MADISON, Ala. (WHNT) – Living with an intellectual disability can be hard. There’s an organization here in north Alabama that’s striving to help those individuals embrace their abilities and live the best life possible!
AbilityPlus is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization that provides 37 group homes, day rehabilitation and training for those with special needs. WHNT NEWS 19 showed up at their facility in Madison with an open mind and a surprise.
There were classrooms along with training rooms for exercise, games, music, laundry and even a kitchen.
AbilityPlus is giving men and women with intellectual disabilities the skills they need to live a well-rounded life and remove the negative labels.
“We’re trying to put a positive on that,” says Dr. Karockas Watkins, AbilityPlus Vice President of Administrative Services. “We’re helping them with life skills and helping them to fulfill being great humans on this earth.”
Watkins says they’re committed to helping each person grow in an environment that’s fun and compassionate.
“Here’s a non-profit that really has a heart to help them,” says Watkins. “We really have a heart to see them fulfill their life goals.”
Goals like graduating high school, which client David Bass recently accomplished.
“I’m happy that I graduated and got a diploma,” says Bass.
Bass already has a job and a new attitude.
“When I first came, I was a little bit troubled, but AbilityPlus changed me.”
Bass says he’s also met a slew of friends.
“AbilityPlus is something that I would love to see other people come to,” says Bass. “They can enjoy themselves, have fun, meet new people and also get a girlfriend.”
While a girlfriend isn’t guaranteed, support is. The non-profit needs support of its own, since it relies on donations.
“We want people to keep donating, so we can have more successes and more people that we can say, ‘We had a small part in helping them fulfill their life goals.’”
WHNT News 19 did our small part by handing over $319 in cash.
AbilityPlus started as a small operation in May of 2004. Over the years, it’s expanded to serve 100 clients in four north Alabama counties.