Working for a better life
From free preschool to job training and employment, Eugene’s Pearl Buck Center helps people with developmental disabilities achieve their goals.
posted April 29, 2016
In 1953, the same year Lisl Waechter started a small school in Eugene for children with special needs, Pearl Buck published a book about her own daughter, titled The Child Who Never Grew.
"It was my child who taught me to understand so clearly that all people are equal in their humanity and all have the same human rights," explained Buck, one of the first celebrities to speak publicly about having a child with a developmental disability.
Named for the Nobel Prize-winning author and humanitarian, the Pearl Buck Center offers choices and support to people with disabilities, helping them achieve their goals. The center provides a tuition-free preschool for children whose parents have cognitive challenges, as well as vocational training, employment, and alternatives to work for adults with developmental disabilities.
Through the Working for a Better Life program, adults access a variety of paid work opportunities at all skill levels. These jobs, contracted to Pearl Buck Center by more than 70 businesses, allow clients to earn while learning technical and social skills essential for employment. For those whose goal is community employment, the program provides personalized assessment, skill-building, job search, and follow-up support. In addition, the program's supported living component offers assistance for the tasks of daily living.
The dedicated employees and volunteers at Pearl Buck Center are among the many Oregonians working to make life better for their fellow citizens. Learn about others and see online issues of Comp News, our policyholder magazine.