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ABLE event will help people with special needs

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Photo above: Kathleen Gray-Gardner, training specialist, center, watches as James N. Derico Jr., left, and Meghan Wilcox-Eddy as they sort through recyclable material at the Beaufort County Department of Disabilities & Special Needs. The program they are involved in is designed to give special needs clients the life skills they need for a work environment. Photo by Bob Sofaly. 

Staff reports

A special event in Beaufort will help some special people.

The Beaufort County Department of Disabilities & Special Needs (DSN) will present the ABLE Fall Bazaar from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 14, at the DSN Center at 100 Clear Water Way in Beaufort.

There will be games, music, arts and crafts, food Shetland pony cart rides and more. Proceeds will be used to help support Camp Treasure Chest, the only summer camp in Beaufort County for children with severe developmental and related disabilities.

DSN assists individuals with intellectual and related disabilities such as autism, spinal cord injuries and traumatic brain injuries. 

The ABLE Foundation is a nonprofit, tax-exempt organization, created to provide support and resources for individuals with developmental disabilities and their families in Beaufort County, which is not provided with federal, state or county funds.

For many years, DSN was housed in a small former church building in Port Royal. In 2012, DSN moved to its larger location at 100 Clearwater Way in Beaufort. 

The additional space allows for program growth, including increased classroom size, a large lunchroom, indoor and outdoor recreation areas, a vegetable garden and a special place called “the ABLE Garden” where consumers and staff can enjoy its serenity. The rest of the facility contains a conference area and administrative offices.

Early interventionists (EI) assist children with developmental delays from birth through age 5, providing assessment and linking them with needed services. If warranted, the school district will provide services from the ages of 6 to 21. This program currently works with 85 families throughout Beaufort County.  

Post-high school, DSN offers a wealth of programs and services such as supervised independent living and seven residential training homes; a Day Treatment Program to assist adults in developing and maintaining daily life and employment skills; respite care and support for families and caregivers; and Camp Treasure Chest.

Visit www.co.beaufort.sc.us/departments/Community-Services/disabilities-and-special-needs or www.ablefoundationbc.org.

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