Waves Inc. was founded 47 years ago in Fairview by a group of families who had children with disabilities who were aging out of the school system. As the parents did not want to put their kids into a state institution, they decided to develop a day program for their children together.

Since that time, the program has grown beyond the small community to serve those in need from birth to beyond throughout the county.

“Because we have such a wide variety of services, the youngest person we could be serving at any time could be 6 weeks, and the oldest person is 94,” Waves Executive Director Lance Jordan said.

For now, Jordan said the nonprofit only operates in Williamson County, but he said he hopes to be able to expand it to serve families who need the support Waves provides.

Waves now has early intervention programs for children up to age 3; adult day programs tailored to fit clients’ individual needs; residential programs for clients who want to live more independently; and employment support and coaching services that allow adults to join the workforce in places like Publix or for Waves’ office recycling program.

“Our services are very person-centered within our capacity to serve those individuals,” Adult Services Director Marci Cohen said. “[These services] provide meaning and opportunity and a level of dignity that everybody deserves.”

Gina Wilson, Waves’ early learning program director, said she and a staff of eight currently provide support and help for 460 children and their families through Waves.

Wilson said Waves easily serves 1,000 families over the course of a year for free, and her own son is also assisted through the organization’s training and job support program.

“I’m really invested in this place,” Wilson. “It’s made a difference in his life and in my life.”

Making waves

Waves Inc. has several programs for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities in Williamson County.

Early Learning

Waves’ early learning program supports children from birth to 3 years old who have been diagnosed with a developmental disability. Early interventionists with Waves help families implement strategies to encourage developmental growth.

Adult Services

Waves provides support for adults age 22 and up via the day programs at their day center as well as through community and residential programs to provide supported living options that fit the needs of Waves clients.

Employment support

Waves’ employment program provides pre-employment training, on-the-job coaching and long-term support for clients looking to get jobs with community partners or with Waves’ Office Recycling Program, which collects recyclable materials for over 100 businesses in the area with the help of Waves’ clients.

Waves Inc.

145 Southeast Parkway, Ste. 100, Franklin