A Lesson in Humanity : Becoming ‘Special Needs Certified’

Special Needs Certified David K. DonovanAn inspiring story out of Alpharetta, Georgia revolves a man who has started a successful business that trains people to be more human. Eight years ago, Lindsey Turner was pleased with his life, he found himself in a happy marriage and enjoying his work as a professional in the booming tech sector. But one afternoon would change the direction of his life. Lindsey was invited to attend a little league game for children with special needs and was completely moved by the experience. He spent the day with a “little guy named Brent” and they just “had  a great time together”, said Turner. After this experience, he became very sensitive to how people reacted on the whole to children with special needs and their families.

Lindsey witnessed a discomfort, reluctance and uncertainty in how people would approach these kids and their families. Seeing this after having had such a positive experience at that little league event gave Lindsey even more resolve to change this pervasive type of reaction.

He decided to confront the problem head on by instructing both individuals and companies how to interact with people who have special needs. He did this by launching a company called, “Special Needs Certified”. Through this venture,  Lindsey started fulfilling this larger mission of improving interactions between those with special needs and those without by creating a series of informational videos – some of which revolve around situations that could emerge in real life. Companies and individuals watch these videos, undergo testing on the skills that they have just acquired, and upon passing that exam, the test taker becomes “special needs certified, and will retain listing on the Special Needs Certified Website. The site also showcases sites recommended personally by members of families that have another member or members with special needs.

According to Turner, there are  “…over a hundred businesses that are certified on our website”, all of these business are located throughout the state of Georgia.

While Turner is proud of the work that he has accomplished over the past few years, and the excitement that businesses show when they get involved with his program, he has some very clear thoughts about the future of the company. He exclaims, “…it’s pretty ridiculous that we need a business called ‘Special Needs Certified’ to teach people how to treat others with a disability. The end goal is to put myself out of business.”