Stand Among Friends was formed in 1997 to build awareness, educate the community and provide “much needed” resources for individuals with disabilities. In 2006, we formed a partnership with Florida Atlantic University and opened The Disability Center on the Boca Raton campus. We began conducting practical research studies to provide information and support to individuals with disabilities. After forging a relationship with FAU’s Office for Students with Disabilities (OSD), we became aware of a significant number of college students with disabilities who had lacked resources as they approached graduation and were ready to begin their careers.
We designed and launched our Employment Program in 2008 and we continued to evolve our programs with the addition of our Assistive Technology (AT) lab and program to address the need for essential technology skills training, Vocational Comprehensive and Situational Worksite Evaluations to determine skills, interest and aptitude to effectively prepare and place individuals in employment, and widespread community outreach efforts to expand and identify potential employers, volunteers, community services and employment options. Since 2008, SAF has placed over 460 individuals in employment and over 1,200 people have sought services; over 60% of clients have college degrees.