In 1935, a chance meeting of three men in New York City’s Times Square helped to change the world for thousands of people. The three, World War I veterans with physical disabilities, had struggled to make ends meet during the Great Depression. Shut out of the workforce, they set out to change misperceptions – by proving that people with barriers could be productive workers.
They founded the Federation of the Crippled and Disabled, based on the principles of work, dignity and achieving economic independence – the first organization in the country run by, and providing services to, people with disabilities.
Services honors this distinguished history.
“We’ve made a deep and lasting impact in the field of vocational rehabilitation, and in the lives of tens of thousands of individuals and their families.”Christine McMahon, CEO
Each year Fedcap’s range of services – from detailed evaluations, vocational training, job placement and counseling services, as well as employment, support and advocacy programs – help more than 40,000 Americans overcome obstacles, rebuild their lives, and find and keep meaningful employment.
Our job is to level the playing field for people in wheelchairs, people with visual impairments, people with intellectual barriers, people who have difficulty speaking English and many other barriers.
Helping employers find great employees is critically important to their success.
“We take pride in our robust and thorough evaluations and employee preparation,” Christine explains. “You could say our people are ‘road tested’ so employers have the advantage of hiring people who are sustainable.” In addition to carrying out an ambitious mission, another challenge for Fedcap is a changing economy and changing expectations for non-profit organizations as government funding continues to shrink.
“We have a saying at Fedcap that if you're not growing, you're shrinking.”Christine McMahon, CEO
“It’s not an option to stand still, so we set a growth plan to outrun turbulent times, a bold plan for a non-profit,” including both geographic and program expansion. Even in the last four years, Fedcap’s employee population has grown from 1,200 to 2,000.
“We knew IDB was right for us when they talked in common sense ways and gave us common sense solutions to advance our goals. A banking relationship is critically important to us, especially as we grow, and we found a partner in IDB.”Christine McMahon, CEO