Ability1st: Valuing your Ability 1st!

Ability1st is the Center for Independent Living of North Florida. The goal of all Centers for Independent Living is to empower people with disabilities to take charge of their lives and guide their own destinies. We are a community-based non profit organization that provides services to people with varying disabilities in Leon, Jefferson, Madison, Taylor, Gadsden, and Wakulla counties.

Our Mission

Our Mission is to empower people with disabilities to live independently and enhance their quality of life.

The staff of Ability1st, a diverse group of people including many with visible and invisible disabilities standing on the ramp in front of our office.

Vision and Values

As we work on our mission, we are guided by the following values:

  1. Accountability - We take very seriously our fiscal responsibility to our funders and donors to get the maximum out of every dollar gifted to us.
  2. Independence - We value the ability to live independently so much, we made empowering people with disabilities to live independently our mission. You cannot participate in, contribute to, and engage with your community if there are barriers preventing you from living in it. Research shows living at home is less restrictive and less expensive than moving to an institutional setting.
  3. Removing barriers- The Ability1st programs are designed to remove barriers that restrict our consumers’ access to fully participating in our community. From wheelchair ramps, to mental health counseling, job skills training and housing assistance, we work to provide a clearer path to independence.
  4. Creation of opportunities where none existed - We value everybody’s right to live independently in their community and work to create opportunities for our consumers to do so.
  5. Empowerment and encouragement -  While running the programs of Ability1st requires time at our desks, seeing results requires the team to be in the community working with our consumers. We go where people need us.
  6. A consumer-driven agency - We strive to make Ability1st the best agency it can be for the people we serve. This includes a balance of boundaries and expectations: we cannot work harder for our consumers than they work for themselves.
  7. Advancement - We value the advancement of our consumers’ rights, protections and quality of life, as well as the advancement of our programs and services in order to meet the needs of those we serve in the community.
  8. Ongoing skills training - We work to empower our consumers to be their own heroes by providing ongoing outreach counseling and the skills training necessary to live independently.
  9. A supportive environment, non-judgement and empathy, respect for our consumers at all times - In other words, we value the golden rule, treat others as you want to be treated.

Our Mission Partners

We are proud to partner with the following local agencies who share our commitment to our community and its people:

Ability First Logo

Ability1st, the Center for Independent Living of North Florida, is a community-based nonprofit organization that provides services to persons with varying disabilities. Ability1st serves Leon, Jefferson, Madison, Taylor, Gadsden, and Wakulla counties.