Roosevelt Warm Springs Institute for Rehabilitation has grown beyond its original purpose. Franklin Delano Roosevelt founded it in 1927. Then, the majority of patients had polio. They came to Meriwhether County to use the historic warm springs pools for therapy.
"Back in 1955, when the polio vaccine was first announced effective they knew they were going to have to change," says Librarian and Research specialist, Michael Shadix.
But they retained FDR'S concept, watered it, and watched it blossom into what it is today, a beacon for the disabled seeking medical attention and vocational training. In fact, vocational training has become a large part of what they do here. Students ages 18 through 26 come from all across Georgia for the training.
"And so we work with them on their independent living skills and help them to be able to become employed," says Executive Director Bill Bulloch.
There are plans to expand the vocational program by adding services for people with more severe disabilities, and by adding the College Prep 101 course to help students with disabilities make the difficult transition from high school to college.