Welcome to The Ability Center, a nonprofit center for independent living. With the assistance of competent, professional staff and the support of volunteers, we work for the rights and concerns of people living with disabilities across local, state, regional, and national levels.
Where Independence Happens.
You have found an organization with a long history of making independence happen. The Ability Center is rich with people who do work that matters. We are changing lives within these walls and out in the community. From the moment you step foot on our campus, we hope you experience different energy: a collective approach to disability unlike any other. With your fresh ideas and knowledge, we can’t wait to see what we accomplish together.
In Everybody’s League.
The Ability Center’s Gavin Dailey comes from a family of gifted athletes, so it’s not surprising that he has loved sports his entire life. He’s proof that in life, as in sports, it pays to try harder.
Gavin Dailey comes from a family of gifted athletes, including his dad, sisters, nephews, and cousins.
One day after a soccer game, a classmate’s father approached Gavin’s dad about a baseball league for kids with disabilities. Because Gavin was born with cerebral palsy, the man thought he might like to join the league.
“My dad told the man no, that if I wanted to play baseball, I would play on the regular team with everyone else,” recalls Gavin. “The guy’s daughter had CP also, and he was astonished that my dad would discourage me from playing alongside other kids like us.”
Gavin relates the story as an example that many people think separation is the best way to protect children with disabilities. Rather than focusing on what someone can do, we try to determine what they should or shouldn’t do.
Another case in point: well-meaning friends thought that, given Gavin’s cerebral palsy, his parents should not let him ride a motorcycle. Thinking differently, his parents urged Gavin to pursue what he wanted, and his motocross racing success justified their encouragement.
“I have the most wonderful parents in the world,” says Gavin. “My dad always said life doesn’t make accommodations for anyone. Disadvantages make you try harder, and the extra effort helps you succeed.”
Gavin graduated from the University of Toledo, majoring in marketing and management. He started at The Ability Center as a Marketing/Strategic Engagement Intern and was eventually hired as Assistive Tech and Medical Equipment Coordinator where he helps provide individuals with no-cost disability-related equipment. His role involves interacting face-to-face with clients, which he greatly enjoys.
“Society tends to put individuals into boxes,” contends Gavin. “Everyone with a disability gets categorized the same. We need to educate people about disabilities better—but through experiences, not seminars.”