Able Opportunities, Inc.
Leveling the playing field for equal opportunity, economic power, independent living, & inclusive communities.
Photo #1 Jennifer & Eric Caption: Offering classes that support successful job matches and work retention: iPad and Apps as accommodation tools, work ethics training, job search skills, ASL in the workplace.
Photo #2 Caption: Staff Specialize in Serving Deaf, Hard of Hearing, and Deaf Blind Communities
Photo#3 Caption: "We believe that a presumption of employability should exist for everyone, and that includes youth and adults with significant disabilities.” ~ Kathy Martinez, Former Assistant Secretary of Labor for Disability Employment Policy
Left Panel: Work Autonomy App. Available Now on iTunes! Work Autonomy: A Person-Centered Accommodation Tool. Learn More (Here).
Center Panel: Indigogo. JOIN OUR CAMPAIGN! "Because I Know What I Need!” Coming Soon! (Here)
Right Panel: WIN Program. A business minded model for recruitment & retention of employees with disAbilities. Learn More (Here).
About Able Opportunities
Illustration #1 Equity
Cartoon of three people, of varying heights, standing at a fence outside of a baseball game. The cartoon has three sections. First, titled “Equality” with each person standing on an equal sized wooden crate to see over the fence to watch the game. The fence hits the tallest person at the waist, the middle person at the neckline and the smallest person can not see over the fence at all. Second, titled “Equity”, with the crates rearranged, one under the middle person and two under the shortest person, so that all three people can see over the fence. Third, titled “Liberation”, with no fence so that each of the three people can see the field without using crates.
- Original image by Craig Froehle, adapted to add the “Liberation” section by Angus Maguire
Able Opportunities, Inc. is committed to working alongside people with disAbilities to level the playing field. Our focus is social justice, person-centered service, innovative accommodation, and commitment to continued growth and collaboration.
CORE VALUES. Able Opportunities, Inc. shares the values of the Developmental Disabilities Administration: Power and Choice: making our own choices and directing our own lives.
Relationships: having people in our lives whom we love and care about and who love and care about us.
Status & Contribution: feeling good about ourselves and having others recognize us for what we contribute to others and our community.
Integration: being a part of our community, through active involvement. This means doing things we enjoy as well as new and interesting things.
Competence: learning to do things on our own or be supported to do things for ourselves.
Health & Safety: feeling safe and secure, and being healthy.
WE ARE ALSO COMMITTED TO BUSINESS-MINDED VALUES
Innovative person-centered accommodations.
Meeting the bottom line of each business partner.
Accountability, continued reliable communication.
Lean Manufacturing focus.
Chief Executive Officer
“I’m a mom of 4 boys on the autism spectrum. I was crying with relief an hour into this training and so excited by the end. Jennifer gets it, really gets it, and has amazing insight and strategies to share.” ~ Parent
“These are practical tools that benefit everyone on my caseload. I’m thinking differently about the future for the people I support!” ~ Employment Consultant
“This makes so much more sense than what we’ve been doing! Why didn’t we think of this sooner?!” ~ Employment Agency Director
“I’ve been in the field for 35 years. This is the BEST training I have ever taken. I’ve learned more today that is applicable to my caseload than I have in years!”~ Case Manager
P.O. Box 468
Hansville, WA 98340
Tel: (206) 406-9900
Fax: (360) 638-0882
Able Opportunities, Inc. serves both the employer and employee. We are Business Efficiency Specialists. In addition to the right job fit, we use concepts of LEAN manufacturing, identifying jobs based on cost savings and team need.
"Frankly, we turned people away for years, not feeling like we had the capacity for what we thought was a special project. From our first meeting, it was clear that Able Opportunities knew how to prioritize our needs, this was not something we would do just to be 'helpful' but something that would help our company.” ~ Operations Manager
Contact us for help with goals and strategic planning to strengthen and diversify your workforce.
Photo#1 Photo#2 Photo#3
SUPPORTED EMPLOYMENT SERVICES
School To Work (STW) Collaboration: Person-Centered Planning, Low/High Tech Accommodation Assessment & Training, Community Based Assessments, Job Search & Development / Job Placement, Job Coaching / Job Retention, & IL Services.
WIN, Work Independence Network: A collaborative project with Harrison Medical Center to hire and retain employees with disAbilities.
Work Autonomy App (wA): A Person-Centered Accommodation Tool. Now available on iTunes!
NAVIGATING FIRST STEPS
If you are looking to find services, the first step is to look into State and County options. For Washington State residents, access the Developmental Disabilities Administration through DSHS.
If you are looking for long term support, you may find specific information regarding Waivers.
For short term services regarding employment, independent living skills, and access to accommodations and assistive technology, visit the Division of Vocational Rehabilitation. There are offices throughout every County.If you are looking for short term services and have visual impairments, visit the Department of Services for the Blind.
