Programs for Exceptional People (PEP), is a licensed 501 (c)(3) corporation, was organized in 1995 by six local families for the purpose of creating programs, social interaction, and ultimately employment for their adult children who had intellectual disabilities.
These young adults had completed their formal education and were living at home, unable to secure employment and/or engagement in the greater community. At the time of PEP’s inception there were no services for citizens of Bluffton and Hilton Head Island who were living with intellectual disabilities.
At the time of its incorporation, it was funded by a grant from the Community Foundation of the Low Country. 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 is able to contract with other providers and individuals in the community to provide services that are consistent with standards set, monitored and evaluated by SCDDSN. Thus, PEP has contracts with both Beaufort and Jasper Counties to deliver services to individuals who meet the appropriate diagnostics criteria.
The purpose of PEP is contained within the mission statement of the organization to promote independence, social interaction and employment opportunities for adults who live with intellectual disabilities.
PEP provides a supportive environment where individuals within our community (referred to as members) read, learn, exercise, work, and engage with peers. Members participate in daily scheduled structured activities that are individualized to promote personal growth and accentuate strengths. Leadership is provided by trained staff and volunteers who act as educators and facilitators. The ratio of members to staff never exceeds 7:1.