I recently had the opportunity to visit ICAN, California Abilities Network.  Greeted by Lindsey Stone, Director of Programs and Services, I quickly became inspired through her passion and enthusiasm.

ICAN is a nonprofit organization that has been serving the community for over 40 years. They provide quality recreational, employment, empowerment, and socialization programs for Southern California’s adults with physical and developmental disabilities, meeting the needs of not just the individual, but his or her entire family.

Their mission is to serve people with disabilities and their families through life skills training, supported employment, and social programming. Our goal is to empower people with disabilities to discover and achieve their own ‘I CAN’ statement.

As Stone was providing a tour around the outside of their beautiful new location on Sepulveda Blvd., in Torrance, Scott Elliott, Executive Director joined us.  Elliott, like Stone is passionate about this organization.

As we went inside, the building is spacious and layed out to accommodate several different programs that ICAN does.  There were several independent meeting rooms, a large open space, rooms for arts and crafts and a large kitchen.

ICAN has several different programs and activities for the individuals they serve. At ICAN, they believe that everyone should have the opportunity to work. The goal of their Supported Employment Program is to assist individuals who want to work find a job and provide them with job coaching support. Since 2014, ICAN has helped over 150 clients in their journey to find meaningful employment opportunities. 

ICAN provides individual employment opportunities with fading one-on-one job coaching. Our program consists of Job Development, Interview Assistance, and Job Coaching Services. They also have a job prep course for additional support that requires a separate authorization. 

Additionally, in 2016, ICAN announced their Market Place Initiative. With a strong belief in employing people with developmental disabilities they decided to create their own businesses that employs the individuals they serve.  They have organized a Photo Booth rental with professional-grade camera and lighting equipment, they operate Hermosa Beach Coffee Company which is an independent coffee purveyor serving fresh local coffee and individuals handmake seasonal clothespin wreaths, wired jewelry and succulent arrangements.

ICAN is truly a nonprofit that is making a difference in the South Bay.  The Torrance Chamber welcomes ICAN to the City of Torrance and will host a ribbon cutting for their new location at 2375 Sepulveda Blvd. on Thursday, July 8th at 9:00 a.m.

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