Daytime program provides activities for adults with disabilities in Central Florida

LAKE COUNTY, Fla. — A daytime program in Central Florida provides a space for adults with unique abilities to connect with others like them called “The Friendship Place.”


“One of the things we’re looking for is a perfect landing spot for her,” Steven Vold, father to Sarah, who attends The Friendship Place, said.

The Vold family is from Arkansas and has landed in Central Florida so their daughter, Sarah, who has down syndrome, can attend the program.

“They have things from cooking training, learning to do artwork, career training,” Vold said.

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The Friendship Place is housed at the Clermont location of the Central Florida Dreamplex.

The free daytime program gives adults aged 22 and older a place to come and be active and be around people like them.

Its services are in high demand; 30 to 40 people attend the program each week.

“Learning and growing doesn’t end when you graduate from high school,” Vold said. “It’s really just beginning. A place like this, I think she’s going to reach her full potential.”

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Those attending can participate in activities like yoga, or learn life skills like how to make a cup of coffee, or employment skills on how to operate a café.

Sarah told us she enjoys cooking, singing, and dancing.

“The joy, the smiles, to be able to see someone that never leaves the house come and sit for a class, that’s pure joy, it’s priceless,” Pedro Rodriguez, Director of The Friendship Place, said.

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It also provides caregivers, like Sarah’s father, with the comfort of knowing they are leaving their loved one in good hands.

“To be able to provide a place where her father can be at peace while he’s at work, that she’s in a safe environment, that’s a good feeling to have,” Rodriguez said.

The Friendship Place is open Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Participants can attend two to five days a week, depending on program space and availability.

There is currently a waitlist for participants because of a lack of funds and staffing. To donate or to reach out about employment opportunities you can visit the website here.

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