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Abilitree drops job development, coaching


Abilitree announced Friday that its board of directors, with the full support of Abilitree’s director’s team, has voted to discontinue Abilitree’s individual supported employment program, which includes job development and job coaching, as of Monday, Sept. 30.

Here’s the full news release (we have reached out to speak with the organization):

“As stewards of Abilitree, it was financially necessary to do so in order to ensure that Abilitree remains financially stable and continue to serve Central Oregon long into the future. This was an extremely difficult decision to make for a number of reasons.

“However, Abilitree has strong core services that they will continue to provide, including the addition of new support groups and skills training courses to Central Oregonians with disabilities in the coming months.

“Although Abilitree has been successful in adapting to a constantly changing environment for people with disabilities in the years leading up to this point, it was difficult to adapt fast enough this time to recent changes in the way they are paid for services.

“While the situation is complex and nuanced, it can simply be explained through one basic idea – reimbursement rates for job coaching have decreased making it unsustainable for Abilitree to operate given their organizational size and reserves.

“The rate changes and challenges they have experienced with the individual supported employment program does not directly affect their other programs as they have different funding sources.

“These sources of funding remain in place and there’s no reason to think that will change anytime soon. The recent financial plan approved by the board is expected to be much more stable and sustainable under this new model.

“A long list of services will continue at Abilitree, including group employment activities with local businesses, Social Security advocacy, Work Incentive Network, support groups, skills training, information and referral, recreational activities for individuals with I/DD (Intellectual/Developmental disabilities) and more.

“Alongside our community partners, we’ve shown a strong commitment to doing everything we can to help our clients keep their job placements during this transition, including job coaching until other provider agencies are able to take over. We’re filled with gratitude for this community and the quality of our partnerships,” said April O’Meara , executive director of Abilitree.

“Abilitree has partnered with many community organizations over the last month to make for a smooth transition, including facilitating job transfers when possible for staff to other provider agencies.

“In this new model, Abilitree is poised with a solid foundation to continue to provide support services in Central Oregon to people with disabilities, as it has successfully done for the last 38 years.

About Abilitree

Abilitree believes in everyone’s right to live a full and independent life. First established in 1981, Abilitree’s mission is to empower people to grow their independence, expectations, and inclusion in community life. To help individuals and their families reach their goals, Abilitree provides support with skills training, peer support, advocacy, and information and referral. Abilitree supports over 700 individuals in Central Oregon a year, who experience a wide range of disabilities, including but not limited to stroke and cancer survivors, and individuals with intellectual, developmental, and physical disabilities.

Abilitree, 2680 Twin Knolls Dr., Ste.3, Bend, OR; 541.388-8103,;

KTVZ News Team


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