Stand Among Friends is pleased to announce their Director of Evaluation Services, Dr. Julianne Frain, CRC was recently admitted to the American Board of Vocational Experts (ABVE). The ABVE was founded in 1980 to preserve the highest professional and ethical standards in experts practicing in both public and private rehabilitation settings. 

Since the expiration of the Certified Vocational Evaluator (CVE) credential, state national and state requirements have changed accordingly to recognize other credentials as best fit for conduction vocational evaluations. The ABVE is one credential that is recognized by many states and honored in service providers working in public rehabilitation, worker's compensation, and social security settings. 

The ABVE supports the policies and high professional standards of the various rehabilitation-credentialing bodies. ABVE maintains a strict ethics approach to take rapid action with professional members who are found to have violated one or more of these canons. Becoming ABVE certified requires extensive expert witness experience, mastery of all aspects vocational rehabilitation, impeccable references, demonstrated work product, and passing score on the certification exam.

As Stand Among Friends continues to grow as a leading provider of rehabilitation services throughout the state of Florida.  The organization maintains a vested interest in the competitive knowledge, skills, and expertise of their staff.


The Able Trust awarded two SAF clients with brand new Dell laptops. Santa Claus was at Stand Among Friends a week early and made two people's holiday wishes come true!

The Able Trust has partnered with FAAST, the Florida Alliance for Assistive Services and Technology to present these Dell laptops to deserving students. Our two clients are very deserving students, who are also actively pursuing employment, were the lucky recipients of laptops fully equipped to meet their needs.   .

Susanne Homant was Santa in disguise at the Stand Among Friends Disability Center. SAF clients, Jose Carrillo and Carrie Ernst, were overjoyed with their early Christmas gifts! 

"I am astonished that I received this computer, I am truly in disbelief that I am now able to succeed more independently in school and at work with my own laptop," said Carrie Ernst. Carrie is currently in her 2nd masters program in Mental Health Counseling at Capella University. Carrie is melding her Bachelor's degree in Criminal Forensics with her work in Mental Health Counseling in hopes of working with criminals with mental illness. 

President and CEO of The Able Trust, Susanne Homant commented on her experience giving away computers to students in need during the holidays. "The important thing is we are doing our best working with FAAST to eliminte the technology divide in learning and employment that people with disabilities experience," Homant said. "The opportunity to present the laptops to these clients who are so excited and ready to work hard is a gift in itself this holiday season."

The other client to receive a laptop is Jose Carrillo. Jose is attending Florida Atlantic University to obtain a 2nd Bachelor's degree in Business and Administrative Accounting. "I am very excited about the computer! It will help greatly with looking for work as well as taking notes more efficiently and working towards obtaining my degree," Carrillo said. 

Michelle Galloway, SAF CareerAbility Program Manager, is the counselor for both laptop recipients. Michelle nominated Jose and Carrie and she was thrilled to see her clients get the computers. "These are two overwhelmingly deserving clients who now have what they need to assist them with their education and the development of their career path," Galloway commented. "Seeing the smiles on their faces was priceless, knowing they can now be more independent in school and in their job search has truly made their year better," she concluded. 

The Able Trust and FAAST are committed to providing the tools and knowledge necessary to help assure that students with disabilities have the greatest possible opportunity for employment, and technology is that critical component of everyone's education. Stand Among Friends is thrilled that The Able Trust and FAAST awarded our clients with the chance at independence and success,. We thank The Able Trust and FAAST for considering out clients for this rewarding and much needed holiday gift! 

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.


Our Official emb(race) 2012 video:

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Stand Among Friends is proud to announce that we have been awarded the Quality of Life Grant, a presitigious grant from the Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation.

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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