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As published in Toledo Business Journal - October 1, 2020

The Ability Center provides a range of services to help the disabled community

The Ability Center provides a range of services to help the disabled community

The Ability Center providing support for disabilities

The Ability Center, a non-profit organization supporting people with disabilities since 1920, is striving to make the community the most disability-friendly in the country through advocating, educating, partnering, and providing services supporting people with disabilities. The organization is located at 5605 Monroe Street in Sylvania.

To make the area and community more disability-friendly, Mallory Crooks, public relations manager for The Ability Center said, “We offer free training for businesses and organizations to learn about disability, the history of the movement, and about how to become more accessible and inclusive. Organizations can volunteer for a ramp build, volunteer with our assistance dog program, or have a representative from our agency provide technical training assistance.”

Crooks added, “Our programs are designed to help individuals with disabilities gain their independence and engage with their communities. We provide six core services that include advocacy, information and referral, independent living skills, peer support and mentoring, transition, and diversion to support those in our community to thrive independently.”

According to Crooks, 51% of The Ability Center’s staff and board of directors must be individuals living with disabilities.

Its programs include:

The Ability Center covers Lucas, Ottawa, Wood, Fulton, Henry, Defiance, and Williams Counties, while its assistance dog program also serves parts of Michigan and Indiana.

According to Crooks, approximately 50 people work at The Ability Center and it has around 100 volunteers through is assistance dog program.

Additionally, The Ability Center, Goodwill Industries, Lott Industries, and the Epilepsy Center have come together in a partnership to support a job exploration and employment project that would actively promote individuals with disabilities as employment candidates to Toledo Rotary membership, noted Crooks.

“Together, these four organizations would prioritize clients for work in the community and streamline communications by selecting one person representing all four organizations to coordinate the supports and resources needed for a successful placement,” said Crooks. “We also work alongside Opportunities for Ohioans to assist youth with career and job placement. Students learn resume building skills, participate in mock interviews, and complete interest testing for future career opportunities.”

The Ability Center served 1,190 people in 2019, according to the organization’s Annual Report.