WBZ Cares: Employment Training

BOSTON (WBZ-AM) -- Each month, “WBZ Cares” highlights a worthy non-profit organization and tells the story of what that organization does for the community. This month WBZ is profiling Cape Abilities, a non-profit organization that serves individuals with disabilities on Cape Cod by educating, counseling and providing residential, therapeutic, social and employment supports that empower them to achieve meaningful and valued roles in the community.

For 50 years CapeAbilities has been serving individuals on Cape Cod with physical and intellectual disabilities.

Their wide range of programs, including employment and life-skills training, group homes, social activities, and more, help more than 400 participants a year achieve meaningful and valued roles in the community.

“There was a point in time where individuals with disabilities were institutionalized, and that wasn't long ago in our society. Part of our mission and part of what we want to do is smash that stigma and really create inclusive communities and push it from a social justice perspective because those individuals with all the abilities they have deserve to have every right that any or anyone else would have in a society and deserve to live in an inclusive environment and inclusive community in which they're valued as much as anyone else is,” said CapeAbilities President and CEO Jonathan Sproul.

“My disability is blindness. My eyesight. No sight, no eyesight,” said CapeAbilities employee Zeb Olson.

Zeb Olson has been blind since birth. He's been involved with CapeAbilities for nearly 40 years.

“I was building work skills for improving work skills since I came. They were a nice staff, training me, and vocationals training me,” stated Olson. 

He's now employed at CapeAbilities working at the main office.

“I answer the switchboard. I communicate with the switchboard. Put calls through to voicemail or to somebody through in the back,” chimed Olson.

“Do you enjoy it?”, WBZ’s Shari Small asked.

“Oh yeah. I work now down to two days now, after I’ve been down to four and then to three..go down to one in the future. I'm working towards retirement,” Olson answered.

While CapeAbilities clearly transforms the lives of the individuals it serves, Sproul says it can also have a transformative effect on the Cape Cod community in general.

“It's really more than just what we can do for the individuals that we serve, it’s what they do for us. And that's where I really feel the power of CapeAbilities, not just within the organization but throughout the entire community,” concluded Sproul.

WBZ NewsRadio1030's Shari Small Reports

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