CONSULTATION / TECHNICAL ASSISTANCE SERVICES
Communication Evaluation & Training: Individual consult and group training for teams supporting people who are non-linguistic (without a formal language system).
Corporate Consultant: Assess current practice and HR protocol for hiring and retaining employees with disAbilities. Support to create and pilot strategies that mirror corporate mission and budget, educate and strengthen staff knowledge and meet the long-term goals of the company. Design of dissemination/roll out plans, and feedback schedules to maintain or continue to build best practice.
Deaf, Hard of Hearing & Deaf-Blind Specialist: Consultation to teams working and playing with children and adults.
De-institutionalization: Successful teaming, tools and planning for transitioning out of segregated sites and institutions.
Employer Engagement: Designing collaborative programs with employers to increase inclusive hiring practices that strengthen business outcomes. Training employment service teams in successful business model strategies and tools.
Expert Witness: Working with legal teams in cases reviewing appropriate educational and vocational accommodations for children and adults with disAbilities.
Innovative Low/High Tech Accommodations: iPads, Apps: Low & High Tech solutions for work, community and residential settings.
Person Centered Planning: A facilitated meeting to gather information, set goals and plan follow through.
Planning for Change: Guided planning to incorporate change within a business or agency focusing on employment first strategies and outcomes, increased access through accommodation, and person centered services.
If you are contracted with WA State DDA or County DD, you may request technical assistance via your Case Manager or County Coordinator. There is an application process.
If you have any questions you may contact us directly.
Work Independence Network (WIN), an innovative collaboration between Harrison Medical Center, Kitsap County Developmental Disabilities, and Able Opportunities, Inc. We develop successful recruitment & retention business models for hiring people with disAbilities.
"WIN supported employees have made our jobs more efficient; we can now devote more time to patient care” ~Harrison Medical Center coworker.
The National unemployment rate for people with disAbilities hovers at 70%. Half of this group want to work and cannot find jobs. WIN is an innovative program created to change this statistic. Collaboration is key. Harrison Medical Center has taken a leadership role in designing and demonstrating a replicable model for businesses. A successful pilot project with 2 employees was completed in January 2007. Within 18 months, 29 employees across 17 departments were hired by Harrison and supported thru WIN. We are determined, creative and business minded. We’d like you to be our next success story. Join us!
WIN staff work with you to identify positions that support your company needs. Jobs can be existing or developed, sometimes combining tasks pulled from more highly trained staff who earn a higher wage. WIN staff help advertise positions and narrow the field of applicants to qualified candidates ready for you to interview. Able Opportunities, Inc. staff WIN employment specialists within your company; we are there when you need us, providing one point of contact for in-house and community referrals and questions. After hiring your new employee, a WIN employment specialist ensures that each task is trained to satisfaction. Employment specialists are available to support your employee to retrain, train on new tasks, and educate co-workers; they are an accommodation, supporting the development of natural supports and work relationships. We implement accommodations to creatively remove barriers, which inevitably benefit the entire team. A smart business model- you’ll be tapping into a talented underutilized applicant pool for cost-effective labor.Your workplace will closely mirror the diversity of your community.
"Making WIN a part of our department has been seamless- the employment specialist makes it so easy!” ~ Harrison Supervisor
"The employment specialists step in when training is needed & otherwise support me to have my own relationship with my coworker!"
~ Harrison Coworker
AO's team offers an exciting and transformative list of trainings. Trainings are designed and can be customized for:
People with Disabilities
•Support Service Providers
Check out our ever-growing catalog of trainings listed below.
Do you support people with disAbilities to find meaningful employment? Do you come across challenges that could benefit from new perspective? Join us for a day of learning new tools, twists on old tools and their application to improve your results. This training covers accommodations that successfully address:
Communication barriers (people who are non-verbal /non-linguistic).
Behaviors (SIB and aggression toward others).
Low work motivation (person(s) comes to socialize).
Challenges finding employers who will hire people with developmental disabilities.
Finding activities that build skill and independence.
Challenges motivating higher production rates to meet the demands of an employer.
“Nonverbal Communication Strategies”
This is a two day, hands on training that addresses supporting the needs of people who are non-linguistic or use minimal communication. You will participate in interactive exercises that will expand ideas and creativity to build relational communication tools and activities.. Participants will leave with a starter kit. The training will focus on:
Identifying formal and informal language and strategies.
Building communication systems.
Relationship and communication.
File cabinets of life experience/information.
Etiquette of communication modalities.
Exercises – building from scratch.
Sequential thinking — picture stories and toy sculptures.
Non-language sentences, concretizing abstract thought.
Blindfolded instruction projects.
Intro to sighted guide/exercise.
