Mission Statement: Offering persons with disabilities the opportunity to achieve, maintain, and strengthen their level of independence. Approximately 35 years ago the Center for Independent Living of North Florida, now DBA Ability1st began serving people with varying disabilities in the Big Bend. Ability1st recognizes that each person with a disability has the right to live independently and participate actively in the community. With that in mind the organization provides basic supports and services that allow each person to achieve their desired level of independence.
Impact Summary from the Nonprofit Accomplishments: Over the past two years, Ability1st experienced a 40 percent increase in the number of individuals requesting and receiving assistance from our Access to Independence program. This program provides accessibility services to low income persons living with disabilities. During the past year, Abiltiy1st constructed 56 wheelchair ramps within the 6 county area around Tallahassee, using 100% volunteer labor. We also loaned over one thousand pieces of durable medical equipment and provided incontinence supplies to over 50 individuals. Ability1s now provides a High School High Tech Program in Leon, Wakulla and Gadsden Counties. These programs provide over 60 young persons with disabilities the opportunity to explore academic and career development options through training workshops, mentoring and internships in STEM related fields. This program has been shown to reduce high school drop out and to improve post secondary outcomes for students with disabilities. Ability1st has successfully transitioned 22 persons with disabilities formerly confined to nursing homes to once again living independently in the community. The organizations primary goals for the upcoming year are: Goal 1: Ability1st will increase the organization's capacity to provide a full range of accessibility services to people with physical disabilities through the Access to Independence Program. Goal 2: Ability1st will develop support programs for caregivers aged 55 or older that are providing direct care to family members with developmental disabilities or seniors with disabilities.Goal 3: Ability1st Board of Directors in partnership with the Management Staff will position the organization for a change in leadership.
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