A new program has opened its door to the local community. A day program for
adults with developmental disabilities is now located in the former After Hours building at 1610-D East Forsyth St. in the Americus Village shopping center.
Easter Seals Day Program Assistant Tabitha Ezzo said the program is new to the area and she is very excited about the services the program provides to enhance the lives of adults with disabilities.
The program’s main objective is to provide service and training that supports the individual choices and opportunities.
“Our goal is to give the individual a place to go from 9 a.m.-3 p.m. Monday-Friday. We want to get the individual to the greatest level of independence they can achieve,” Ezzo said.
“Just because they have a disability, they can hold a job, live alone and drive a car,” she said.
The program focuses on communication skills, self help, daily living, current events, social skills, recreation, leisure opportunities, job sampling, work experience, self-advocacy training, community exploration and field trips.
Ezzo, being a mother of a child with disabilities, is very passionate and aware of the individual services needed for their clients.
“Each individual has their on Individual Service Plan (ISP),” said Ezzo, explaining that each resident could have a goal, for example, of proper grooming in a social setting or learning job skills.
Clients meet at the Easter Seals center for organizational activities and then are split up into groups
“We have one staff member to four residents,” said Ezzo. “We are going to keep staff to resident ratio small. We are not interested in massive numbers; our interest is making sure they (residents) reach success,” she said.
Ezzo said she has been a major advocate for her daughter Aubrey, who has cerebral palsy and is a client of the center. Ezzo said she hopes to bring to the table her experience as a parent who has supported her daughter through high school.
“She graduated as an honor student,” Ezzo said proudly of her daughter.
Ezzo said the Easter Seals Center presently has three full-time employees and one part-time. Ezzo said it’s not about all work and no play.
“The residents not only work on ISP goals, but join in two outings a week. We have been to Lake Blackshear, the movies and the fun park in Albany. We also, have other recreational activities we do on site,” she said.
Currently, programs are also operational in Albany, Cordele, Tifton, Vienna and Valdosta.
“I would absolutely not have Aubrey in a program where she could not grow and reach her fullest potential,” she said.
Other programs offered by Easter Seals Southern Georgia are work adjustment, extended employment transition services, transition services, respite care and family support, independent care, Megan’s House, residential services and Champions for Children.