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March is Developmental Disabilities Month

By: Muriel Bailey Email
By: Muriel Bailey Email

There's a place tucked away in Dothan, where hundreds with developmental disabilities go to receive services.

"We serve about 220 people. That includes the adult population and the 20 children we serve through early intervention," said Vaughn Bloomberg Services Exec. Dir. Ed Dorsey.

One service the Vaughn Bloomberg center offers is sheltered workshops Monday through Friday.

"Individuals here perform contract activities for different businesses in the community they get paid for each piece they produce," said Vocational Director Paige Burtram.

"I do straps and metal plates," said Lisa Williams.

Lisa Williams says she enjoys coming to the center every day to work and socialize with friends.

"We do a lot of things out here, it's really fun."

The group usually has anywhere from 40 to 50 workers and the work isn't difficult.

"Mostly packaging hardware, folding cardboard boxes that go on new doors and windows," explained Burtram.

Organizers say although a paycheck is involved, the people who carry out the tasks benefit in more ways than one.

"It makes them feel like they accomplished something, It makes them feel independent."

"It provides them with some training, it provides them with opportunity. They're people just like you and I, they want the same things that you and I want," said Dorsey.

According to a recent study by the CDC, developmental disabilities affect more than 7 million Americans and more than 121,000 Alabamians.


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