2022 Giving Guide: Special Needs
Central Florida Dreamplex
5165 Adanson St., Orlando 32804 | 2400 S. Highway 27 Suite B201, Clermont 34711 | 352-394-0212 | cfldreamplex.com
What began in 1991 with home-based therapy services has culminated into two centers serving special-needs children and adults by providing a venue where they can take part in sports and recreation, build friendships, and receive educational and job training.
The two locations serve people with physical and/or intellectual disabilities including autism, Down syndrome, sensory processing disorder, cerebral palsy, spina bifida, spinal cord injuries, traumatic brain injury, amputations, and visual impairment.
The Clermont location offers an adaptive fitness center, while both sites provide therapy and education. Partner organizations provide sites for sports clinics, games, and practices.
“The breadth of services and programs we provide to all ages provides options for families no matter what season they may find themselves in,” says CEO Cameron Gomes. “We are just scratching the surface with our adaptive sports programs, our school, and our vocational and adult day programs.”
Gomes says some families have “moved to the area to be able to come to a place like the Dreamplex.” Participants experience greater self-worth and confidence because of their accomplishments, and they grow socially from interacting with others to whom they can relate, he adds.
Their programs “open up possibilities for children who have always felt left out or different,” he says, as participants learn “they are capable of so much more.”
The nonprofit is struggling to keep up with costs of providing traditional therapy, its largest service, as costs continue to rise while Medicare reimbursements have remained stagnant for three decades. Gomes asks people to advocate for increased reimbursements, to consider onetime or monthly donations, or to volunteer.
“It is a fun and rewarding way to give back by sharing a sport or activity that you already love with someone learning it for the first time,” he says.
Down Syndrome Association of Central Florida | 204 N. Wymore Road, Winter Park 32789 | 407-478-5621 | dsacf.org
Primrose Center | 2733 S. Ferncreek Ave., Orlando 32806 | 407-898-7201 | primrosecenter.org
OCA | 5165 Adanson St., Orlando 32804 | 407-808-7837 | gooca.org
Special Olympics of Central Florida | 1915 Don Wickham Drive, Clermont 34711 | 352-243-9536 | specialolympicsflorida.org
Chance 2 Dance | 540 S. Maitland Ave, Maitland 32751 | 407-402-6662 | chance2danceinc.org
Nathaniel’s Hope | 5210 S. Orange Ave., Orlando 32809 | 407-857-8224 | nathanielshope.org
Inspire of Central Florida | 1095 Belle Ave., Casselberry 32708 | 407-699-4419 | inspireofcentralflorida.org
Healing Touch Therapeutic Riding Center | 3090 Comanche Road, St. Cloud 34772 | 407-405-7850 | healingtouchtrc.org