Stand Among Friends (SAF) and Ability Explosion (AE) have joined forces and announced that all future events will be developed as Ability Explosion events under the Stand Among Friends organizational umbrella. Founded by David New, Ability Explosion, is a non-profit organization that develops unique events focused on raising awareness about issues facing the disabled community.
This cause hits close to home for David, who is visually impaired. He felt passionate about creating a better life for others living with disabilities and created Ability Explosion to host an explosion of disability events throughout South Florida.
“By joining forces with Stand Among Friends, Ability Explosion will now be able to create positive impacts to a larger audience,” said New.
Stand Among Friends founder Shawn Friedkin was impressed with the work of both David and Ability Explosion, and their ability to bring much needed attention to the disabled community in unique and exciting ways.
“At SAF, we are always looking to raise the bar and create exciting events to open more doors for all people living with disabilities. Ability Explosion has created a magnificent impact in the Miami Beach community in such a short period of time. We are excited to host these innovative events and see them grow up the coast line to a greater number of people,” said Friedkin.
The first Ability Explosion event to take place under the Stand Among Friends umbrella is “Lights Out,” a visually impaired dining experience that will take place over three nights in October at locations in Boca Raton, Fort Lauderdale and South Beach. The event will provide a distinctive opportunity for diners to enjoy a gourmet meal at one of three restaurants, while wearing a mask to experience the challenges visually impaired individuals face while dining out.
The annual Stand Among Friends emb(race) event will be another Ability Explosion event as well, and planning is underway to expand the annual race to multiple cities including South Beach in 2013 or 2014. Stand Among Friends also plans to continue the “Biz-ability” luncheon that highlights community business partners that are proactively promoting the hiring of people with disabilities.
For more information on Stand Among Friends and its programs, or our upcoming Ability Explosion events, visit our website at www.standamongfriends.orgor call 561-297-4402.
The $5,500 grant will support a career-focused Assistive Technology Initiative for college students and adults living with disabilities. The program uses Assistive Technology as a key component of a larger professional placement program called Careerability, which includes vocational evaluation, pre-placement training, internships, on-the-job training, placement, job coaching and long term success mentoring.
“The Reeve Foundation believes that each of the nearly six million Americans living with paralysis deserves access to the best programs and services available. The Quality of Life Grants Program supports other nonprofit organizations that not only believe in that same independence, but achieve great success in carrying out their programs’ missions,” said Peter T. Wilderotter, president and CEO of the Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation. “We are honored to recognize these organizations which empower those affected by paralysis.”
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Our new CareerAbility program was officially launched on April 5 with a kick-off party for FAU students registered with The Office for Students with Disabilities. The event was held in the Grand Palms room in the FAU Student Union and featured information about the program, a special appearance by FAU President Mary Jane Saunders, and food and drinks for all!
CareerAbility is an exclusive professional placement program from Stand Among Friends. It is designed to serve people with disabilities with college degrees. The CareerAbility program will prepare college students approaching graduation, launch a career in their field and help to maintain steady, long-term employment. This program will provide a unique opportunity for students to set themselves apart from the many other recent college graduates competing for professional jobs.
Stand Among Friends partnered with Florida Atlantic Universities Office for Students with Disabilities to launch this program. CareerAbility is a grant funded initiative of The Able Trust. The Able Trust is a key leader in providing Floridians with disabilities successful opportunities for employment. Stand Among was awarded the grant in February 2012.