About Us

Extra Special People, Inc. (ESP) was founded in 1986 in Watkinsville, Georgia to create a community of support for individuals of all abilities. Our founder, Martha Wyllie, noticed an unequal amount of opportunities for children with disabilities, beginning ESP as one week of summer camp for only 21 participants. Since our humble beginning, we have grown to now serve over 500 participants from over 30 counties in Georgia through 8 weeks of summer camp, annual after school enrichment programs, and ongoing family support.

ESP serves participants beginning at birth and with no upper age limit, welcoming participants with diagnoses of Cerebral Palsy, Down syndrome, Autism, Traumatic Brain Injury, Spina Bifida, and many more. Here at ESP, participants are never turned away because of their ability. Our specialized programs enable our participants to thrive with swimming, dancing, arts and crafts and cooking; family support, retreats, dinners, counseling, and holiday events. 

For two decades, we conducted all programming in a 1,600 square foot gym, with the number of participants growing each year. The demand for more space grew as the gym limited the scope of our services and created accessibility barriers. In June of 2016, after a $3 million capital campaign, we opened the doors to a new 14,000 square foot Activity Building and renovated our original gym. As a result of two new spaces, ESP enrollment grew 25% immediately, allowing us to serve the hundreds of participants who now call ESP home. 

The need for quality programming and recreational facilities for individuals with disabilities continues to grow, with ESP being the only program of our kind in the region. Knowing the need to serve more participants, more often, ESP grew the following mission-driven growth programs:

  • In 2014, ESP was gifted a 70-acre camp property in Jackson County, Georgia with a vision for it to become the country’s first universally accessible overnight camp, parent respite center, and recreation facility. 
  • In 2016, we expanded our programs through the launch of Java Joy, a mobile coffee cart that employs adults with disabilities. This program has expanded not just in our area, but across the state and country, with new Java Joy locations opening starting December 2019. 
  • And in 2019, identifying a need for increased recreation and play between children with and without disabilities, our community rallied together to support the creation of the ESP Miracle League, what will soon be a fully accessible baseball field and playground in Watkinsville. 

ESP will continually strive to grow in our capacity to serve the thousands of individuals with disabilities in our region and provide new, innovative, and accessible experiences for kids and adults of all abilities in our community to thrive. 

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