Spotlight: Hank and Laura

February 01, 2024

Spotlight: Hank and Laura

Jewish Disability Awareness, Acceptance and Inclusion Month (JDAIM) is a very important time for us here at JF&CS. We are one of the few in the state of Georgia that serve a diverse cohort of adult clients with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (IDD) through our best-in-class services. Our Community Access Group Program (CAG) and the Zimmerman-Horowitz Independent Living Program (Z-H ILP) help our clients-and their families- live as independently as possible.

Hank and Laura are siblings who are both IDD clients. Their mother, Sarah, had been their primary caretaker for years, but when she had a stroke it “became apparent that we were not able to provide the care they needed,” said Bob, their father. We had the opportunity to interview their family about the care they receive at JF&CS.

“We are here to provide ongoing support 24 hours, 7 days a week,” said Lillian Gibson, Director of Supported Employment. “We’re doing a service for clients that need the support, and parents don’t have the means or the time to provide the services all the time.”

“Obviously we’re not going to be around forever,” said Bob. “We felt like we needed them in an environment where they could maximize their own skills and desires and feel good about themselves and lead their own lives.”

“It’s a lot of fun!” said Hank, who utilizes Supported Employment and the CAG Program, and lives in a Z-H ILP group home. “I like going to the zoo, walking around the mall, going bowling, going out for lunch and supper, it’s good. I love IDDS and everything here.”

“Clients can see that the staff truly care about them,” said Lillian. “Having that type of connection with the staff and the clients is what helps the clients to achieve their goals, because they know that the staff is supporting them in their dreams.”

“You can tell when an individual is proud of what they’re doing,” continues Lillian. “That’s when I know that they’re growing, learning and changing- but most of all, that they’re happy!”

“I don’t worry about my kids, as far as their welfare goes,” said Bob. “I can’t express how much of an impact (that peace of mind) has on their lives, and on our lives, too.”

Our IDD services transform lives and empower people. Click here to learn more, and support our programs here.