For Participants

A place where you can be yourself - all day every day.

For Parents

A place where you know your loved one will be cared for in an environment designed specifically to provide meaningful social and recreational opportunities.

For Educators

A place you can feel confident recommending to parents and other caregivers as a viable option for "what comes next" after high school.


The original Exceptional Foundation was established in Birmingham, AL in 1993 as an afterschool program for children with special needs. This worked well for a while, but as time passed, the families of the participants began to realize that the opportunities for individuals with special needs were drastically lacking relative to those available to those without special needs. In an effort to address this serious issue, a full time day program was created. It is this day program that continues to serve as the focal point of the organization. In 1999, the Birmingham group held its first capital campaign and successfully raised the funds necessary to build their own 12,000 square foot facility. As the program continued to grow, a second capital campaign was held in 2006, which provided the funds to add an additional 12,000 square feet. With the wind firmly at their back, a third capital campaign started with a goal of raising $3.7mm in order to add on an additional 13,500 square feet, bringing the total facility size to approximately 35,000 square feet. The Exceptional Foundation continues to serve as a pillar within the Birmingham community that reaches in excess of over 400 individuals on an annual basis through its various programs. There are on average over 100 participants in attendance on any given day.

Go Far!

In 2009, the Exceptional Foundation in Birmingham was contacted by a group seeking to offer similar services in Memphis, TN. The Exceptional Foundation of West Tennessee was founded shortly thereafter and today offers a full time day program, summer camps, after school and weekend activities designed for special needs individuals aged five (5) and over. The West Tennessee group served over 200 individuals last year.

After establishing the second location in Memphis, other groups began contacting our friends in Birmingham seeking similar guidance. In an effort to support these inquiries, The National Exceptional Foundation, a separate 501(c)(3) non profit organization, was formed in 2011. Later that same year, the Exceptional Foundation of the Gulf Coast opened in Daphne, AL. The Gulf Coast program has since expanded to include over 50 participants and a summer camp, which opened in 2015. Affiliate agreements have also been signed and the Exceptional Foundation of South Mississippi and The Exceptional Foundation of Charlotte are both under development. The Exceptional Foundation of Atlanta is the fifth affiliate and opened it's doors in early 2018.