connect ability: About Us

About Us

Connect-Ability began in late 2005 with a federal grant to the State of Connecticut to identify and remove barriers to employment faced by people with disabilities. This five-year, multimillion dollar 'systems change grant' involved a detailed look at the State's employment and disability services infrastructure in order to identify problem areas and implement lasting solutions.

Connect-Ability has two primary customers:

  • Employers of all sizes and in all industries who are seeking qualified workers
  • People with disabilities of all ages who are seeking employment for the first time or who want a new challenge

Our program does not directly provide services to match individuals with specific jobs. Instead, our efforts are targeted at removing the barriers which keep our primary customers from finding one another. These barriers include, but are not limited to, low expectations, the transition from school to work, inadequate transportation, and the actual process of recruitment, hiring, and retention.

Systems change grant - Over the past few years, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) have issued grants to states to create new ways for people with disabilities to be included in their local communities. Target areas have included transition out of institutions, support systems, housing, social inclusion, and work. The Medicaid Infrastructure Grant (MIG) is focused on removing barriers to employment. Connecticut's first MIG created a buy-in program under Medicaid so that people no longer had to choose between working and having the health insurance and support services they need. Connect-Ability is Connecticut's second Medicaid Infrastructure Grant.

Employers - Connect-Ability works with large corporations, medium-sized businesses, and small employers in all sectors, including government service.

People with disabilities of all ages - Connect-Ability's target population is cross-disability and across the lifespan. This means that people may have physical, sensory, emotional, and/or intellectual disabilities; and may be high school students, people in their 30's or 40's, or people of retirement age.

Steering Committee

Connect-Ability is managed by a Steering Committee made up of Connecticut employers, individuals with disabilities, educators and advocates.


Abbot, Quincy The Arc of Connecticut
Anderson, Patricia L. Department of Education & Bureau of Rehabilitation Services
Bogin, Jennifer
Weston, Christine Bureau of Rehabilitation Services
Clay, Patti Bureau of Rehabilitation Services
Ducharme, George Manchester Community College
Fradette, Kerri Bureau of Rehabilitation Services, Connect-Ability
Glomb, Walter Down Syndrome Congress
Henry, Glendine Bureau of Rehabilitation Services
Johnston, Todd Ability Beyond Disability
Khantivong, Khampasong Bureau of Rehabilitation Services
Love, Peter UCEDD
Ludlum, Cathy Consultant
Langton, Mary Ann Council on Developmental Disabilities
Morgana, David
Gerlach, Bill
Guillorn, Linda Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services
Larmett, Jill DOL
Porter, Amy Bureau of Rehabiliation Services, Director
Quick, Jim Spinal Cord Injury Association
Richer, Nikki Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services
Stankaitus, Reggie Traveler's Insurance
Vicedomini, Doriana
Van Tassel, Jan Connecticut Legal Rights
Wood, Robin Department of Developmental Services
Walker, Deborah Department of Labor
Wolf, Barbara Parks Office of Policy and Management

Content Last Modified on 10/17/2013 2:00:16 PM