March 2023

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Nominations Open for FRC's Stephen R. Wise Awards

In 2013, the Florida Rehabilitation Council (FRC) created the Stephen R. Wise Advocacy Award to be given annually to a dedicated Florida leader and champion who promotes independence for persons with disabilities through work and community activities. This award is based on Senator Wise's passion and work to champion the cause of helping persons with disabilities achieve independence and dignity through meaningful employment.

If you have someone you'd like to nominate for this honor, please click below to access the FRC's nomination form. Submissions are due by Monday, May 1.

Nominate Here

New Formal Partnership Highlights Impact of Florida Small Businesses

The Able Trust and the Florida Small Business Development Center (SBDC) Network have formalized a strategic partnership to strengthen the small business community through training and education on the availability and expertise of persons with disabilities in the workforce. This relationship is crucial because the roughly 2.8 million small businesses throughout Florida employ over 40% of the state's private-sector workforce, and small businesses are historically more likely to become champions of disability-inclusive employment.

Persons with disabilities are also twice as likely as the general population to go into business for themselves, as in the case of The Able Trust Board of Directors member Chip Byers. Click below to listen to a podcast in which Byers provides outstanding insights on being a small business owner.

Listen to the Podcast

CareerSource Florida Corner: Spring Cleaning Your Resumé

This month marks the official start to spring, which is the perfect opportunity to take a moment to spring-clean your resumé! One of the many ways the CareerSource Florida network helps career seekers is by providing no-cost assistance with resumé building so you can build your future.

A strong resumé helps you stand out as a top candidate – and we can help you showcase your experience and skills, taking you step-by-step through the process to create a resumé that you’ll be proud of.

Take the first step and meet with a member of your local workforce development board by going to and clicking on Find Your Local Team.

Learn More

Building and Maintaining Strong Relationships

Many critical factors go into the rewarding work of striving to make Florida a leader in disability-inclusive employment, one business and one employee at a time. On a personal level, it requires energy, focus, the ability to pivot if your approach doesn't seem to be working, and of course plenty of time. But when it comes to the interpersonal elements of this pursuit, strong relationships are paramount.

As we continue together to address the shortfall of skilled workers throughout Florida, the notion of collective impact comes to mind. We already share a common agenda of building and nurturing a statewide culture of disability employment. We can deepen our relationships as partners and improve the efficiency and outcomes of what we do together through communicating our experiences and exchanging ideas.

This podcast recorded in September 2021 features an in-depth discussion from several leading voices on the subject of collective impact. I encourage you to give it a listen with our shared mission in mind.

In addition, later in this newsletter you will find a link to a web form for you to use to share your experience in discussing and securing accommodations for prospective workers. The exchange of stories and takeaways will only help to improve our collective impact.

I hope these new ideas help this spring to bloom into one of your organization's best-ever seasons!

Joey D'Souza

Vice President, External Engagement

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We Want to Hear from You!

Tell Us Your Accommodation Stories

You all work diligently to serve as reliable connectors between employers and prospective workers with disabilities. As such, you are uniquely suited to serve as voices of expertise on the subject of accommodations for employees with disabilities. So in the interest of better serving the mission of expanding disability-inclusive employment in Florida, we'd love to hear about some of the interactions you've experienced in developing relationships between businesses and employees.

Click the button below to share one or two of your best stories of accommodations discussions with us. We look forward to learning from you!

Share With Us

The Able Trust Activities

2023 Project Venture Final Competition is In the Books!

Three teams of tomorrow's entrepreneurs delivered outstanding presentations of their ideas for new technology and services at the 2023 Project Venture finals, held at the Margaritaville Resort Orlando on Wednesday, March 1. Orange County West HSHT repeated as Project Venture champions for the second year in a row. Second- and third-place honors went respectively to the teams representing the Union County HSHT and Bay County HSHT sites. Congratulations to all of the finalists on a fantastic showing!

Special thanks to our emcee, Greg Angel; keynote speaker, Dr. Albert Manero of Limbitless Solutions; final round judges Dr. Jason Eichenholz, LaTarsha Melvin, Brent McNeal, and Angela Perez; and all our sponsors.

Click below to visit our 2023 Project Venture webpage for all the details about this year's event.

Learn More

Thank You for Your Votes Supporting High School High Tech!

Throughout the first half of this month, The Able Trust and ten other organizations vied for the highest total in a public vote for the CareSource Foundation Florida Northwest Grant Challenge. The organization receiving the most votes is eligible for a $30,000 grant, which The Able Trust would use to support the High School High Tech (HSHT) program.

Voting has closed, and we would like to take this opportunity to thank each and every one of you who voted to support The Able Trust and HSHT! Results of the competition will be announced next week. In the meantime, please click below to read more about the HSHT program.

Learn More

Your support ensures Floridians with disabilities have opportunities to gain meaningful employment.


To make your tax-deductible donation to The Able Trust,


Forward this newsletter to other colleagues, and business and community leaders who are interested in disability employment.


CLICK HERE to join

our mailing list.

We welcome the opportunity to answer your questions about disability employment. Invite us to speak at your upcoming board meeting, conference or webinar.


CLICK HERE to fill out our

Speaker Request form.

The Able Trust, also known as the Florida Endowment Foundation for Vocational Rehabilitation, is a 501(c)(3) public charity established by the Florida Legislature in 1990 as a direct support organization for the 

Florida Division of Vocational Rehabilitation. Its mission is to be a key leader in providing

Floridians with disabilities opportunities for successful employment.

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