8 Organizations Providing Help And Encouragement To Those With Disabilities

Both adults and children living with disabilities deserve to have the same consideration and opportunities as everyone else, and it's up to us to make sure that happens. These caring groups provide education, housing, vocational training, employment services, and recreational outlets for citizens young and old who are eager to participate in a welcoming community. This video was made with Ezvid Wikimaker.

8 Groups Dedicated to Helping Americans with Disabilities

Organization Headquarters Focus
Bridges From School to Work Bethesda, MD Connects young adults with disabilities to employment opportunities throughout the US
Little City Palatine, IL ChildBridge Center for Education serving kids in the Chicago area with intellectual and developmental disabilities, as well as residential programs, Center for the Arts, and employment initiatives
Summit Assistance Dogs Anacortes, WA Trains mobility-assistance dogs to help those in the Pacific Northwest living with disabilities gain confidence and independence
Triangle, Inc. Malden, MA Offers career and safety skills to youth and adults, including job placement, residential homes, and the IMPACT:Ability program that teaches students to identify and protect themselves against abuse
Special Olympics Colorado Centennial, CO Competitions in 22 sports involving thousands of athletes of all ages, as well as free health and fitness programs
Imagine! Lafayette, CO Education and therapy for babies and toddlers, job training and placement, residential solutions, therapeutic recreation, and family-recruited employee services in Colorado
Art Access Salt Lake City, UT Free Open Studio program for artists with disabilities, in addition to exhibitions, artist residencies, mentoring, and community outreach programs
Lambs Farm Libertyville, IL Offers training and employment services in a variety of vocational areas, along with residential and recreational programs

Summit Assistance Dogs and its Partnership with Monroe Correctional Complex

Disability Facts

The Impact of Special Olympics Colorado

In Depth

People living with disabilities have a lot to offer their communities, but sometimes their skills and contributions are ignored. These organizations are dedicated to giving everyone a chance to be included, offering housing, education, artistic outlets, and employment to people of all ages who are ready for the chance to participate. In no particular order, here are eight fantastic organizations giving a helping hand to those with disabilities.

Starting off the list at #1 is Bridges From School to Work, which was established in 1989 by the Marriott family to connect young adults with disabilities to employment opportunities. The group works one-on-one with high school graduates to ensure successful integration into the workforce with jobs that fit their interests and abilities. This strategic approach helps businesses fill open jobs while providing opportunities to enthusiastic job seekers.

With locations in major cities across the country, Bridges From School to Work has connected more than 15,000 young people with more than 4,500 employers, with nearly 40 percent of those employers making multiple hires. You can get in touch with the organization if you'd like your company to participate, and it's also possible for caring individuals to donate to a specific location or to the national group.

You can get in touch with the organization if you'd like your company to participate, and it's also possible for caring individuals to donate to a specific location or to the national group.

At #2 is Little City, which assists children and adults in the Chicago area who have intellectual and developmental disabilities by offering education, training, and encouragement. For kids, the ChildBridge Center for Education offers a facility sensitive to their needs so they can learn, with an Individualized Education Program that provides personalized therapies. Little City also offers group homes and residential programs with a range of living options.

For adults, the Employment First staffing program places eager workers in situations where they can succeed, helping to break stereotypes about people with disabilities. The Dorothy Rose Horticulture Center and the Center for the Arts help participants develop skills and explore their talents. Those who wish to help can donate through the group's website, or view current job opportunities.

#3 is Summit Assistance Dogs of Anacortes, Washington, which provides highly-skilled mobility-assistance dogs to help those in the Pacific Northwest living with disabilities gain confidence and increased independence. Founded in 2000, Summit is one of the leading providers of assistance dogs in Washington State, with training facilities on site. Dogs first live in foster homes, and some undergo training at the Monroe Correctional Complex, where inmates can gain valuable skills.

Dogs first live in foster homes, and some undergo training at the Monroe Correctional Complex, where inmates can gain valuable skills.

