WorkAbility was created by TheraPlay, a pediatric occupational, speech, aquatic and physical therapy company that has been providing services to young people aged one to eighteen in the central Florida area for over 19 years. Our goal is to equip these young people with the skills they need to navigate everyday life. Creating a supported employment hub to help these young people as they transition out of support services has always been part of our long term vision.
WorkAbility Inc. and Eco-Ability are our steps towards realizing this vision. WorkAbility is a non-profit 501c3 organization that provides work and life skills training, developed around specific learning goals, with wrap around person centered support services for people with special needs in the Oviedo, FL and surrounding areas. Alongside WorkAbility we opened Eco-Ability - Refill, Reuse, ReValue - a social enterprise refill store. Eco-Ability is a supported employment business that looks to remove single use plastics and reduce our negative environmental impact. It is currently an online store where you can refill home, bath and body products and pay by weight in reusable containers. This ensures that we ReValue people that are differently abled, to enable them to live a life of inclusion and dignity. See the Join Us page for how you can get involved!
Successful program graduates benefit from improved employment outcomes gaining more competitive, higher paying positions. A study published in the National Library of Medicine found that between 40% and 60% of individuals enrolled in supported employment successfully obtain competitive employment, compared to less than 20% of similar individuals not enrolled in a supported employment program.
In the United States, around 85% of people with disabilities are unemployed. Within Central Florida this means around 85,000 working age adults with disabilities are not reaching their potential for a life of purpose, inclusion and dignity.
Individuals with disabilities live in poverty at almost twice the rate of those without disabilities. In fact, individuals with disabilities make up only 12% of the U.S. working-age population and account for more than half of those living in long-term poverty. These numbers are supported by the fact that only 32% of working-age people with disabilities are employed compared to 73% of those without disabilities. As a result, more than 65% of the 17.9 million working-age adults with disabilities participate in at least one safety net or income support program.
Many individuals with disabilities frequently report a desire to work in their communities as a way to increase their earnings, gain respect, and improve the quality of their social relationships.
Supported employment is an evidence-based practice in which direct support professionals help individuals with disabilities develop and refine vocational and interpersonal skills that will support future goals to maintain competitive jobs alongside other members of their community.
We are not doing this work alone. Far from it, we are very focussed on supporting and working alongside other organizations and social enterprises that also have products, services or expertise in the supported employment and environmental impact space.
Learn more about some of the companies that have shared their knowledge with us or will be partners in Eco-Ability, as suppliers and service providers. Collectively, we can create great change!
Our Partners, Supporters & Knowledge Givers:
A community for purpose driven businesses in Florida
O-Town Compost uses the community’s food scraps to make compost and return nutrients to the soil. Afterwards, we donate a portion of that finished compost to local farms and community gardens.
Home, Bath and Body products that support employment for all people.
Fabric bags made from recycled fabrics, employing survivors of human trafficking.
Pediatric occupational, speech and physical therapy in Oviedo.
Michigan's first refillery!