Strategic Plan
Executive Summary

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


National Leader: Center for
Independent Living

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


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.


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.


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: Affordable and accessible housing is a building block of a community where everyone can feel at home.
  • Transportation: Reliable, affordable, sustainable, and accessible is a must for all people to thrive within their community.
  • Education: Integrated, person-centered education instills high-expectations early on in students and families.
  • Employment: Diverse and inclusive opportunities built from a naturally supportive culture - creating an environment of success for both the employee and employer.
  • Health Care: Well-trained professionals throughout health care systems focused on overall wellness.
  • Public Spaces: Accessible spaces throughout the community lead to involvement and enjoyment for all people.
  • Social Opportunities: Welcoming and inclusive programming creates opportunity for vibrant relationships and strong communities.

Partners in our Mission

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.