Signal Centers, Inc. is a community based non-profit organization funded through a variety of federal, state, local agencies, local service and community groups, various fund-raising activities, and charitable donations. Their mission is to strengthen children, adults, and families through services focusing on disabilities, early childhood education, and self sufficiency.
They serve both typically-developing children and those with disabilities/special needs. Low student-to-teacher ratios are maintained, thus enabling individualized attention. Speech, feeding, occupational, and physical therapy are offered in the classroom, and teachers often incorporate these therapies directly into classroom activities.
The Adults with Disabilities Program services those aged 18 and above. Attendees have the opportunity to socialize while developing, maintaining, or increasing both their work and independent living skills. The Geriatric Program serves low-income individuals aged 60 and above who engage in activities to enhance their independent living skills, as well, while, at the same time, giving their caregivers the opportunity to maintain a normal day-time work schedule.
Chattanooga's Signal Centers Thereapeutic Playground for the Arts opened in August 2010. The previous playground had a road through the middle, so any time a car or bus drove into the parking lot the children had to be herded into a small fenced-in area. A.D. Engineering team members offered their design expertise and built the first accessible, naturalized playground in Tennessee. Playscape Designs provided a musical playscape installation of tuned musical instruments built to stand up to the weather.
The new playground features double the play area, a tricycle path, and equipment accessible play nooks all surrounded by plants.
Dr. Graham Parker, director of childrens' progdrams, says that the facililty is much more than a playground. "The area is a natural extension of our indoor curriculum. With over 22 trees and 1,500 different types of plants, the area is embedded in nature and creates a richer environment where children can flourish."