Learning Independence


TESS (Training, Education and Support Services)

From basic academic training and hands-on job experience to leisure activities and life skills coaching, Pine Castle provides a wide range of opportunities to adults with developmental and intellectual disabilities. Services include facility-based job preparation training, life-skill guidance, academic training and extracurricular and recreational opportunities.

Individuals challenged with more severe to profound levels of intellectual and physical disabilities receive daily training and care on campus to meet their goals of developing or improving self-care, communication, and social skills. Program services are individualized to meet mobility, feeding, hygiene, and behavioral needs within a safe and person-centered setting at a 1:1 or 1:3 staff-to-participant ratio.

Pine Castle has specialty programs like Traumatic Brain Injury program and a Psycho Social Rehabilitation (PSR) program. The program is for those with a dual diagnosis of intellectual/developmental disabilities and mental health disorder. Assessments are provided by a psychiatrist and treatment plans two times per year by a practitioner of the healing arts. The group is run by a certified behavioral health technician and monitored by a master’s level practitioner.

Some of the goals of the program are aimed to improve vocational skills, financial management, life skills, recovery, communication, stress reduction and to reduce feelings of low self-worth.

Seniors Program

Our Seniors Program provides activities that enhance individual well-being and ensure continued engagement within our community.

Caring and experienced staff members provide a creative program that nurtures self-expression and interpersonal relationships for aging people with intellectual disabilities.

The program is geared toward meeting the special needs of individuals whose disabilities are often compounded by age-related secondary conditions such as physical limitations and/or dementia conditions that require moderate to intensive levels of staff support. Staff members provide one-to-one personal care to individuals throughout each day as they participate in activities offered in a beautiful and comfortable setting.

A range of activities is offered including social engagement, learning about current events and health issues, light exercise, cooking and baking, menu planning, grocery shopping, arts & crafts, games, birthday celebrations, and holiday parties.

Recreation & Leisure

The Recreation Department offers opportunities for various types of physical, social, and creative self-expression activities at Pine Castle. These activities include:

• Pine Castle Radio
• Chorus
• Band
• Spirit team
• Girls and Boys Basketball team
• Weekly organized sports such as kickball, volleyball, and soccer
• Arts & crafts

Participants have the option to get involved with the Special Olympics by attending organized practices on campus and traveling to events across the state.

For more information, please contact Michel Johnson, Director of Programs, at mjohnson@pinecastle.org or call (904)733-2650 ext. 226.

Meet Justin

Justin came to Pine Castle in July 2003 after suffering a traumatic brain injury. He was our first client classified with an “acquired” disability. One of his biggest challenges has been to overcome his memory loss.

Through the help of Pine Castle, Justin has excelled in his personalized vocational and life skills training curriculum. Justin has prevailed through many obstacles and earned his GED. Currently, Justin is a self-advocate to raise awareness for acquired disabilities and is a community speaker for Pine Castle.