Council for Developmental Disabilities, Inc., d.b.a. ABLE Community Based Services is a community-based nonprofit located in Norman, Oklahoma, which has served adults with developmental and intellectual disabilities for over 36 years. ABLE began in 1982 through the efforts of a small group of teachers, parents, and professionals working together to provide a more meaningful life for their adult children with special needs. After graduating high school or reaching 21 years of age, people with disabilities and the families who cared for them had few, if any options. This need was the catalyst to open a sheltered workshop in Norman.
The ABLE workshop began with six adult clients with developmental disabilities. In 1985, ABLE opened its first group home, providing 24-hour care to as many as six clients. Since that time, ABLE has grown, but our mission continues to be to support, care for, and enable people with special needs to lead meaningful lives. We work to accomplish our mission by providing both residential and vocational program care. ABLE now operates four group homes and three Direct Living-Assistance Service homes.
The agency accepts clients from all over Oklahoma, and provides vocational assistance across Cleveland County, including the cities of Norman and Noble, the University of Oklahoma, and private employers. ABLE also conducts a multi-faceted vocational program that (1) provides job-skill training and (2) assists clients with job support on a daily basis. Our vocational program includes a sheltered workshop and a Community Integrated Employment (CIE) program.
The CIE program places individuals in businesses, supported by staff trained as job coaches. These coaches assist the individuals in multiple areas of employment, offer on-the-job training, and provide a liaison between employers and supervisors. A few of the places our service recipients work in the community include The University of Oklahoma (OU) and Red Lobster.