Our group met with several of the staff, who gave us an overview of their many services, as well as a short history of the program which was originally organized to serve ten children with disabilities and now serves over 600 individuals and their families annually – people of all ages with many kinds of developmental disabilities including, but not limited to cerebral palsy, Down Syndrome, autism, and epilepsy.
Doris Hayes, Vice President of Quality Improvement, was our guide for a behind-the-scenes look at EP!C. The facility is enormous, Doris said approximately the size of two football fields. Our tour enabled us to observe participants in their daily activities, as we visited the dining hall, the workout room, a radio/ music studio, an art room, a cooking class, physical therapy rooms, relaxation rooms and more. It was really amazing to witness their Organizational Employment Services program which offers paid vocational training within EP!C’s 22,000 square foot production facility. They provide paid work opportunities and training for tasks such as: packaging, assembly, clerical, bulk mailing, and labeling. We also looked from afar at the greenhouse and garden area which is cared for by EP!C individuals who then sell the produce at a farmer’s market as another avenue for generating income.
It was inspiring to see EP!C fulfilling it’s mission,” to enrich the lives of children and adults with developmental disabilities” and working toward their vision “A world where people with developmental disabilities are respected, engaged in community life, and have every opportunity to achieve their personal best.”
One of our OLLI members commented “Everyone should have the chance to see this”. OLLI thanks the entire EP!C staff for sharing us their remarkable program with us.