The Orange Grove Center is a private non-profit organization, serving adults and children with intellectual disabilities. The agency was founded in 1953 by a group of Chattanooga parents and community leaders who were seeking services for disabled children within the county.
Since its inception, OGC has been at the forefront, nationally, in pioneering services for the developmentally disabled. Offered educational opportunities and new avenues for personal growth, OGC's charter class of 25 students flourished rapidly. They became trailblazers, dispelling myths and dissolving long held public misconceptions about the learning potential of those challenged with developmental disabilities. Today, OGC is proud to offer a myriad of services to nearly 700 children and adults, lending them a guiding hand as they pursue their goals and dreams for the future. How is this accomplished?
Educational and vocational training prepares students for more independent living and working. Other programs, such as art and dance, touch the soul of the individual, providing the opportunity to be creative and self-expressive. Music classes move the heart with rhythm and cadence, whether the genre is rock, soul, classical, jazz or country.
The physical needs of the individual are also addressed. A full-service medical facility offers a complete range of health services, including dental care. Physical and occupational therapy along with hydrotherapy challenge the body, while speech therapy provides the latest technological advances in the area of communication.
Residential settings provide the experience of neighborhood living and promote the emotional stability that comes from being a part of a family. It also affords the opportunity for daily individual choices, whether that be watching a ball game, shopping with a well earned paycheck, nurturing a hobby or just relaxing in retirement.
Community integration is paramount at OGC. Individuals are encouraged to participate in local events such as public entertainment opportunities. Interaction with colleagues and supervisors in a job setting helps develop interpersonal and communication skills and promotes creative and critical thinking. This community connection woven into the fabric of daily living creates a rich tapestry of experiences from which a well rounded and self-fulfilled individual emerges.
Employee training and staff development are a high priority at OGC. Workshops, seminars, in-services and symposia are conducted for and by OGC staff so that all are kept abreast of change and developments within the field. OGC's Morton J. Kent Habilitation Center puts cutting edge techniques and services at the fingertips of staff members as they work towards the personal betterment of the individuals they serve. This state-of-the-art technology is helping a new generation of clients address the logistics of living and working in this new millennium.
Orange Grove Center continues to positively impact lives. And while the challenge of maintaining long-term support for our communities' developmentally disabled citizens is omnipresent, we approach the future in the same fashion as did our predecessors in 1953.
Embrace the challenge and move forward! That's just the way it's done at Orange Grove Center.