History and Inspiration

Charlie Tyler holds up his book, The Wisdom of Charlie Tyler

The creation of Full Life was inspired by a loving, creative and self-determined young man named Charlie Tyler, who happened to have a developmental disability.

The Tyler family, like families everywhere, wanted to ensure their son continued to live a quality life after they were gone. They wanted him to maintain the ability to do what was important to him, receive support where he needed it and, when he didn’t need any assistance, to enjoy his independence and freedom.

Charlie’s family wanted to be certain that he lived a happy, safe and full life.

In 1999, after working with the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation’s Self-Determination Grant in the State of Hawai‘i, the Tyler family partnered with Deann Canuteson and Larry Casper to form Full Life, based on the self-determination model. Self-determination is now the model mandated by the Federal Government for services to individuals with developmental disabilities.

Full Life was registered as a 501(c)(3) nonprofit in 2000 (our 990 form can be found on Guidestar). Since then, we have grown from a small agency to an island-wide support provider with two offices, an Adult Day Health Learning Center, and over 100 employees – all committed to empowering individuals to live a self-determined life.

Full Life has never wavered from its founding principle of empowering the individuals we support to assert their fundamental human right to authority over their lives. We continue to ensure that each client we serve has the freedoms and supports that were originally provided for the Tylers’ son.