AUGUSTA, Ga. (WJBF) – March is National Disability Awareness Month, and local organizations talk about the people that they serve in the community around us.

Lynndale helps people within our community see how those they serve are just individuals with different abilities, and not disabilities.

“Each one of us has our unique thing that we’re good at, and sometimes we have our deficits,” Lynndale Social Services’ Sandra Johnson said. 

Staff at Lynndale work every day with people who have special needs, but at their core are just like the rest of us. They work, go to school, and go home. 

“We give them the opportunity– it’s more structured– almost like school setting. They have a direct support professional in the classroom that works one-to-one with them and different training exercises. And then we have some individuals who choose to work, but they need a little bit more structure,” Johnson said.

But sometimes, these individuals may not get the same opportunities, which is why Lynndale is happy this special month can help bring more attention to what they do. 

“To put a spotlight on it– for people that we serve– it is so rewarding,” Johnson said. 

According to the CDC, just over 25% of Americans live with a disability. 

“Oftentimes we know that unemployment hits them the hardest, we know that opportunities that are available seems to be few and far between. So anytime we can shine a spotlight on them and talk about their capabilities, it educates the community,” Johnson said.

And that’s why there are mentors to prepare them for work. 

We have community employment, and this is geared towards someone who is intermediate, so they work in smaller group settings. And so, some of the hotels– especially right about now with the Masters– you will see some of our wonderful employees out there working with the job coaches,” Johnson said.

And the list of what Lynndale provides to people just continues. 

“We use therapeutic intervention to assist in strengthening those skills and helping them re-engage in things they find important,” AU Occupational Therapy student Taylor Forney said.

“We love making those dreams come true for them.”

Lynndale workers say the people they serve are capable of anything. Those workers say they do what they do because they love to.