Clermont facility helps fill need for people with disabilities isolated by pandemic

CLERMONT, Fla. — The isolation of the pandemic was especially tough for people with special needs.

Providers have worked hard to find new ways to offer programs that are not only fun but safe.

At Central Florida Dreamplex in Clermont, people with physical and cognitive disabilities can participate in activities designed just for them.

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Director Amy Gomes opened the facility five years ago with her son Cameron to bring more adaptive activities to this community

“They need to stay active to keep their bodies in good shape. So when you offer something that’s fun, then they will continue to do things that keep them active,” she said.

Because of the pandemic adjustments like face coverings, social distancing and virtual classes have become the norm.

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While online classes are effective for some people, others struggled without face-to-face interaction.

Bibi Kahn, whose son Amir is part of the program, says it is a big relief to have in-person classes.

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“He’s a very outgoing person, and for him to be home during the pandemic took a toll on him,” she said.

Gomes says she plans to add more programs to its Orlando location later this year.

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Matt Reeser

Matt Reeser, WFTV.com

Matt Reeser joined WFTV in 1998 as a news photographer and has worked for television stations in Kentucky and West Virginia.