CIF Creates Ability Awareness Tools

July 9,  2015

Thanks to the support of a Responsive Grant from the Evanston Community Foundation, Center for Independent Futures has developed new tools for businesses and communities to become more inclusive. With CIF’s Ability Awareness modules, organizations and employers will be equipped to engage the strengths and interests of all individuals.

“Whether the abilities are seen or not, the focus should be on what the individual can do, rather than what he or she can’t do,” shares Mary Beth DeFauw, CIF’s School Consultation Manager. Through videos, the Ability Awareness modules offer insights into the ways in which we all bring different strengths, learning styles, and interests to a new setting. 

One video highlights local businesses that employ individuals with different abilities. At Duxler Complete Auto Care in Evanston, CIF Participant Tom helps maintain the shop and assists other mechanics. Craig Stone, the store’s manager, says that Tom’s contributions in the workplace go beyond productivity. “He brings great camaraderie into the shop,” Craig shares. With the natural support of his coworkers, Tom is a valued employee.

Like Duxler, all businesses and communities can benefit from including individuals with different abilities. Visit CIF’s Ability Awareness webpage at this link to watch the videos and access resources for individuals to explore their own assets, interests, and learning styles.

CIF is grateful to the Evanston Community Foundation for the grant that made this project possible, Duxler and Curt’s Cafe for their participation as featured employers, and all involved in creating the modules. To learn about other ways CIF is using innovations in employment to create fuller lives and more inclusive communities, contact Sarah Holtschlag, CIF’s Customized Employment Specialist, at (847) 328-2044.

Watch CIF’s new Ability Awareness modules here!


Upcoming Events & Activities