The Ability Project

Frequently Asked Questions about The Ability Project

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Who owns and controls this program?

The Ability Project is being organized by parents of adult and soon-to-be-adult children with developmental disorders. Once up and running, it is expected that the program will be owned by a cooperative corporation and controlled by a board of director elected by the residents or their guardians.

Can the program serve only Maryland residents?

No. Because the families organizing the program hope to access a Maryland program(s) to fund some services, the program will be based in Maryland. However, families who can otherwise fund the cost of services without Maryland programs are eligible to join.

Will the Ability Project accept adults with severe disabilities?

We do not expect that the Ability Project will determine the eligibility of members. Rather, the social service provider(s) under contract with the Ability Project will be responsible to care for the members and will therefore determine the criteria for admission and (critically) the cost of providing care. To the extent the disabled person does not have appropriate public funding, the family will be required to privately pay for services.  

Will the Ability Project be appropriate for a substantially independent adult with minor developmental impairment ?

A number of families with high-functioning adult children whose disability is principally socialization (i.e. ability to make friends) have expressed interest in the Ability Project. We feel the central community aspects including social programs and activities could be well suited to adults who simply lack conventional social skills. The presence of more capable members could also prove to be beneficial to the entire membership.   

When is the Ability Project expected to be ready to accept applications and place residents?

Because there is no road map for establishment of a program like the Ability Project, it is very difficult to establish a schedule. We hope that sometime in late 2014 the operating organization will be established and membership enrollment will begin. 

Will The Ability Project accept residents solely with autism?

No. While the autism community will likely be the source of the majority of residents, the program will be able to serve persons with a variety of developmental disorders.

Where will the community center and residences be located?

A location has not been identified. It is likely that the program will be based in Montgomery County, Maryland in a location with abundant residential options, pedestrian accessibility to shopping and other daily activities, and proximate to employment and mass transportation.

Will the Ability Program accept residences with existing government subsidies?

Yes. Unless the existing subsidy is incompatible for some reason, the program expects to be able accept any form of payment for services.

If accepted into the program, would my son or daughter have to live in a residence near the community center? Could they continue to live in our home?

While the Ability Project is being created to facilitate independence of  developmentally disabled adults, we would not anticipate some requirement that members live within walking distance of the community center. However, transportation and supervision must be paid for by each member to the extent not otherwise funded.  

How many residents can be accommodated?

We estimate that The Ability Project will require 30 to 50 members to commence operations and will need to grow to about 100  to operate efficiently and con not grow much more due to management limitations. Once the upper limit is reached, growth would be sustained by establishment of a separate program with its own administrative operation that may or may not be affiliated with The Ability Project.