Our Organization


To transform the lives of people with intellectual and developmental disabilities.


To create an inclusive community that shines light on ability, not disability.


Our History

STARability Foundation has come a long way from our roots in 1983, when about a dozen parents formed a nonprofit organization known for many years as the Foundation for the Developmentally Disabled (FDD). Today, we offer programs that focus on vocational training, continuing education, teamwork, social engagement and community involvement.


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 participants during baseball game | STARability Foundation


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.

STARability participants on Trailblazer Academy bus | STARability Foundation


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 Jr. Participant during Photo Class | Junior Trailblazer Academy STARability Foundation


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.

STARability Participant | STARability Foundation


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 participant working opening STAR store as part of our Vocational Services Program


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.

STARability Participant working at MisterO1 Coffee | Vocational Services STARability Foundation


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.

Virtual Trailblazer Academy established during COVID | STARability Foundation


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 Game Room in New Goodlette-Frank Rd. Administrative and Program Space | STARability Foundation


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.

Schedule a Tour

We invite you to connect with our mission during a personalized tour. Tours offer a unique opportunity to explore our program spaces, gain insight into the comprehensive and innovative services we provide.