A Wausau woman is starting a new center to give adults with disabilities more opportunity. The aim is to have fun activities set up for adults who have special needs, with certified professionals present at all times to supervise.
"Adaptive Communities is a social activity center for adults with special needs, just a fun place they can come and hang out, make friends, get involved in the community, just have a really good social safe outlet here in Wausau," said Katie Normand, a co-founder.
Adaptive Communities will be housed in half of the former Blockbuster Video on S. 17th Street. The renovations are still in their beginning stages.
"In here is going to be our community space so there will be couches and activity centers, we're going to have a book nook, we're going to have puzzles, we're having a little kitchenette put in the back so we can work on some life skills, we're going to have a computer room, a media room," Normand said.
Normand began working with disabled adults ten years ago and fell in love.
"I had a student and she was deaf-blind, didn't talk, and watching her come to life, and the interactions, we would go out... just seeing her come to life, I kind of got hooked," Normand said. "This is my passion, this is my drive, this is what makes me happy at the end of the day. I like being out and about and being social and if I can offer this opportunity to others, I feel like at the end of the day it's just enhancing the quality of life."
There are already 26 members. Normand plans to cap the total amount at 50 for a more intimate experience but is looking into adding a second location within a year.
A fundraiser was held for the center at Dale's Weston Lanes on Tuesday with a DJ, a silent auction, a photo booth, food and drinks. Employees and members met with anyone interested in learning more about the center or helping raise enough money to make it a reality.