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Ability Center in Virginia Beach empowers people with disabilities to lead productive, fulfilling lives

The Virginia Beach nonprofit encourages relationship-building and personal growth, with the goal being for kids and adults to reach their full potential.

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. — A Virginia Beach organization is helping children and adults with developmental disabilities lead productive and fulfilling lives.

The Ability Center of Virginia does that by providing resources and support in an inclusive and engaging environment. Their activities include art programs, field trips, summer camps, and more.

The organization's programs director, Ashley Hall, described it as a safe place for people to be exactly who they are, learn and grow.

"Our belief about what they're capable of here at Ability Center is not even to ask that question, right? It'd be like, what aren't they capable of?", Hall explained.

Hall said people of all abilities are welcome to grow at the center.

"You build a personal relationship with someone that's different than you, [and] that fear goes away," Hall said. "You realize that you have so much more in common, so much more in common than you have different."

Hall said the center's environment also fosters self-sufficiency.

"When you come here, you're not with mom and dad," Hall said. "You're not with, you know, maybe you have a caregiver sometimes, and you're independent. It's such a big deal. It's so important for so many of them."

The center's programs encourage relationship-building and personal growth, aiming for kids and adults to reach their full potential.

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Hall described it as an excellent opportunity to focus on community engagement, social skills, and life-giving skills.

"It's the unique people here," Hall said. "The compassion of our staff, of our executive director, those are the things that make Ability Center what it is. It's a place of love and certainly a family."

July 10 to 14 is Youth Week at the center’s Camp Ability summer camp. It’s open to all children ages five to 12, and Hall said there are a few spots still available. Visit the center's website for more information and to register. There, you can also find out more about volunteering.

The nonprofit is also working to raise $4,000 by the end of the summer. If the goal is reached, Hall will be slimed ''90's Nickelodeon style' by Camp Ability volunteers and campers at a special event on Aug. 4! 

You can help the center reach its goal by donating, fundraising, and sharing the campaign on social media. E-mail Hall at ashley@abilitycenterva.org or call 757-497-7474 for more information.

You can also follow the nonprofit on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, and TikTok.

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