The Way We Were

Very few of us can remember what things were like in 1952, and fewer still can say they were there when it all began. The world wasn’t a welcoming place for people born with disabilities back then. Families with a special needs child had nowhere to turn if they wanted education for their son or daughter. And adults with disabilities were rarely given a chance to work so they could support themselves. Sometimes, the “good ol’ days” just weren’t all that good for everyone.


In 1952, an organization called Homecrafters was started as a modest program for adults with disabilities to receive job training, learn work skills and actually earn their own money. Years later, the organization was a thriving nonprofit, now named Tetra Corporation where Tucsonans with disabilities were able to work.  The workers earned an income and learned how to increase their own independence.


In 1955, eight local mothers with children having developmental disabilities opened a small school specifically for children with mental retardation. They named it Beacon Foundation.


In the 1970s, when public schools began accepting students with developmental disabilities, Beacon started serving adults who needed work training and real employment opportunities.


Adaptive Aids (a program with the Division of Developmental Disabilities) merged with Tetra Corporation.

A New Century

The two organizations continued to operate and grow over the next 25 years, essentially serving the same population and pursuing the same sub-contract work from local businesses. In 2003 these two great Tucson programs decided to join forces to provide the best possible opportunities for local people with disabilities and their families. That merger has been a “match made in heaven” for thousands of people with big needs and little hope of getting help. The new organization, Beacon Group, was twice the size as either organization was before, and because of their partnership, well positioned to grow even bigger.


In honor of Beacon Group’s former President and CEO, Steve King, and his wife Kathy, the headquarter building at 308 W. Glenn was renamed the Steve and Kathy King Community Center. Steve led the organization for over 35 years.

Tucson Office:

308 W. Glenn St., Tucson, AZ 85705


Mailing Address:

PO Box 50544, Tucson, AZ 85703

Phone: (520) 622-4874

Fax: (520) 620-6620

Phoenix Office:

2222 N 24th St, Phoenix, AZ 85008


Phone: (602) 685-9703

Fax: (602) 244-2435

We required infection control services for our building and enlisted Beacon. The application of the disinfectant using the Protexus Electrostatic System was efficient and effective...

We’ve worked with Beacon Group for over 10 years. They are dependable, easy to work with, and always provide great results. We’d highly recommend them...

I enjoy the services I receive at Beacon Group because they challenge me to grow and expand my capabilities. I hope to soon be returning...

If I wasn't referred here, I don't think I'd be here today with my GED in hand.

I never would have been able to [complete my GED] without you. I'm so glad I came to the Beacon Group

I enjoy working with Beacon Group. They are very knowledgeable at my needs. I also learned how to do a resume. Jessica gave me help...

When I moved my warehousing and ‘pick, pack, & ship’ to Beacon Fulfillment Services, I finally found what I could not get elsewhere: conscientious service...

I was completely blown away by the size and scope of your paint operation. The lady that helped me was delightful as well.

Beacon does a fantastic job on assembling our bags. They are efficient, quick, flexible and we never have any issues with the final product. We...