Strategic Plan

The Ability Center’s ACT Strategic Plan highlights agency-wide and departmental goals that move us forward as the Center steps into the next phase of its history.

Current Strategic Plan


Executive Director

Continue to move the organization toward data-driven management.

  • Continue to apply data to our program evaluations systems.
  • Ensure that the culture within the organization promotes understanding the importance of data-driven decision making.
  • Support the Director of Outcomes Measurement in presenting our data to stakeholders and supporters.

Support the integration of the new Development Director into our organization’s culture.

  • Move the organization’s development model to one that provides for larger gift and sponsorship opportunities.
  • Ensure the cultivation of new supporters by encouraging more hands-on involvement in programs.
  • Ensure the new Development Director has access to opportunities where people with wealth gather.
  • Provide a solid case for support that has giving opportunities in all program areas.

Support the expansion of our youth program by looking for sustainable resources.

  • Work with the vocational rehabilitation community to ensure all youth in transition can have opportunities to succeed.
  • Engage the University of Toledo in having a larger stake in our summer residential program.
  • Continue to work with Toledo Rotary to engage members in jobsite development and mentoring.

Finance and Operations

Update the gymnasium.

  • Remodeling including paint, sound deadening technology, and rerouting the ductwork.
  • Obtain sponsorship funding.

Switch payroll systems.

  • Investigate options and choose a vendor.
  • Implement the change.

Work with program directors in tracking financial aspects of outcome measurement.

Human Resources

Develop a program and funding plan for creating a fellowship program to increase work experience opportunities at ACT for people with disabilities.

  • Create a job description and training plan that includes learning about all ACT programs and positions.
  • Goals set for the program/position in each department.
  • Universities and agencies confirmed as project partners.
  • Recruitment strategies confirmed.

Create HR metrics to measure Human Resources, program, and organizational efficiencies in order to make competent decisions about staffing and program needs.

  • Track and gather information in areas such as employee demographics, turnover, recruitment, benefits, time off, performance, etc.
  • Provide quarterly reports to Executive Director on all areas being measured.
  • Communicate results from quarterly reports to Program Directors.
  • Compare data from quarter to quarter and year-end results to assist Program Directors in making any necessary program changes or adjustments based on all data reviewed.

Set up a structured Management Training Program for all Managers and Program Directors to ensure a collaborative work culture and consistency in leadership.

  • Work with the Employers’ Association to utilize their Supervisory Academy program.
  • Understanding Your Leadership Roles and Responsibilities
  • Communicating Effectively
  • The ABC’s of Employment Compliance for a Leader
  • Performance Management
  • Building and Maintaining Trust on a Team
  • Corrective Action and Coaching
  • Problem Solving
  • Managing through Change
  • Time Management Tune Up
  • Motivation and Recognition
  • Getting R.E.S.U.L.T.S. for the big and small issues
  • Host a graduation including presentation of Certificates of Completion for all participants. Invite Board Members to attend.

Program Development

Implement a succession plan for all program development and grant activities.

  • Involve Director of Outcome Measures in all current grant activity.
  • Meet regularly to ensure a smooth transfer of files and procedures.

Manage the process of grant proposals, reporting to funders, and seeking new funding partners to support ACT’s strategic plan.

  • Submit at least ten grant proposals each quarter.
  • Ensure timely and accurate reporting for each funded project.

Resource Development

Develop Gift Policy & Procedure Manual.

  • Examine current policies and procedures
  • Research best practices
  • Develop gifting process for all types of gifts: cash, in-kind, securities, pledges, bequests, etc.

Rebuild Annual Fund Campaign.

  • Examine current practices
  • Examine past four years’ campaigns and their effectiveness
  • Research successful campaigns from other nonprofits
  • Rebrand, if necessary, the effort and materials

Analyze, then develop major sponsorship opportunities.

  • Revise Welles Society membership and benefits
  • Examine gift levels for events
  • Examine gift levels for Annual Report
  • Explore naming opportunities

Research potential for Charitable Gift Annuity (CGA) opportunity.

  • In-house guarantee of lifetime payments vs. third party.
  • Prepare advantages and disadvantages of in-house vs. third party

Examine current events and their potential as a fundraiser.

  • Dealin’ for Dogs
  • Style Show
  • Reverse Raffle
  • Graduations
  • Pasta for Pooches
  • Petals for a Purpose
  • Any others currently being held
  • Any that should be added


Improve program outcomes by redesigning the foster program and improving upon the breeding program.

