in the rehabilitation industry that threatened to decimate the industry and leave disabled citizens with little opportunity for care and no choices. Lisa, Jerry and I became business partners and refocused the company to weather the storm and emerged as a leading rehabilitation program, offering outpatient rehabilitation and residential services to individuals with acquired brain or spinal cord injuries, developmental disabilities and other neurological conditions.

The history and philosophy of Universal Institute is directly related to that of its founder Jerry Lasso. Jerry was disabled as the result of auto accident. He was classified as a paraplegic and like so many others in his situation told by the experts not to expect much out of life. Jerry began a quest to prove the so-called experts wrong and in the process founded Universal Institute and revolutionized the rehabilitation industry. No longer would the disabled individuals receiving rehabilitation be classified as "patients"; the term "client" was introduced. Clients would not be segregated into cookie cutter rehabilitation programs; they would have significant involvement in their own rehabilitation plans and receive services in an open friendly environment not the basement of a hospital or nursing home. The concept of customer service was introduced to an industry built around an old model where the individual came last. At Universal Institute the client would always come first; each and every decision would be based upon this philosophy. This is the philosophy that the company was built upon and it shall always remain out guiding light.

Today, Universal Institute offers rehabilitation therapy in every discipline including, physical therapy, occupational therapy, speech therapy and cognitive therapy. We provide computer training, job coaching, community outings and a multitude of other services designed to integrate individuals into the community. Clients requiring special living conditions can now move to one of our beautiful residential facilities. The residences that we operate are large, fully accessible and located in the most upscale neighborhoods of New Jersey. Our philosophy is simple, "If we wouldn't live there why should you."

I encourage you to research our program, call for more information and come in for a visit. Come talk to our staff and clients and see why this is the program for you. Oh and by the way, Gene Pavolick, a client, shot all the video and digital pictures and collaborated with Intara's staff to help design this web site. Jerry would always say, "Let's focus on the ability not the disability," if you share this philosophy come join us.

I look forward to meeting you in person and hope that we here at Universal Institute Inc. can help make a difference in your life.

Thank you,

Adam Steinberg
President
Universal Institute, Inc.
 

Welcome! Thank you for choosing the Universal Institute, Inc. web site. My name is Lisa Lasso and I am one of the founders of Universal Institute, Inc. In 1980, my husband, Jerry was rendered a paraplegic. From that point forward, his entire life would change before him. Luckily, Jerry was not the type of person that would take "no" for an answer and he began a quest of searching for the type of rehab he needed, not what he was subjected to. He wanted to have a say in his rehab programs and that the more intense the program, the better off he was. Unfortunately, this type of program did not exist so therefore he was going to design it himself. With a lot of people telling him "you'll never be able to do it", Universal Institute, Inc. opened it's doors in 1989.

Universal Institute, Inc. started out treating primarily spinal cord injury clients. With all the changed that have taken place in the rehabilitation industry, we have greatly expanded our programs to accommodate these needs. We now have a residential program in place where we provide housing for over 50 clients. Our residential clients live in beautiful homes located in very upscale neighborhoods. Homes that I am proud to say I would live in myself.

On January 26, 2003, my husband Jerry suddenly passed away. He is greatly missed not only by me and our children, but also by so many disabled people whose lives he touched. He had become a huge crusader for disabled people and fought constantly for their rights. Living with someone who was disabled for so many years has taught me so much about rehab and its perspective from a disabled person's point of view. I vow to continue to carry out this legacy that Jerry left and provide our clients with the best possible therapy offered in an upbeat and positive environment. Jerry was always very positive and he truly enjoyed every moment of his life. He lived every day as if it was his last.

Please feel free to call us or just come on by for a visit. Our friendly staff will help you and answer all the questions you might have. Come and join our "Universal" family, we would love to show you the way!

Respectfully,

Lisa Lasso
Vice President/CFO
Universal Institute, Inc.

 


15-17 Microlab Road Suite 101 Livingston, NJ 07039
tel: 800.468.5440 973.992.8181
fax: 973.992.9797