For nearly 50 years LaunchAbility, formerly Special Care & Career Services, has been expanding worlds for children and adults with disabilities by providing services to help them reach their maximum potential. The climate for people with disabilities has changed dramatically. People with disabilities are living longer through programs like Early Childhood Intervention and Special Education in schools. They are more capable of employment, AND they need to be employed because they are outliving their support system. We continue to be at the forefront and are launching an exciting array of new programs including Childcare Champions ™ and post secondary jobs and training for our adult clients. This training will enhance the ability of people with disabilities to get hired into better jobs at a higher pay rate and truly develop a career.
Where we are today – LaunchAbility!
Our award-winning programs are the launch point that offers hope, confidence and independence to adults and children with disabilities and are the inspiration for our new name: LaunchAbility. More than a name, LaunchAbility embodies our mission to expand and develop the abilities of our clients, launching them to reach their maximum potential.
LaunchAbility provides a continuum of support to our clients and their families. The father of one of our clients said, “You were there when our child was a baby with programs that expanded our minds to her future opportunities; when she graduated and all her friends moved off to the next phase of their lives, the agency was there again to help expand her world by finding her the right job and helping her keep it!”
We are launching innovative programs that will serve the community in unprecedented ways. The record-breaking growth of our programs gives us the opportunity to branch out and change even more lives.
LaunchAbility is leading collaborative efforts with organizations serving individuals with disabilities, their families, and health care providers, to find and develop innovative solutions.
LaunchAbility’s EARLY CHILDHOOD INTERVENTION (ECI)
LaunchAbility ECI expands worlds for children from birth to age three with developmental disabilities and delays such as autism, cerebral palsy, Down’s syndrome, spina bifida, impaired vision, and speech delay. The mantra for ECI is “Early is Best,” and the results are extraordinary because we provide therapies and other services to improve the child’s abilities at the age when they are most able to adapt.
Our staff of physical, speech and occupational therapists, along with social workers, early intervention specialists and a licensed professional counselor, nurse and dietitian, provide play- and routines-based intervention that is tailored to the child’s developmental stage. This intervention changes as the child progresses from one developmental stage to the next.
A critical means of reaching our goals and objectives is to ensure that parents, family members and caregivers are an integral part of therapy sessions. All therapy sessions are held in the child’s home, daycare or babysitter’s home, as these locations are familiar to the child and allow interaction with other children who do not have disabilities. Parents and caregivers are shown how to interact with, and better understand, the child and learn daily practices and therapies to help the child, thus extending the benefits of our visits.
LaunchAbility ECI trains doctors, and childcare and health care providers to identify developmental delays in children to ensure that they benefit from early intervention. This outreach component is so successful that delivery of services in LaunchAbility’s geographic area is 2% higher than other local programs. As a result of training through LaunchAbility ECI, families learn to engage more effectively with their children, reducing the likelihood of child abuse in these families.
Our ECI service area covers the Northwest Quadrant of Dallas County, including Addison, Carrollton, Farmers Branch, Coppell, parts of Dallas, Irving and Lewisville.
LaunchAbility’s SUPPORTED EMPLOYMENT (SE)
Launched in 1982 as one of the first programs of its kind in Texas, our Supported Employment inspires hope, confidence and independence in adults with developmental disabilities by focusing on expanding their abilities so that they have the best opportunity to achieve independence through employment.
Our adult clients have an array of diagnoses including autism spectrum disorder, Down’s syndrome, traumatic brain injury, and other conditions. The Federal Government considers these conditions as severe disabilities when it comes to employment. We are inspired by the fact that every person with severe disabilities placed in a job returns up to $47,000 per year to the Federal government alone in reduced need for social services and increased ability of the individual to pay taxes.
Our traditional Supported Employment services meet all ten quality indicators for a successful supported employment program identified by Virginia Commonwealth University. We assess our clients’ skills and abilities; find employment for them that meets the clients’ criteria and fills a true need for the employer; train clients on the job; and support them for as long as they are employed.
We are most proud of the job retention rates of our clients. Part of this success is due to the care we take in placing clients in the right job. More than 50% of LaunchAbility Supported Employment clients have remained employed with the same employer for more than 5 years.
OUR NEWEST PROGRAMS
CHILD CARE CHAMPIONS ™
This innovative program, a collaborative effort with LaunchAbility, Brookhaven College and Childcare Group, is improving the quality of child care across Dallas County by teaching child care workers how to identify and effectively interact with babies and toddlers with both typical and atypical development.
As Steve Stodghill, co-chair with his wife Anne of our first Special Evening event, says, “LaunchAbility is a taxpayer’s dream. For every $1 invested in their programs, $17 is returned to the community.”
LaunchAbility: our name is new, but we have served the community for nearly 50 years, enabling our clients to become more self-sufficient. Join us as we launch a new era of inspiring hope, confidence and independence for adults and children with disabilities.