The Friend Zone
During the pandemic PDS created a beautiful social club called The Friend Zone. This club house, inspired by Monica's apartment in the show "Friends,” is a place where people with and without disabilities can hang out and have fun in a totally inclusive and accepting environment. The large building has huge TVs, leather couches, a modern kitchen, a coffee bar called “Central Perk,” an art room, 2 restrooms with fancy bidets, and additional rented space for table tennis, dance, and exercise.
The Friend Zone is open to the public so the folks that PDS serves can invite their non-disabled (or disabled) co-workers, family members and friends to come and hang out, play air hockey, table tennis, or watch movies, for instance. PDS holds social events such as parties and dances during PDS hours and opens these events to our clients’ co-workers, friends, and family. PDS staff pre-screens and supervises guests to ensure that our clients are always safe.
PDS clients spend most of the their time in "natural environments" in our community. Some of the natural environments in which training takes place include but are not limited to employment sites, restaurants, banks, gyms, supermarkets, our clients’ homes (cooking), community centers (Bingo), beaches, tennis courts, golfing ranges, bowling alleys, the local martial arts center (self-defense), public parks and anywhere else that non-disabled people of the same age typically spend their time weekdays.
Because they had so much input in designing our post-pandemic services, PDS clients take ownership over The Friend Zone and maintain control over the schedule of activities, hiring of employees, and every detail of the program design. They enjoy extraordinarily rich social lives, with friends, where being different is OK, and everyone is welcomed in recreational and leisure activities, as long as they are doing their best to be kind.