San Diego, CA – Employment & Community Options (E&CO), an organization that gives individuals with disabilities more options for living their lives to the fullest, has rebranded as Options For All. Founded in 1985, Options For All serves individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities, helping empower them to become fully-participating members of their communities. The organization serves as many as 1,300 individuals who face the challenges of autism, cerebral palsy, Down syndrome, hearing and vision impairments, learning and intellectual disabilities, and severe behavioral disorders. Options for All offers a wide range of programs and services throughout the state of California, including San Diego, San Bernardino, Santa Clara, Santa Cruz and Riverside counties.
“We seek to create and support opportunities for adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities in making choices to live and enjoy life in their community with dignity and respect,” said Nancy Batterman, CEO of Options For all.” She added, “we work as a team to achieve positive perceptions in the community and among employers about the value and abilities of these remarkable individuals.”
Options For All offers its participants programs to enhance life skills, employment, and independence. These include assistance with banking, budgeting, and money management; computer and writing skills; job interview techniques; nutrition, cooking, meal planning, and exercise, and learning personal responsibility such as taking directions and social skills.
“Options For All has spent more than 33 years developing and refining its programs to fully prepare individuals with life skills and social skills,” said Batterman. “More than 2,000 people, ranging in age from 18–65 have participated in this program.”
She noted that Options For All offers supported employment services that have achieved placement for more than 175 individuals in approximately 500 businesses in the last five years. “More than a third of these individuals have remained on the job each year,” she said.
Options For All also has a unique and inspiring partnership with Inclusion Films, headed by Joey Travolta, which provides hands-on, skill building learning opportunities for participants in a film studio environment. The 80-week film and media training program, with 100 active individuals currently enrolled, provides 25-hours-per-week of training and prepares individuals with the skills they need to work in this industry.
The organization also offers a social enterprise program that allows participants to experience pride and accomplishment in operating a business. Currently, Options For All has four fully-dedicated microenterprises for its participants, including Power Super Shredders, Vending Express, and two Feel Good Coffee locations. The organization provides dedicated training and support specialists for ongoing training and oversight.
Options For All also offers enhanced community engagement, where participants with significant behavioral challenges can benefit from training and opportunities in the community to meet their personal short- and long-term goals. This program may include a high level of staff involvement – one staff member to every two to three participants – to meet the specific needs of each individual.
“This is one of the most accessible programs of its kind in San Diego,” said Batterman. “We help those who are unable to be served by other agencies through our non-exclusionary community-based program. This program aligns with all that we offer – programs, services, and commitment to create hope, inspire dreams, and provide the strongest support services to maximize success for our people.”