  • Research and implement best practices for training puppies and the individuals who provide foster care.
  • Create a foster care manual for volunteers, including implementing a formal puppy training curriculum.
  • Develop at least four training videos for fosters, and acquire additional resources for a lending library.
  • Create a resource web page where fosters and trainers can view training videos, read training articles, and share information.
  • Hire a breeding coordinator/whelping coordinator who will develop additional criteria for addressing the genetic components of our breeding program.
  • Update all policies/procedures and accreditation materials.

Community Camps

Work with community partners to provide inclusive camp opportunities for youth with disabilities ages 5-12.

  • The Ability Center will support community partners by providing staff to assist youth with disabilities in camp programming and provide education on the benefits of inclusion.
  • Work with partners to develop a funding plan to ensure long-term sustainability of inclusive summer camp programs.
  • ACT staff will support three community camps for 10 weeks.
  • Serve 35 youth in community camp programs.
  • 10 temporary support staff will be hired.

Information and Referral

Increase the number of consumers and families that have access to benefits counseling.

  • Consumer Resource Advocate will provide quarterly group trainings on benefits counseling and information on working and receiving SSI/SSDI.
  • Consumer Resource Advocate will provide 1:1 support to families who are need of in-depth benefits counseling.

Life Skills Program

Transition Community Connections Department to Life Skills Program.

  • Recruit and hire two staff to develop curriculum, and provide outreach to Toledo Public Schools.
  • Research and develop components to add to our current life skills and transition programs. These components will correspond with best practices.
  • Life Skills program specialist will complete outreach to Toledo Public Schools, attend state support team and transition expos.
  • 20 community leaders will participate in The Ability Center’s Disability Awareness Training or speakers’ bureau presentations.

Youth Transition

Realign the youth transition program to coincide with the Life Skills program, focusing on employment-related skills.

  • Develop curriculum for the Next Steps summer program to include employment-related skills and job placements.
  • Develop curriculum for soft skills for the workplace and work with community partners to provide trainings.
  • Meet with OOD to discuss five-week summer program and identify a summer program vendor.

Rural Outreach

Re-focus services on Life Skills and Youth Transition.

  • Work with transition advocate to learn the process of transition.
  • Create relationships with rural school systems to strengthen referral sources.
  • Recruit five consumers ages 13-22 to participate in the Life Skills and Transition Program.

Marketing and Outreach

Become an approved CEU or like accreditation provider for Disability Awareness Program.

  • Research what groups require continuing education, e.g. social work, nurses, attorneys, first responders, real estate agents.
  • Research qualifications and eligibility criteria to being a provider of continuing education credits.
  • Develop a curriculum for at least two of targeted groups to maximize specific professional impact.
  • Develop an evaluation for the training to include indicators of increased awareness of ACT and its program, as well as increase in community partners supporting inclusion.

Create marketing material for new Life Skills Program and develop process for outreach.

  • Determine targeted referral sources.
  • Create program brochure.
  • Update webpage with current relevant program information.
  • Generate video to be used on social media to promote the program.
  • Train new Healthy Lifestyles outreach staff on ACT history, IL philosophy and agency programming to prepare them to serve as a spokesperson for ACT.

An agency-wide marketing calendar will be created to capture special days/months e.g. service dog awareness month, highlight specific accomplishments, blog articles, and promotion of events for each department

  • Meet with each department manager and director to set schedule for program.
  • Lay out deadlines for each initiative.
  • Determine items to highlight, e.g. consumer success, collaboration with community partners, promoting volunteer and donor opportunities, and program accomplishments.
  • Meet monthly with departments to help ensure deadlines and expectations are met and communication is clear.

Reorganize online media library, making it easier for the consumer to navigate through to find the information they need.

  • Determine topics/information that will remain and what needs to be updated or removed with program director and manager assistance.
  • Choose a user friendly layout.
  • Give users an option to provide feedback on information and what is needed.
  • Update library on a quarterly basis.

Outcome Measurement

Assist in the production of a pre- and post-assessment and process for the Healthy Life Styles Program to assess consumer need, workshop/class success, and progress in the program

  • Determine when the pre- and post-assessment would be given.
  • Evaluate what data is needed and would be most helpful in measuring success.
  • Identify staff that would facilitate assessments and document results.
  • Develop assessment tool.

Implement process for consumers to complete program and customer satisfaction surveys for Healthy Life Style Program

  • Determine when the initial referral is made to outcome measures coordinator and who makes the referral.
  • Work with Life Skills coordinators to create a part of their training that gives each participant an e-mail address and education on how and where they can check e-mails, so more consumers have the ability to complete online surveys.
  • Determine if any additional questions need to be added to current survey.

