Our Mission is P.R.I.D.E. People Realizing Individual Dreams and Expectations. Our values include listening to people, respecting people, supporting people, inclusion in the community and providing choice through options.
Several families and some interested citizens joined together in 1978 to begin offering services for adults with intellectual disabilities in Newberry, starting the Newberry Adult Activity Center Board in the basement of the old hospital on Hunt Street.
The activity center opened its doors as a way to invest adults with intellectual disabilities with purpose after their public schooling was finished. In 1978, there were six people at the center, but like the mission of the group, it soon grew. And as the center grew, it came above ground, both figuratively and literally.
In 1983, what began as a grassroots group became a government-recognized and funded service. The Newberry County Board for the Mentally Retarded and Developmentally Disabled was created by county ordinance. Another name change came in 1985, from the Newberry Adult Activity Center Board to Newberry Agency for the Developmentally Disabled, and that change came with non-profit status and the possibility of tax-deductible contributions.
As funding possibilities became more diverse, services did so too. The agency opened its first residential programs in 1988, two Intermediate Care Facilities for the Intellectually Disabled. In 1993, the agency developed its first Community Training Home II in the area.
As the mid-1990s approached, South Carolina passed legislation changing the South Carolina Department of Mental Retardation to the South Carolina Department of Disabilities and Special Needs. With the expanded title, came expanded services and scope. The new state department now included eligibility for services for individuals with autism, head and/or spinal cord injuries and other lifelong disabilities. The chain of shifting names continued with the Newberry Board becoming the Newberry County Disabilities and Special Needs Board, how it is known today.
Today, the local residential program has grown to 11 community training homes, one intermediate care facility for the intellectually disabled, and another dozen individuals enrolled in the Supervised Living Program, a service that provides support to folks living in apartments.
Day services continued to grow too with a new workshop on Nance Street that is licensed to serve more than 100 consumers on a daily basis. Approximately 75 people work through Newberry Industries' PRIDE Business Center on Nance Street, learning skills and earning money through in-house contracts with other industrial concerns or through the mobile work crews that operate out of the Workshop, hiring out for landscaping, cleaning and janitorial services around the community. An additional 25 individuals receive daytime services at the agency's PRIDE Center, which is geared more toward leisure-type activities and includes a seniors room.
Services are also offered beyond the buildings operated by the agency. Every individual served by the SC Department of Disabilities and Special Needs receives case management. The youngest consumers are served by the service of "Early Intervention" for children birth to five years of age. Early interventionists work with children and their caregivers, providing family training and case management to help children meet their developmental milestones.
The agency now serves nearly 300 individuals in the county with intellectual and related disabilities.