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May 20, 2024

Fort Myers, FL – Goodwill Industries of Southwest Florida’s Disability Services program is pleased to announce it has received a grant of $45,000 from the Golisano Foundation to formalize the Goodwill Disability Navigation Program. The Golisano Foundation is one of the nation’s largest foundations dedicated to supporting programs for people with intellectual disabilities.

“The Golisano Foundation continues to be a committed partner of Goodwill as we focus on supporting individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities and their families. Golisano’s support of our new Disability Navigation program shows their willingness to grow with us as we strive to serve the Southwest Florida community,” states Goodwill SWFL CEO & President John Nadeau.

Goodwill looks for gaps in available services and meets those needs to help people in Southwest Florida move forward. Disability Navigation grew out of a realized gap in services while helping young adults with disabilities as they aged out of the school system. Goodwill’s Director of Disability Services Jessica Tursi began Disability Navigation, which teaches how to navigate the disability services system in Florida, in 2023. The funds will enable the Disability Navigation program to formalize, specifically by hiring additional staff and developing Community Education workshop materials.

“We commend Goodwill Industries of Southwest Florida for empowering families facing disability diagnoses by guiding them through the process of applying for funding, accessing community support, and ensuring timely access to resources,” says Erica Dayton, Golisano Foundation Executive Director.

Goodwill’s Disability Services offers support to the IDD community through two programs. In addition to Disability Navigation, Goodwill’s Pathways to Opportunity program is an adult training program for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities. The five-day-a-week program features classes focused on breaking limitations by teaching crucial life skills such as financial literacy, digital skills, self-advocacy, cooking, navigating public transit, and more while having fun!

Golisano has supported Goodwill’s Pathways to Opportunity program since 2021. Funding has supported programming expansions including a small business development class and the Life Skills Series.

If you or a loved one would like more information on Disability Navigation, please call or email Jessica Tursi 239-995-2106 ext. 2301 or [email protected].

Goodwill Industries of Southwest Florida is committed to serving people with disabilities and disadvantages by offering life-changing opportunities to achieve independence. For more information on how Goodwill SWFL positively impacts the community, visit www.Goodwillswfl.org

The Golisano Foundation is one of the largest private foundations in the U.S. dedicated to making the world a better place for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. The Foundation is devoted to opening doors to opportunity, changing negative perceptions and stereotypes, and forging unprecedented partnerships to ensure individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities have pathways to personal dignity, independence, and the best possible expression of their abilities and talents throughout their lifetimes.

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