Meet Eric Beard, who doesn’t let his visual impairment hold him back and has a natural enthusiasm for life and people. Eric is a social butterfly, and, once he becomes your friend, it’s for life! Those that know Eric would tell you about his great sense of humor, outgoing personality, his compassion for those he meets and his ability to lighten the mood of any atmosphere with his laughter and jokes.
Eric graduated from Wisconsin Center for the Blind and Visually Impaired. Upon graduation, Eric wanted to move back to Missouri and spend time doing meaningful activities and staying engaged. Eric’s mom Treasa, contacted the Center of Human Services (CHS) where she was able to learn more about the Sheltered Workshop (CWI) and other services to support her son. Eric started at the Sheltered Workshop in 1999 and in 2003 he transitioned from the workshop to receiving other services at CHS.
Since Eric began his journey with CHS, he has been able to flourish and become more self-sufficient. Eric participates in a variety of programs offered by CHS at the Garlich Activity Center (GAC). The programs and services that have helped in Eric’s achievements are prevocational training, job prep, aquatic therapy, equine therapy, sheltered workshop experience, Community Skills Trainer, service coordination, respite, social leisure activities, and the activities at the GAC.
While at GAC, Eric works on fine motor skills and participates in activities with his friends. With assistance from the staff at the GAC, Eric has been able to become more involved and gain new experiences within the community. Eric attends the social leisure events on regularly and according to Chanisty, the coordinator, “He is energetic with his dance moves and very competitive in the games. He always dresses in character and you can hear his laugh from across the room.” When speaking with Eric’s mom, Teresa states “CHS allows Eric to be himself and as independent as possible.”
CHS is proud to support Eric as he continues to grow and thrive. The CHS staff are committed to helping Eric live a Life Without Limitations. For more information regarding the Roger A. Garlich Activity Center, aquatics and other programs, contact the Center for Human Services at 660-826-4400.