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Your support for AbilityFirst is more important now than ever.

Through all the changes our program participants have endured this year, some of the most disruptive have been the changes to their daily routine and network. Because of their developmental disabilities, some have a difficult time understanding why these changes are interrupting their lives and their connection with their staff and friends. Now is a time when everyone, especially our participants, are searching for ways to find community and a place of belonging.

With ongoing assistance from AbilityFirst staff, our participants are navigating their way through this difficult time. Javier, who works the 3-hole punch assembly line in Pasadena, struggles to maintain focus and read social cues. In his 10 years working with the manufacturing program, which provides employment and job training to individuals with disabilities, he has learned virtually every aspect of the process, from powder coating the parts, to using the drill press, and completing the 12-step assembly to make a high quality paper punch that goes out for purchase. He has mastered a complex set of skills and takes pride in creating a quality product. When he is on the assembly line, Javier has focus and gets to see his friends. He says it is his “home away from home.”

Most importantly, Javier is learning the value of teamwork and communication. At AbilityFirst, Javier sees that he is an essential part of the assembly team. He has learned to communicate with his supervisor and peers about small problems before they become big. Not every day is perfect, but because of his work with AbilityFirst Javier has the emotional tools and workplace skills to help him overcome his difficulties.

Every year, AbilityFirst and its staff provide the kind of programs that empower individuals to discover new capabilities and achieve their goals. I am asking you to donate to AbilityFirst to help support these exceptional programs. With your support, we can continue to help over 2000 people with disabilities annually achieve their full potential. For many of our participants, AbilityFirst is a place where they come to make new friends, learn how to manage independence and gain new social skills. Your donations go a long way to provide support to all participants and their families, regardless of ability to pay for programmatic care. If you are able, we ask you to please make a meaningful and generous donation to help expand our work at AbilityFirst.

Every dollar helps!


Lori Gangemi
CEO,  AbilityFirst 


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