Helping individuals live independently and in the community with dignity is the focus of Capabilities Partnership. Stop & Shop has supported this nonprofit through the Community Bag Program.
Tell us about Capabilities Partnership.
The mission of Capabilities Partnership is to provide comprehensive services to people with epilepsy, traumatic brain injuries (TBI) and other neurological, physical and developmental disabilities and their families for the promotion of independence and quality of life. All our services and programs focus on activities that help the individual live independently and in the community with dignity.
Our foundation was formed in 1977 by an amazing woman named Janice Gay. She gathered a group of concerned people who were living with epilepsy or had been touched by epilepsy in some way. And the society grew from a grassroots organization of support groups to a registered nonprofit governed by an executive director and a voluntary board of directors.
What services do you provide to the community?
We provide services in the seven counties of the Hudson Valley. Our services include epilepsy education and training, which is my forte. I’m the person who conducts those trainings and does presentations in schools and agencies and organizations, all free via Zoom or in person.
We provide information and referrals for TBI service coordination, traumatic brain injury behavioral support counseling and a traumatic brain injury on-site day program at our facility in West Nyack. Our vocational services provide family support under the auspices of the NYS Office for People with Developmental Disabilities, non-Medicaid service coordination and benefits navigation.
Capabilities Partnership is a holistic, whole-person-centered, strength-based organization.
We are very in tune with our clients and look at what serves them best. Everything from our vocational support to our counseling is based on what would work best for each individual to promote and help them.
Capabilities Partnership is a holistic, whole-person-centered, strength-based organization. We look at what they need and what helps them best. It takes a team approach, and that’s what we provide.
What sets you apart from other nonprofits in your community?
We are different because we’re not a cookie-cutter program. We have individualized services that are based on an individual’s strengths, weaknesses and goals.
Tell us a story that illustrates the good work of your organization.
An individual had suffered a traumatic brain injury and was returning home after spending time in a nursing home. We helped assist that individual back into their home, ensuring they received the services that benefited them.
Everything is about their choice and having them be as self-directed as possible.
We targeted their specific needs directly, making sure the home was compliant with what they needed to be safe and as independent as possible. It’s a lot following a brain injury because it’s an ongoing process and it’s developmental. We help them develop their own action plans to reach specific goals to help them further their independence and help them pick a home of their own, too.
Everything is about their choice and having them be as self-directed as possible. Epilepsy takes away a lot of your control, and having a traumatic brain injury takes away a lot of your control. The more control we can give an individual, and the more independence they feel, the better their well-being, overall health and happiness.
What is your most outstanding achievement or contribution to the community?
It’s helping individuals become independent and participate in their communities, functioning independently with dignity, feeling proud of what they can do, being accepted and having that sense of belonging.
That’s what we all want. We all want to belong and feel like we’re part of a community. When we see our participants enjoying themselves, making friends, starting new jobs and working with our job coaches, we know we’re successful.
What do you want people to know about your organization?
We take so much pride in our work and our service. We want to help folks succeed in all they do, and we always try to think outside of the box and remove barriers to service. As I said, we don’t believe one size fits all.
Everything is on a spectrum, including our individual clients. Everyone is different and unique, and they should be treated that way.
How do you use the funds raised from the Stop & Shop Community Bag Program?
We are so grateful to be a part of this program. With funds raised from the Stop & Shop Community Bag Program, we will continue to raise awareness and reduce stigma around epilepsy and around traumatic brain injuries, dispelling myths about both and expanding our services to reach all those in need.
Published March 6, 2023.