By Cindy Farr
In 1978, several families and some interested citizens joined together to
begin offering services for adults with intellectual disabilities in Newberry County. Fast forward forty-three (43 years, and now these services have grown to thirteen (13) local residential programs and two (2) day programs, which include a vocational center and a facility focused on leisure activities and training. Early Invention and Case Management provide services from the youngest consumers to the senior consumers. The organization serves nearly 300 individuals and their families.
The agency has always provided services with an emphasis on safety and security. Today, how we provide those services has changed. Now our attention is on encouraging and supporting people to explore their independence through diversity and inclusion in the community.
People with disabilities and special needs want the same opportunities as all other people. People want the chance to participate in meaningful employment, to develop friendships and relationships, and to engage in the life of the community. The community offers activities and experiences such as visits to the doctor or dentist, going to the bank, shopping for groceries, or getting a haircut. Supporting people to take part in events such as going to the movies, going to church, eating out in a restaurant, or attending sporting events, promotes meeting other people, and enhances a person’s quality of life.
Together with the community, the Newberry County Disabilities and Special Needs Board hopes to continue increasing relationships for people and expand social roles. These opportunities include employment and leisure activities because people realizing individual dreams and expectations (PRIDE) is our mission. The Newberry community and especially the City of Newberry have been supportive of the agency and have been recognized for their backing with the Silver Palmetto Award for outstanding support of people with disabilities and special needs.
The Ruth S. Pugh Foundation was created in 1998 to further the efforts of Ruth Pugh, who was one of the first special education teachers in Newberry County. Pugh included students in the community and recognized that people with disabilities are people first. Through the efforts of the Pugh Foundation, fundraising events such as the annual Pugh Foundation Golf Tournament provide community participation opportunities for people supported by the board.
If you are interested in directly supporting people, consider a career at NCDSNB. The agency also encourages volunteer interest. For more information, contact NCDSNB at 803-276-0078.
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