Nursing Home Transition

50 HOME Choice referrals will be accepted in fiscal 2017.

  • Provide pre-transition services.

25 HOME Choice Consumers will achieve full transition.

  • Verify and/or secure sustainable income.
  • Locate accessible and affordable housing within the community.
  • Use “goods and service” funds to transition the consumer and to assist in establishing suitable community-based housing.
  • Post-discharge, ensure that necessary services (establish physician, home care etc.) are in place to assist in sustainable independent living.

50% of transitioned consumers will elect IL Skills and/or Support Coach Services (Follow-up).

  • Transitioned consumers will be offered and encouraged to elect IL Skills and Support Coach Services.
  • A higher rate of sustained independence (meeting 90 and 365 days of community-based living) will be achieved by those who elect additional IL Skills and Support Coach services as opposed to those who do not elect additional follow-up services.
  • A face-to-face meeting will occur and staff will administer ACT’s “Independent Living Skills Training” questionnaire to determine areas of need as well as to develop goals.

Home Accessibility Program

75 consumers will receive home accessibility modifications through grant funded support (Ohio Developmental Services Agency/County CDBG/Area Office on Aging).

  • Processing steps are determined per funding source requirements.

30 individuals will receive home accessibility modifications through Medicaid funded bid awards (PASSPORT/Aetna/Buckeye).

  • Processing steps are determined per funding source requirements.

25 individuals will receive a temporary AlumiRamp (Ohio Temporary Ramp Program/ Hospice/Rehab Hospital).

  • Processing steps contingent upon executed MOUs and fundraising/donor outcomes executed jointly.

Consumers receiving home access modifications will report increased access to significant life areas.

  • ACT’s Outcome Measurement staff will administer a survey at six months after service delivery.
  • ACT’s Outcome Measurement staff will report on whether or not 80% of consumers served reported: increased feelings of physical safety, increased access to healthcare services, increased access to friends, family etc., increased ability to maintain living at home, increased ability to sustain independence and increased optimism about their future.


Program Infrastructure: Develop an Advocacy plan that works to influence positive systems change so that people living with disabilities have the ability to live, work, and socialize in fully accessible community.

  • Review and update Advocacy’s three-year plan.

Health Care/Long-Term Care (systemic): Ensure community-based supports are provided in a time conscious and equitable manner and that people are given choice and input in delivery systems.

  • Provide input into the “Home and Community Based Services (HCBS) Waiver Rules” workgroup.
  • Continue to provide input and move forward as Plaintiff in Ball v. Kasich.
  • Represent consumers in Medicaid hearings where our programs identify barriers to receiving HCBS.

State and Local Government (systemic): Influence policy decisions to ensure that programs, services and activities are accessible to and useable by people with disabilities.

  • Provide public comment on policies, including consolidated plans, Medicaid HCBS workgroup, Lucas Metropolitan Housing Authority, Ohio Housing Finance Agency, Ohio Development Services Agency, etc. to ensure people with disabilities have equal access to goods and services being funded, supported and/or offered.
  • Identify or assist in the identification of ADA coordinators for Lucas County governmental bodies

Housing (systemic): Increase PWD’s ability to sustain independent living, in a community of their choosing, by increasing the affordability and accessibility of new and existing housing.

  • Hire a Housing and Grass Roots Advocate
  • Produce, distribute and present on ACT’s Inclusive Neighborhoods booklet.
  • Establish partnerships with 15 Housing Developers/Managers
  • Establish partnerships with 10 state and local housing policymakers.
  • Advocate and ensure that three new NW Ohio housing developments design above minimum accessibility requirements.
  • Advocate and ensure that Ohio Housing Finance Agency plans to increase enforcement for projects they fund.
  • Advocate and ensure that NW Ohio Public Housing Authorities adopt Olmstead policies.

Grassroots: Improve ACT’s ability to identify, address and educate community members on community-based barriers

  • Ten new consumer and consumer group partnerships will be developed for future collaboration on broad-based grassroots efforts aimed to eliminate community-based barriers.
  • Produce templated self-advocacy materials for individual use; attach to ACT’s website.
  • Work collaboratively with Marketing to execute social media updates/action alerts and press releases.

Funding: Decrease Advocacy’s overall expense line by seeking grant funds that pay for projects undertaken by current and proposed positions.

  • Request that ACT’s Development Director/Grant Writer seek funding related to Advocacy priorities.

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