AbilityFirst Logo

Basic Information

Address: 1300 East Green Street, Pasadena CA 91106
Phone Number: 626-396-1010

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Additional Information


AbilityFirst was established in 1926 and known as the Crippled Children’s Society of Southern California (CCS) for many decades. Lawrence L. Frank and Paul Dietrich, both Rotarians, were two of the original founders of the organization and they continued their loyal support throughout their lives. When our organization was founded, the name reflected the thinking and norms of the time. The ensuing decades, however, brought dramatic change. We expanded to provide programs for adults and children with disabilities. We also broadened our mission in order to meet the needs of those with developmental disabilities, as well as those with physical disabilities. Development disabilities include autism, cerebral palsy, Down syndrome, and epilepsy. In 2000, the organization adopted the name AbilityFirst to better reflect our mission, our vision for the future, and our commitment to celebrating the unique abilities of every individual.

Support Services:

After School Enrichment programs, Adult Day programs, Aquatic programs, accessible camp for children and adults with disabilties.

Program Information:

Whatever the degree or type of their disability, every child who participates in an AbilityFirst After School Enrichment Program experiences a culturally-sensitive environment, where each individual is valued. With staffing ratios of no more than 1:5 - and, under special circumstances, as close as 1:1 - our well-trained, caring staff engage children with age-appropriate activities that nurture social, physical, cognitive and creative abilities. Specific activities vary from center to center, but all fall into these four categories:

1. Life Skills: activities are designed to enhance one's ability to participate in common, everyday activities and includes things like cooking, doing laundry, etiquette/manners, group interaction and making friends, sharing, and developing hobbies, as well as range of community-based activities such as shopping, banking, eating in restaurants, using public transportation and community safety basics.

2. Education: focused activities include developing computer skills and creative writing, along with homework assistance and time in our learning labs.

3. Adaptive Recreation: encompasses all sorts of interests - dancing, gardening, karate, swimming, arts and crafts, karaoke/singing, drama, and even preparing to participate in the 5K event of the Los Angeles Marathon!

4. Day Trips: range from sports activities such as bowling, horseback riding, rock climbing, river rafting, surfing, jet skiing and water skiing, to excursions to amusement parks, museums, public parks, beaches and community events.

AbilityFirst Anaheim Program
AbilityFirst Claremont Center
AbilityFirst East Los Angeles Center
AbilityFirst Glendale Center
AbilityFirst Joan and Harry A. Mier Center in Inglewood
AbilityFirst Lawrence L. Frank Center in Pasadena
AbilityFirst Long Beach Center
AbilityFirst Newport Mesa Center in Costa Mesa

Slogan: Looking Beyond Disabilities, Focusing on Capabilities, Expanding Possibilities