Programs for Exceptional People (PEP) was organized in 1995 by six local families for the purpose of creating programs, structure, and ultimately services, for their adult children. These young adults had completed their formal education, and were living at home unable to secure employment and/or engagement in the greater community. One of the underlying reasons for this is that while they all had talents and gifts as individuals, they also had been diagnosed as having a developmental disability. There were no services for citizens of Bluffton and Hilton Head Island at that time.
PEP was incorporated on December 11, 1995, and was initially funded by a grant from the Community Foundation of the Lowcountry. Over time, PEP earned accreditation as a service provider and became a subcontractor for the Beaufort and Jasper County Disability and Special Needs Boards.
The purpose of PEP is contained within the mission statement of the organization. The mission of Programs for Exceptional People is to “Promote Independence, Social Interaction, and Employment Opportunities for Adults Who Live with Intellectual Disabilities.”
PEP is now licensed by the South Carolina Department of Disabilities and Special Needs (SCDDSN) as an Adult Activity Center. As a state licensed organization, PEP has the ability to contract with other providers and individuals in the community to provide services consistent with those standards. Accordingly, PEP has contracts with Beaufort and Jasper counties to deliver services to individuals that meet the appropriate diagnostic criteria, as well as with some in the general public not affiliated with other county programs. To learn more, click here.