Leadership Pickens County Class of 2014 helps PCBDSN

COUNTY — March is Disability Advocacy Month. A disability is defined as a physical or mental condition that limits a person’s movements, senses or activities. Those with disabilities long to be known for who they are.

Recently, Julie Petty, Self Advocate and keynote speaker at the 20th annual Family Connection Hopes and Dreams Conference stated that “I’m really passionate about language. I’m not a cerebral palsy woman. I’m a woman with cerebral palsy. I’m a friend. I’m a sister. I’m a wife. I’m a mother. I am not cerebral palsy.”

Pickens County is fortunate to have a Board of Disability and Special Needs (PCBDSN) that operates a day shelter program for adults with disabilities called “Better Skills.”

At Better Skills consumers receive adult development, pre-vocational, and vocational training in a variety of settings. Adult development aims at developing, maintaining, and increasing the consumer’s performance in daily living skills, physical coordination and dexterity, cognitive skills, social relationships, and communication skills. Pre-vocational and vocational skills are taught while consumers receive training incentive wages for work performed.

Amity Buckner, Executive Director of Pickens County First Steps, tells us that “After touring the facility, Leadership Pickens’ Class of 2014 became burdened by the lack of opportunities the consumers in the Better Skills program have for outdoor recreation.” Due to the nature of the Better Skills program, outdoor spaces are required to be fenced.

Josh Black, the director of the Better Skills program at the PCBDSN said that the Board operates on a strict budget wherein most of its budget goes to support the day to day operations of the Board, with little extra funds to cover needs such as fencing. With all these thoughts in mind, Buckner says “a project for the class was born. We decided as a class to purchase and install fencing for the outdoor area behind the building used for the Better Skills program. Our hope is that this fenced area will allow the consumers additional opportunities. “

Leadership Pickens Class of 2014 has spent the last few months raising funds to support the project and construction began on the fencing on March 11.

The Public is invited to the Grand Opening of the new outdoor fenced recreation area at PCBDSN, on Friday, March 28 from 11 a.m. until 1 p.m. Hot Dogs and refreshments will be served.  For more information visit  or call us at 864-859-5416.  The PCBDSN is located at 1308 Griffin Mill Road in Easley.