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SC ranked top 10 for disability services

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South Carolina made the top ten list of states with the best services for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. The ranking, by United Cerebral Palsy, was released last week.

One organization that is providing opportunity for those with challenges  here in South Carolina is Goodwill.

Goodwill is the largest employer of people with disabilities in South Carolina.

At the Naval Nuclear School Galley in Goose Creek, they employ about 150 people.

"We are serving 365 days per year, seven days per week and we are currently serving about 5000 meals per day," says Reginald Hughes, Vice President of Commercial Services with Goodwill.

Hughes says about 80% of those working there have challenges.

"This is the avenue that we use to bring individuals in with disabilities and train them in the hospitality area. And then (they) work with our partners downtown to provide them with highly trained employees for their workforce," says Hughes.

Employees like Andre Page. "I perform various tasks from working on the floor in the dining room to serving food on the line."

Andre has been working at the galley for about 9 years. "It means a whole lot to me. Especially, you get to learn and grow."

Andre has autism. He was diagnosed when he was 12-years-old.

"It really makes it difficult for me to at times succeed in certain tasks that I do. I try my best to do what I do in certain areas but it really is difficult for me to sometimes work through it."

Goodwill breaks down work into smaller, more manageable tasks. Andre says the struggle to work hard and make a difference is tough, but well worth it.

"Whenever I get a chance to look at the accomplishment that I have as of now as opposed to back then, I say I have one good long journey back there and I would never change anything because of that," says Andre.

You can help out by donating to Goodwill. For every dollar they make,  $.90 goes back into related opportunities similar to what's going on at the galley."

If you own a business, and would like to either hire employees from Goodwill, or contract some work out to Goodwill, just stop by any Goodwill office to get more information about how you can help.

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