November 16, 2014 – Atlanta, GA. – A new Georgia based business and Kennesaw State University alumnus is opening big doors for people with special needs, and for businesses looking to expand their customer base. It’s called Special Needs Communities, and it trains businesses around the country to better serve individuals with physical and developmental challenges. When it comes to dealing with people with special needs, many businesses owners and their employees feel unprepared. Special Needs Communities’ online training can help virtually any business become special needs friendly. Concise, easy-to-understand videos teach employees to anticipate and respond to customers’ needs, communicate effectively with them, and, most importantly, treat them with kindness and respect. Once a business becomes certified, it is advertised on www.specialneedscommunities.com, a social networking and referral site where individuals and families with special needs can locate special needs friendly businesses.
Thanks to this unique training, businesses develop loyal new customers, and people with special needs feel more comfortable going out to shop, eat and enjoy activities in their communities. Since its launch last fall, Special Needs Communities has trained more than 50 retailers in the Atlanta area and in cities as far away as Lansing, Michigan. The training costs only about $1 a day, but pays healthy dividends year-round for businesses, as first-time customers appreciate excellent service and develop into long-term clients. One in six people has a special need, and this often-overlooked group can form a vital and loyal customer base for savvy businesses that know how to serve them.
Special Needs Communities Owner Lindsey Turner says he recognized the need for this type of business after he founded a non-profit organization called the Golden Soldiers, which provides recreational opportunities for people with special needs. “After hearing many families tell me how they wished they’d be treated in the same fashion at other businesses, restaurants and stores as they were treated at Golden Soldier events, I realized there was a huge need to educate businesses,” says Turner. “Being able to create environments where everyone feels love and acceptance is our mission. Educating businesses on how to do this helps grant wishes for many families.”
An Acworth couple, whose two-year-old daughter Eliora has spina bifida, became fans of Special Needs Communities training after taking her bowling at Brunswick Zone XL in Kennesaw. The business recently became Special Needs Certified.
“I thought it was a really positive experience,” says Priscilla Benson, Eliora’s mom. “ Someone not familiar with us might think we let her do some quirky things, like crawl army style on the floor or sit on a table, but there was never an awkward moment. We could do things the way she normally does things. “Since Eliora isn’t mobile, and doesn’t have a wheelchair yet, I carried her up and let her bowl with me,” says her dad, BJ Benson. “Nobody said, you can’t bowl.”
The Director of Sales and Marketing for Brunswick’s in Marietta and Kennesaw, Gemma Ames, says it makes good business sense to learn how to serve customers with special needs.
“Our trained employees are more comfortable now approaching customers with special needs,” says Gemma. “They feel like they’ve been empowered a little, and have the tools they need to serve them, so every customer can have a great time.”
Since its inception on October 29, 2014 Special Needs Communities has certified over 50 businesses across 6 different states as well as the city of Milton in Fulton county Georgia.
Special Needs Communities is a social enterprise focused on uniting communities and creating environments where everyone, regardless of their abilities, is treated with love and acceptance.
For additional information on the Special Needs Communities, please visit www.specialneedscommunities.com.
Media Representatives: To learn more about Special Needs Communities, email firstname.lastname@example.org