Following advanced training where Summit's professional trainers teach them specific tasks to meet client needs, the dogs are able to do things such as retrieving items, opening and closing doors, removing clothing, and turning light switches and other devices on or off. Their companionship is also known to help ease loneliness and diminish depression and anxiety. You can apply for a service dog through Summit, volunteer to foster a puppy, or adopt a canine that is no longer used in service but still needs a good home.

#4 on the list is Triangle, Incorporated. Based in Malden, Massachusetts, north of Boston, Triangle was established in 1971 to provide on-site employment opportunities to people with disabilities. The group provides both youth and adults with career and safety skills to help them lead more independent lives. This includes job placement, community service, and the IMPACT:Ability program that teaches students to identify and protect themselves against abuse.

The organization's residential homes in several communities offer safe and welcoming places to live where residents can connect with their neighbors and become part of a community. Employers can contact the organization to be connected with hard-working people eager to do a good job. To help the group in its work, consider volunteering or making a donation through one of many available methods.

The organization's residential homes in several communities offer safe and welcoming places to live where residents can connect with their neighbors and become part of a community.

#5 is the Special Olympics of Colorado. This state outpost of the world's largest public health organization for people with intellectual disabilities offers competitions in 22 sports for individuals age 2 and up, serving more than 25,000 athletes. The organization also offers free health programs to ensure its participants have access to proper care, including fitness programs, free screenings, education, and visits with health professionals like dentists, nutritionists, and physical therapists.

One of the biggest events associated with the Special Olympics is the World Games, an annual experience that allows athletes from all over the world to meet and interact with one another in friendly competition. It's possible for supporters to help inspiring young people live their dream of attending by sponsoring their trip through donations, a simple way for those who haven't had the chance to coach or volunteer to get involved.

The #6 pick is Imagine! Established in 1963, this group is one of 20 community-centered boards in Colorado, a local area's single point of entry to local, state, and federally-funded programs for people with developmental disabilities. The organization's offerings include education and therapy for babies and toddlers, job training and placement, residential solutions, therapeutic recreation, and family-recruited employee services to help those with cognitive and physical challenges with the particular problems they face.

Established in 1963, this group is one of 20 community-centered boards in Colorado, a local area's single point of entry to local, state, and federally-funded programs for people with developmental disabilities.

The intake procedure involves a simple online application, available in English or Spanish. The organization also has a list of current job openings, or you can apply to become a companion home provider. The Supported Employment program can connect businesses with potential employees, and aside from monetary gifts, you can donate items from the wish list to bring some joy into the lives of those in residential homes.

#7 is Art Access of Salt Lake City, Utah, which strives to create an inclusive and diverse arts community in the state by offering creative opportunities to people with disabilities as well as those from other marginalized populations. This includes exhibitions, artist residencies, mentoring, and all types of community outreach programs, with workshops available for all age groups and specific areas of interest.

The Open Studio program is free to attend, and invites artists with disabilities into the workshop to use free materials, receive feedback, and benefit from group support, hosted by a different professional artist ready to answer questions. There are also four-week sessions for veterans. The annual 300 Plates fundraiser involves more than 150 artists creating unique plates that are displayed and sold to help keep Art Access going.

The annual 300 Plates fundraiser involves more than 150 artists creating unique plates that are displayed and sold to help keep Art Access going.

Finally, at #8 is Lambs Farm. Based in Libertyville, Illinois, it offers vocational, residential, and recreational programs to those with developmental disabilities at its campus. Since 1961, the group has been teaching skills in a variety of areas, including food service, retail, customer service, animal care, clerical work, grounds keeping, and janitorial positions. Workers can be employed on site, through businesses in the community, or with Lambs Industries, which provides services like packaging and mailing or uniform laundry for outside businesses.

Families can visit the Farmyard, which has over 300 animals with a petting area, miniature golf, and a carousel. Other extensions include the Dogwood Garden and Pet Center for those interested in adopting, the Cedar Chest Thrift Shop, and the Magnolia Cafe Bakery. Patronizing one of Lambs Farm's businesses is a great way to help out, or you can purchase items from the catalog.