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About Us

Our Mission

Empowering Lives Through Independence

Ability1st, the Center for Independent Living of North Florida, is a community-based nonprofit organization that provides services to persons with varying disabilities. Our mission is to empower people with disabilities to live independently and enhance their quality of life.

About Ability1st

Our History

In 2018, we celebrated 40 years of service to people in our community living with disabilities and changed our business name to Ability1st. Throughout 2001-2005, Ability1st successfully fostered the growth of the Disability Resource Center, a satellite office in Panama City, which became its own CIL, serving the eight western counties in our region.

Ability1st History

Since 2005, Ability1st has prioritized adding and expanding programs that target the most vulnerable people with disabilities in our community. Our focus is developing and implementing three different high-impact services: A Place Called Home, providing stable housing and support for chronically homeless people with disabilities; Crime Victim Assistance, providing support and advocacy for people with disabilities who have been victims of crime or who have a disability because of a crime; and Access to Independence, providing home modifications for people with disabilities to enable them to remain in their homes rather than moving to a more expensive and restrictive institution.

As we look to the future, Ability1st continues to expand access to private foundations and resources that will help us reduce our dependency on government funding, which can change significantly from year to year, and that more directly allow us to serve people with disabilitie

Our Leadership

Our leadership team is made up of experienced professionals who are passionate about creating a better world. Under their guidance, we are able to make a real difference in the lives of those in need and achieve our mission of improving communities.

Mandy Bianchi

Executive Director

Brandie McCabe

Human Services Program Manager

Shelley Shaul

Operations & Human Resources Manager

Kimberly Davis

Housing Services Manager

Board Membership

Our board members are a group of highly experienced and dedicated individuals who provide invaluable guidance and support to our organization, helping to ensure our continued success and impact in the community.

Malika Woody

Immediate Past President

Bruce Leslie

Past President

Dana Auvil

Treasurer

Kiersten Lee

President

Tamika Fields

Secretary

Who Is Ability1st?

In short, we are a community-based organization offering support services, advocacy, and information to empower people with disabilities to live independently. Ability1st is operated and governed by people with disabilities for people with disabilities.

The goal of all Centers for Independent Living is to empower people with disabilities to take charge of their lives and guide their own destinies. We are a community-based non profit organization that provides services to people with varying disabilities in Leon, Jefferson, Madison, Taylor, Gadsden, and Wakulla counties.

Our Mission

Ability1st, the Center for Independent Living of North Florida, is a community-based nonprofit organization that provides services to persons with varying disabilities. Our mission is to empower people with disabilities to live independently and enhance their quality of life.

Contact Us

Address:
1823 Buford Court
Tallahassee, Florida 32308
Phone: (850) 575-9621
Fax: (850) 575-5740
E-mail: contact@ability1st.info

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