Abilene program that helps people with special needs could be victim of budget cuts

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ABILENE, Texas (KTAB/KRBC) – An Abilene service that helps people with special needs improve their cognitive and motor skills by doing activities could soon be cut thanks to a budget shortfall.

Abilene City Manager Robert Hanna has proposed cutting the Adaptive Recreation program in efforts to make up the $3.1 million budget deficit.  

“He has been going since he was 13 and now, he is 42 now,” said Sue Davidson, mother of Craig, who has special needs. 

Craig has been attending the program for 29 years. 

“I was heartbroken, actually he told me, he had heard it on the news,” she said. 

Sue says this program gave her the ability to work while taking care of Craig. 

“I couldn’t have worked without it, because he would get out of school and the CityLink would take him, and during the summer it would give him something to do,” said Mom. 

It provided activities like dances, Special Olympics, and even learning how to count money. 

But Hanna says that the program was already shut down from the pandemic. 

“The program isn’t going up for fiscal year 2021, it’s just not, so I think we have at least 10 months to work with community partners to continue the program through a nonprofit,” said Hanna. 

Hanna promises to look for nonprofits to partner with to take over the program. 

“I understand the need. I have family members who would take advantage of it, if they lived in Abilene, Texas. It’s a good program. None of the cuts were fun to make, but they were services not necessarily provided by local governments,” said Hanna. 

Sue hopes that another nonprofit can step up to run the program for individuals like her son. 

“They all miss going, some of them don’t understand why they can’t go and see their friends,” she said.  

In the meantime, Craig will continue his love for watching game shows and BigCountryHomepage.com Sports.


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