Tactile strategies and tangible symbols.
Tactile task analysis, teaching new skills — hand under hand.
Sequence boards and calendars.
Labeling strips and choice boards.
Switch operated activities.
Environments for independence.
Reinforcement systems for work.
Two Day training, 12 CEUs
Note: attendance required both days.
“Communication and Autism”
A context of mindful support using relational tools and techniques to expand beyond behavioral training.
Limits of our Understanding.
Normalizing the human experience.
Relationship based communication.
The mind as a file cabinet.
Etiquette of approach - the vital 1st three minutes.
Sequential thinking, picture stories and toy sculptures.
Concretizing abstract thought.
Concise delivery, using tactile strategies/kinesthetic involvement.
Hand under hand teaching, the needs of the nervous system.
Building systems, high and low tech options.
Picture systems, object symbols, iPads, apps.
All day Training, 6 CEUs
“Innovative School to Work Transition Tools”
Standardizing school services to increase positive employer relationships.
Career development through hands-on work trials in competitive employment positions.
Self advocacy — understanding rights, appropriate accommodations and strategies to educate employers and coworkers.
Sample workplace training, supporting students to develop formalized worksite education.
Preparing families and students for adult service agencies.
Developing resumes, cover letters, and references.
Successful competitive employment — using a business model to ensure long-term success.
Low/high tech accommodations in the work environments.
“Business Model Tools”
A unique approach to developing tools and techniques that address common challenges in the workplace. It is geared towards self-actualization and empowerment for the supported individual while engaging the third customer: the employer. This training strengthens a business-minded approach.
Cost analysis as a job development tool.
Chart development and analysis to measure stamina, efficiency, and earnings.
Concrete visual charts to connect production to earnings.
Financial literacy to increase production rates.
Strengthening direct connection between employer and employee.
BRING: iPad loaded with the “Numbers” app or a Mac or PC laptop loaded with Numbers or Excel Spreadsheet software.
“iPads and Apps”
We offer training on iPad use tailored to beginner, intermediate or advanced users.
Set up & Safety.
Increased fluency with the basics, tricks and tips.
Apps to help you to do your own job with fluency.
Apps as accommodation to support your customers.
iMovie to create video resumes, customer files, and training.
Accommodating your customer to access screen technology.
Business savvy tools, production charts and cost analysis.
The Work Autonomy App.
Storing your work.
Where to get the best support / further training.
All day training. Bring: iPad
Film made easy for resume capture, training films, and more.
Advances in technology are allowing for better accommodations. With increased ease, people with disabilities can use pads and tablets to access their work, home and community settings. Advance your videography skills learning iMovie:
The basics of film making.
Laying out a storyboard.
Adding captions, title pages, music and more.
Bring: iPad or laptop loaded with iMovie & Notability
“Compliance to Alliance”
Review of services, followed by strategic planning to incorporate new tools.
We work in supportive roles in a field of social justice. Regular review and fine tuning are a necessary part of maintaining accessible and empowering service models and tools. Join us for enlightening exercises, active discussion and a facilitated review of attitudes, service strategies, and environments.
Work Autonomy, A Person-Centered Accommodation Tool.
Work Autonomy provides higher levels of independence for people with disabilities in the work site by providing fluency in three areas that traditionally challenge successful competitive placements: person-generated communication with coworkers and supervisors regardless of linguistic or cognitive skill, tracking task analysis and work schedules independently, and allowing access to concrete information about work expectations, production and earnings.
The design is focused on the user with a disability to program and track concrete information about tasks. All or any of three sections can be turned on and programmed for use: Messages, Schedules, and Production. Each section allows for the capture and editing of content using video, photo, text and/or voice to meet the communication preferences and processing needs of the user. Video link here.
wA History, Moving from Low to High Tech
Work Autonomy is a solution to long term barriers: communication, motivation to work, production rates, relationship with coworkers, fading the need for job coaches, strengthening the connection between employer and employee. Click on the link below to hear about the history of strategies that became the foundation for the wA App. Link here.
Able Opportunities, Inc. is in the business of solutions. We are committed to learning from those we serve: people with disAbilities, their families, teachers, employers, and community partners. Barriers to basic interactions, community, home, school, and work settings alert us to the need for more functional and accessible accommodations.
Consulting with schools to establish culturally relevant accessible programs for deaf, hard of hearing, and deaf blind children. Out on the tundra in Alaska, we located donations to sponsor well known deaf storytellers to perform at Cama-i, an annual gathering of artisans and performers in Bethel. Deaf children and their families were flown in from villages to spend the weekend with these wonderful language role models. Qualified interpreters were hired in schools. This event began life-long connections and positive changes to educational goals and programming. Creative language projects such as book-making and film-making allowed for relevant content presented bilingually.