Prompted by the growing public and federal government interest in supported employment and pay equity for persons with intellectual and developmental disabilities (I/DD), The Arc Jacksonville conceived Transform Abilities, a trade-style element to its day programs that would increase the agency’s dedication to teaching and modeling employment skills as well as continuing the “earn while you learn” modality.
Transform Abilities provides adults with I/DD and/or mental health needs the opportunity to embrace their creativity and showcase their talents. From conception to construction, each individual is an integral part of every step. This results in a final product that is not only a beautiful, functional piece of furniture or décor but also the expression of someone’s self. With every piece, a unique story is being told. No only are we a part of a trend to use discarded materials to create new products, but we are showing that this often marginalized group of people can produce the work.
A big proponent of recycling, Transform Abilities pieces are made of an average of 80% reclaimed/recycled materials, with a majority of the pieces being made of 90% reclaimed/recycled materials. Pricing for Transform Ability pieces includes a fair and competitive wage for each individual’s contribution. The goal of Transform Abilities is to become a micro-enterprise where adults with I/DD and/or mental health needs can thrive.
Transform Abilities is currently seeking volunteers to help oversee and guide the building of furniture. Volunteers must have experience building furniture and using power tools. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org to volunteer.