Kitchener-Waterloo

Toyota donates $40K to fund new position at KidsAbility for youth with complex special needs

Toyota has donated $40,000 to KidsAbility, which will fund a new two-year transition coordinator tasked with helping kids with disabilities transition from youth to adulthood.
Toyota has donated $40,000 to Kidsability to fund a new transition coordinator position, which will help kids with complex special needs transition to adulthood. (Kidsability/Twitter)

Toyota has donated $40,000 to KidsAbility, which will fund a new two-year transition coordinator position, tasked with helping kids with disabilities transition from youth to adulthood.  

Denise Watson, director of programs at KidsAbility, said the therapist they hire will work with youth ages 16 and older with complex special needs to develop the tools and resources they need to help ease the transition.

"We identified this several years ago as being an area where we would like to invest but we didn't have the funds to be able to do it. And so Toyota has stepped up and is going to help us," Watson said. The company toured the facility and handed over the cheque on Friday.

KidsAbility already has a care plan for its younger clients, and the new coordinator will help bridge the gap. 

Watson said the group has already begun looking for someone to take on the position, which will be part-time, one day a week. She expects to have someone selected within the month.

"We had so much interest internally that we've now moved to a second interview stage with staff," she said.

Watson says she's especially grateful to receive the funding, because companies often want to see a tangible product or program in exchange for their donation. But with this job, she said, much of the work will happen behind the scenes.

She said KidsAbility has promised to keep Toyota updated biannually to share the successes and the barriers that they encounter.

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