Developmental Disabilities

Health Power Initiative


A Unique Healthy Experience for Adults with Developmental Disabilities

HPIAnyone who reads newspapers, watches television,  reads the magazine covers in the check- out lines of grocery stores or just looks around each day knows all about it: despite doctors’ warnings and a  national push from the White House itself to promote healthy eating and lifestyles, there is an epidemic of obesity in this country. It’s worse in some places; in fact, Georgia is in the top three states with rising obesity rates across our population. Whether it’s a priority in our lives or not, most of us know the things we should be doing to stay healthy.

For some of us, healthy habits are even more important. Adults with developmental disabilities have an especially high risk of developing secondary disabilities due to preventable, lifestyle-related chronic diseases or avoidable conditions such as a fall.

JF&CS’ Health Power Initiative (HPI) program aims to prevent secondary disabilities and avoid accidents among clients with developmental disabilities. Funded by the United Way of Greater Atlanta, the HPI is a multidisciplinary approach to helping TFI clients and their families lead healthy lives.

A team-based approach

The HPI focuses on both physical and mental health and not just healthy eating. In addition to TFI professionals, the program team includes a registered dietitian, licensed clinician and community integration specialist. The program includes monthly educational workshops as well as healthy activities for people to do on their own. These activities are open to all individuals who are enrolled in TFI, their families and their staff. In addition, the team will find free or reduced-cost opportunities to support health, such as gym memberships, and incentives such as movie tickets and grocery store coupons to motivate and reward change. Community opportunities and incentives will be obtained through efforts of the team’s community integration specialist.

For those at particularly high risk based on medical or behavioral factors determined in collaboration with the HPI nurse, HPI offers intense intervention. Someone who has diabetes, for example, or uncontrolled hypertension is considered eligible. Those who fall into this group complete a nutrition assessment and then receive an intervention specific to each person. The dietitian works one on one with the individuals, their families and their staff person on meal plans and recipes, and the licensed professional counselor supports implementation of the strategy and behavioral change.


Community Integration

PACT-220x220One of IndependenceWORKS' principal goals is to help the individuals we support gain a sense of inclusion within the community. To reach this goal, our Community Integration specialist takes a person-centered approach in identifying meaningful community activities and volunteer opportunities for clients participating in all programs across IndependenceWORKS.

Community integration does more than just benefit the clients. The community receives an education on the many talents and gifts individuals with developmental disabilities have to offer.

Previous volunteer projects have included:

  • Traditions Health and Rehabilitation Nursing Home
  • Zoo Atlanta
  • Atlanta Humane Society
  • Sunrise Assisted Living Facility
  • Epstein School of Atlanta
  • Emory Winship Cancer institute
  • Emory Bud Terrace Nursing Home
  • Cheatham Hill Elementary School
  • DECS Childcare School
  • Center for Puppetry Arts
  • Atlanta Union Mission
  • Chattahoochee River Trails

Respite Services

What is Respite Care?

Are you caring for a family member who has a disability? We understand how that can mean increased responsibilities as well as increased stress.

Respite care is for families that are caring for a child over the age of 3 or an adult member with a disability. It allows families a rest, giving them time out for themselves.

While respite care is provided as a break to care-giving parents or families, it is not child or adult day care and cannot be used as such.

The following Medicaid respite services are available:

  • In-Home Respite Care - a caregiver comes to your home.
  • Host-Family Respite Care - your loved one is cared for at the caregiver's home.

Alterman/JETS Transportation

Transportation is a critical part of living independently. For a moderate fee, Alterman/JETS provides transportation for both seniors and adults with disabilities to and from work, doctor or other appointments, social outings, shopping or other destinations (there is no fee if the individual receives Medicaid funding). Service is offered Monday through Friday in parts of Fulton, DeKalb and Cobb counties. Those who are enrolled in Z-H ILP may receive transportation assistance in broader geographic areas as needed from that program.

Alterman/JETS has full-time drivers for weekdays and part-time drivers for night and weekend group trips. We do provide service for people in a wheelchair. Priority is given to clients of agency programs.

Clients must be 60 years or older or have a disability and they must live within our service area.

Supported Employment Program

Hiring Employees with Disabilities is Good Business

The Supported Employment Program through JF&CS' IndependenceWORKS provides the services needed to help employers and individuals with disabilities find each other and meet each other’s employment needs!

Benefits to Hiring Someone Supported by JF&CS

  • Tax Benefits
  • Job coaching to ensure quality assurance provided at no cost
  • Enthusiastic and dedicated employees
  • Diversified workforce

Types of Jobs

We match skills, interests and needs for the right fit. Common positions previously hired include:

  • Administrative Services
  • Retail Associate
  • Customer Service
  • Maintenance
  • Food Services and Delivery
  • Day Care Assistant


Supported EmploymentDavid’s supervisor says “He brings innovative ideas to better serve the students at The Epstein School’s dining hall."

A parent of employee that got a job through JF&CS shares, “The supported employment program at JF&CS has truly changed my son's life and the life of his family. The support and guidance from the staff at JF&CS has helped him obtain a wonderful job at Home Depot. He has become a successful, productive worker and is on his way to being able to live independently. I am so very grateful to JF&CS and the supported employment program. And of course a big thank you to Home Depot!”

Business and Organization Collaborators

We partner with companies and organizations throughout Atlanta to help provide business solutions. Current and past collaborators include:

  • ATI SecureDocs
  • Atlanta Track Club
  • Burn Studios
  • Camp Twin Lakes
  • Cat’s Meow Thrift Store
  • FurKids
  • Grecian Gyro
  • Helping Feed Atlanta
  • Hongar Farms Gourmet Foods
  • Marshalls
  • OLLI
  • Right Smiles Dentistry
  • Salon Red
  • Sheltering Arms
  • Sunrise of Huncliff Summit Senior Living
  • Target
  • Taste of Atlanta
  • Tazikis
  • The Epstein School
  • The Home Depot
  • The Hope Store
  • The Manor Country club
  • Walgreens
  • Zoo Atlanta