Stanford Residential & Dining Enterprises, an Employment Services business partner, celebrated
Abilities United’s receipt of the Stanford Community Partner award.

Abilities United is delighted to report on the service outcomes of our 2015-2018 “United for the Future” campaign which raised $2.1 Million in funded projects. We are now halfway through the three year period and wish to share with you the progress and enhancements made to the various funded programs and initiatives. Many of those gifts funded specific projects or programs needed for Abilities United to improve, sustain, and expand services to our children and adult participants. A summary of these funded projects follows:

art program launch and scholarships

The Abilities United Art Program continues to promote the artistic talents of people with disabilities and open communication venues through the universal language of art.

  • A part-time Art Program Coordinator was hired to grow the program from primarily a volunteer effort to an agency program
  • Art exhibits expand visibility through notable, high-traffic locations as the de Young Museum, Stanford Hospital, Redwood City Art on the Square, and Children’s Discovery Museum of San Jose
  • Recruitment of new artists from around the Bay Area and other areas ensures the promotion of fresh and exciting art work and talent. Artists are represented each year at dozens of Bay Area exhibits. Sales range from $50 – $500.
  • Technology tools ensure the art program is sustainable and manageable including
    •    An art program webpage and online art galleries
    •    Art sales, exhibits, and inventory database

employment services expansion

Abilities United continues to close the employment gap between people with and without disabilities through job placements, assessments, and coaching.

  • Nearly 400 community members are currently employed by local and national corporations
  • 39 individuals were placed in new jobs which represents a 25% increase from the prior year
  • 13 job seekers received employment readiness training
  • 11 new business partners were recruited, bringing us to over 100 employment partners, all of which are essential to ensure job opportunities and skill matches

children’s development services professional development, scholarships for program expansion

Children’s Services launched their 5-year training strategy to ensure staff have the skills required to meet the changing needs of children with developmental delays or risk for delay, and to further the inclusion of children with and without disabilities.

  • Early Intervention and Therapy
    • Stanford Autism Center partnered with Abilites United to study the impact of early social integration of children with and without disabilities
    • Staff further developed their skills to help children with autism develop positive communication, language, and social behaviors through Pivotal Response Therapy training
    • Pediatric Feeding and Sensory training ensures staff can work effectively with children who have feeding challenges. Proper eating and chewing techniques are essential for a child to learn to speak as well as receive the nutrition needed to reach their other developmental milestones
    • Staff increased their knowledge of effective use of developmental screening tools to identify developmental delays and the techniques needed to minimize the delays.
    • Our professional staff received training on the principles and practices necessary to create strong partnerships with families. Strong professional and family partnerships help families learn the techniques needed to care for and support their child so he/she can grow up healthy and ready to learn
  • Milestones Preschool
    • Expanded to full-day preschool programming to accomodate the needs of working parents
    • Milestones Preschool enrollment doubled
    • $45,000 worth of scholarships have been distributed to enable low-income children to attend Milestones Preschool

technology advancements

Staff and participants have better access to modern technology software and hardware. Necessary infrastructural developments have been made to prepare us for more sophisticated and robust technology solutions to ensure the organization runs more efficiently and effectively.

Thank you to all our “United for the Future” donors for your on-going commitment to the people who benefit from Abilities United Services!

Abilities United cannot achieve our mission without your help. Thank you for all your contributions, because everything you do brings us closer to reaching our goals to:

  • Provide seamless transition from one service to another throughout the lifetime of participants
  • Increase Abilities United brand awareness
  • Assess community needs to help define the future of Abilities United services

As we approach the close of our 2015/2016 fiscal year, I look forward to keeping you informed about more progress at Abilities United.

Charlie Weidanz