Programs

A Place Called Home

This HUD funded Leasing Assistance Program provides permanent supportive housing placements for chronically homeless persons with disabilities and for homeless families with a parent with a significant disability.

Access to Independence

Ability1st receives donations and makes loans of durable medical equipment such as wheelchairs, walkers, shower benches, etc. This program also utilizes community volunteers to construct wheelchair access ramps for persons with physical disabilities. Ability1st also provides very low income persons with disposable medical supplies such as bed pads and adult briefs.

Community Education

Ability1st provides ADA information specifically tailored for businesses, civic and human service organizations and the criminal justice system. We additionally provide Disability Awareness and Sensitivity Training though interactive experiences.

Crime Victims Assistance

The specific victim population served by Ability1st’s VOCA Project is persons with disabilities (adults and youth) who have been victims of crimes, or victims who have become disabled as a result of the crime experience, residing in the 2nd Judicial District.

The specific services provided by the Victim Assistance Specialist include crisis counseling and follow up contact to offer emotional support and guidance; in-person information and referral to identify additional service needs and available resources; criminal justice support and advocacy to assist with all stages of the criminal justice process; personal advocacy to assist victims with such tasks as securing rights, remedies, filing for covered losses and financial assistance, and advocating for any additional identified needs. Independent-living skills training is provided to assist consumers in developing safety plans and in teaching activities of daily living (ADL’s) related to their disability.

FTRI: Free Specialized Phones

Ability1st is now a Regional Distribution Center (RDC) for Florida Telecommunications Relay, Inc. (FTRI) As an RDC, we administer Specialized Telecommunications Equipment to qualified citizens of Florida who are Deaf, Hard of Hearing, Deaf/Blind and Speech Disabled. Call Richard at (850)575-9621 ext. 120 to apply for this equipment, listed at this link.

High School/High Tech

This program is designed to provide high school students with all types of disabilities between the ages for 14-22 the opportunity to explore jobs or post-secondary education leading to technology- related careers. HS/HT links youth to a broad range of academic, career development and experiential resources and experiences that will enable them to meet the demands of the 21st century workforce.

It has been shown to reduce the high school dropout rate and increase the overall self-esteem of participating students. The HS/HT Guideposts are a statement of principles that provide direction for young people transitioning into adulthood. They include post-secondary education preparatory experiences, work-based connecting activities, youth development & leadership and family involvement.

Independent Living Resources

In addition to the traditional information and referral services, this program provides individualized problem solving and direct community connections for specialized disability related needs.

Mental Health Outreach

This program provides short-term engagement and supportive services targeting indigent and homeless persons with mental illness, substance abuse and co-occurring disorders.  Services are delivered through three different program components: Direct Outreach, Supported Housing and Benefits Access/Restoration.

The primary purpose of these outreach services is to identify individuals as described above and successfully connect them with needed mental health and substance abuse treatment, housing programs and other community resources.

Youth Transition

These services are primarily geared toward youth and young adults between the ages of 16-26 who have completed high school or obtained a GED, but who are not currently working or enrolled in college or another vocational training. Other persons in this age group who did not successfully complete high school or a GED and are interested in pursuing a vocational goal are also eligible.

Services include career and individual counseling, skill building and preparation workshops, work-based experiences, resource development, leadership and advocacy training.