Executive Summary of
Strategic Plan

Building on 100 years of service, we work with partners in our mission to create the most disability-friendly community in the country.

Our history

It began in 1920 when Toledo Rotary founded the Toledo Society for Crippled Children, one of the first organizations in the country to have service to children with disabilities as its mission. Their work locally, gave birth to a national initiative to serve children with disabilities.

Demonstrating the ability to adapt and evolve, we’ve paid attention to emerging needs and best practices in service delivery for people with disabilities. Our name and location has changed but our core focus remains the same – increasing independence.

Join our movement.

Tim Harrington
Executive Director

2020-2023 Strategic Imperatives

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National Leader: Center for
Independent Living

We continue to deploy consumer-driven programming, all designed to enhance independence. Exceeding core services, we act as a consultant for community organizations to evaluate their programs for best practices and opportunities for growth. We plan to expand youth programs to include children with disabilities under 13 years old.

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National Leader: Disability-
friendly Community

The Ability Center aims to implement a detailed vision across 7 opportunity areas for a disability-friendly community. Working collaboratively with new and seasoned partners will produce transformational solutions in our region and beyond. A nationwide disability-friendly measuring tool will be developed and utilized to determine success.

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Research and
Education Hub

Education around disability is deep-rooted in our history and mission. We will foster relationships with educational institutions by providing curriculum and programming support and access to a disability-friendly toolkit and database. A disability-friendly model will be presented at academic and disability conferences both regionally and nationally.

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7 Opportunities for a Disability-Friendly Community

When we work with our partners, we are laser focused on creating and implementing transformational solutions designed to eliminate barriers across 7 key areas – a plan resulting in:

  • Housing that is affordable and accessible
  • Transportation that is affordable and flexible
  • Education that is inclusive and person-centered
  • Employment opportunities that are diverse and inclusive
  • A health care community that is truly a model for serving people with disabilities
  • Public spaces that foster full community engagement
  • Social opportunities that are inclusive and welcoming to all

A disability-friendly community is one that values and welcomes the potential and participation of each of its citizens and visitors – including those who live differently. It is a community of people living independently.

Our movement to become the most disability-friendly community in the country starts with each one of us changing our perspective and becoming a more welcoming community for all.

Partners in our Mission