People with intellectual disabilities need additional support to have a more independent life. It takes a team of sympathetic people to open up opportunities for individuals with disabilities and help them develop the skills they need to participate in different life events. This kind of environment is what nonprofit organization Anthony’s Center for Independent Adult Opportunities aims to provide for individuals with intellectual disabilities to help them live their best life.
Anthony’s Center for Independent Adult Opportunities is a nonprofit organization that promotes the creation of a safe environment for independent living, job training, job creation, and recreation for individuals with intellectual disabilities. This organization will cater primarily to adolescents and adults with intellectual disabilities so they can learn the necessary skills to transition to adult life.
Several programs and supports are often in place for children with disabilities. But as these children grow and transition into adolescence and adulthood, there is a gap in the system. There are often minimal programs for them to learn advanced life skills to help them become more independent or prepare them for entering the workforce should they choose to find employment. These life skills also help individuals with intellectual disabilities live a more well-rounded life.
Anthony’s Center for Independent Adult Opportunities aims to provide a space where individuals with disabilities can find a community and participate more in their circles. Eventually, the organization hopes to grow and become a community that can provide housing for adults with special needs. The housing they envision would provide these adults with a safe space for independent living with the necessary supports close at hand. Aside from housing, they will provide opportunities for the residents of this independent living community to find employment, learn health and wellness management skills, and increase and enhance their living and decision-making skills.
The nonprofit organization is still in its infancy stage, seeking out more donors and partner organizations. Creating an environment to help an underserved demographic takes a lot of resources and effort, echoing the adage “it takes a village to raise a child,” but even more when that child has additional needs. But despite being a relatively new organization, they have partnered with several organizations and groups that advocate for better opportunities for people with disabilities. In addition, Anthony’s Center for Independent Adult Opportunities promotes other organizations providing resources for inclusion. They hope to grow their network to reach more companies, organizations, and donors across the world.
Lisa Ciao established Anthony’s Center for Independent Adult Opportunities to advocate for inclusion for her son Anthony, who is diagnosed with Kleefstra Syndrome. As a mother, Lisa wanted Anthony to experience everything in life and not miss out on experiences because of his disABILITY. Individuals with disabilities deserve to be able to live their life to the fullest, and access to support and resources can be a massive help.
“Anthony may be different, but that does not diminish him. As a family, we have had our fair share of difficulties, but that does not stop me from wanting the best for Anthony, my children, and all adults with special needs,” Lisa Ciao shared. The founder of Anthony’s Center for Independent Adult Opportunities also added, “Our nonprofit is still in its infancy, but we are dreaming big! I genuinely believe we can support children and adults with disabilities as they take steps to live their best lives. We hope we can reach more people and inspire others to donate and help our nonprofit grow so we can serve more people and families.”