The Foundation for the Developmentally Disabled (FDD) was formed by a small community of caring parents. FDD, now known as STARability Foundation, has become one of Southwest Florida’s leading nonprofits.
STARability started a variety of social events and recreational programs, including the seasonal baseball league in 2013. These programs became part of STAR Connections, and we continued to expand programs focused on life skills, art and community engagement.
The Trailblazer Academy launched to meet the needs of people 18 and older with intellectual and developmental disabilities who have aged out of high school and face a gap in services. The structured community-based program quickly became the centerpiece program because of its focus on community engagement, vocational training and continuing education.
STARability launched the Jr. Trailblazer Academy, building on the success of the Trailblazer Academy and growing need of services for individuals, between the ages of 14 and 21, transitioning into young adulthood.
Foundation for the Developmentally Disabled (FDD) changed its name to STARability Foundation to reflect their focus on what people with disabilities can do, not what they can’t do.
STARability opened its STAR Store & Studio to further support their mission through the sale of donated furniture, décor and other home goods. The upscale resale store is a vocational site, where participants can work and create artisan gifts in the studio.
That same year, STARability Foundation started its vocational services program, and earned its first Gold Seal of Transparency from GuideStar. STARability currently holds a Platinum Seal of Transparency from Candid (GuideStar) and a Four-Star rating from Charity Navigator.
The COVID-19 pandemic forced a suspension of in-person programming, causing STARability to quickly shift its program delivery to virtual platforms so STAR participants could continue learning and engaging with their community. Virtual programs are now an integral part of program offerings.
STARability moved into its new administrative and program space. This larger location on Goodlette-Frank Rd. in the Advance Medical building helps us serve more STAR participants by taking people off the waiting list for our innovative, engaging programs.