SANTA BARBARA, Calif., June 21, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Independence Day is typically viewed as an annual celebration of freedom for most Americans, but for the 56.7 million Americans or 20 percent of the US population with disabilities and functional limitations, the triumph of independent living is a victory for which they strive every day. PathPoint, a California-based non-profit organization established in 1964, has been paving the way for people with disabilities to reach their fullest potential for nearly five decades.
"Independent living is a significant way for people with developmental disabilities to achieve self-determination and self-respect," says Cindy Burton, President and CEO of PathPoint. "Our goal is to provide them with the right tools and training to achieve their personal capacity for independence." PathPoint's nationally-recognized programs predominantly assist participants in establishing themselves within the realms of employment, housing, and developmental training. Through these fundamental services, PathPoint enables people with disabilities to become integrated, productive members within our communities.
In 2005, California's employment rate of working-age people with a disability was 37.4 percent compared to 75.7 percent of people without a disability. Thanks to PathPoint's programs, over 2,000 people in California each year are supported in their steps to live productive, independent lives within the five counties of San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara, Ventura, Los Angeles, and Kern. As a $24 million organization, PathPoint has an annual overhead of only 11 percent enabling them to give back 89 cents of every dollar that it receives to helping the people and communities it serves.
In addition to employment and housing, PathPoint's programs also include community living skills such as nutritional cooking, personal hygiene, safety, public transportation, banking, financial management, and recreational planning. As a collaborative resource within the region, PathPoint partners with over 300 employers from both private and public sectors to place its participants in well-suited jobs for their skill sets.
The Fourth of July is certainly an opportunity for everyone to celebrate the privileges that independence brings, especially for those with disabilities who fight to make every day of their lives one of independence.
For more information about PathPoint, please visit www.pathpoint.org. For press materials or to set an interview with PathPoint President and CEO Cindy Burton, please contact Rajan De Los Santos at Christie Communications, www.christiecomm.com, (805)969-3744 or [email protected].