Through 24 locations across Southern California, AbilityFirst provides programs and services to help children and adults with physical and developmental disabilities reach their full potential throughout their lives. We offer a broad range of employment, recreational and socialization programs and operate 12 accessible residential housing complexes.
AbilityFirst offers a broad range of recreational, socialization programs for children with disabilities and employment programs for adults with disabilities. Our children’s programs are geared toward boys and girls of school age, from 5-22 years old. Our adult programs are intended for women and men of at least 18 years of age, with no upper age limit.
College to Career
The AbilityFirst College to Career Program at Pasadena City College provides support to young adults with developmental disabilities who demonstrate the desire and potential to succeed in a post-secondary educational environment in order to accomplish their educational and future career goals.
Throughout the program, AbilityFirst Educational Coaches will empower participants to:
- identify personal and educational goals;
- create a plan to achieve those goals;
- enroll in appropriate classes to meet educational and vocational goals; and,
- access college and community resources in order to reach their personal best.
AbilityFirst after school and summer programs provide a nurturing environment for school age youth with developmental disabilities. Our well-trained and caring staff engages participants with age appropriate activities that support social, physical, cognitive, and creative abilities.
Through center-based activities and field trips, AbilityFirst helps participants achieve their personal best in the following areas:
- Basic Life Skills – preparing simple snacks, learning personal care and practicing safety in the community
- Communication - participants work on communicating their basic wants and needs through language skills, body language, picture boards or use of technology
- Socialization - participants increase their ability to interact with their peers, such as respecting personal space, taking turns and making new friends
- Healthy Living - including swim instruction - participants improve and practice healthy living including learning to choose healthy snacks and portion control, and have opportunities to play outside or swim.
AbilityFirst provides opportunities for individuals with developmental disabilities to learn job skills, and find gainful employment, either at one of our three AbilityFirst Work Centers, or directly with a company, such as Ralphs, Knott’s Berry Farm, AEG and DirecTV.
Adults who participate in AbilityFirst day programs are offered a variety of activities that both suit their personal interests and cultivate their social, physical, cognitive and creative abilities. Our highly-trained, culturally-sensitive staff members work to discover each person’s strengths, and then assist them in realizing their goals
Most AbilityFirst programs qualify for funding through the state-supported Regional Centers. However, government support provides only about half of the dollars necessary to deliver high quality programs and services. As a nonprofit organization, we rely heavily on the generous support of hundreds of donors who share our vision.