The VisABILITY Project: Celebrating the Creativity of our Participants with Developmental Disabilities

In Fall 2021, our Day Habilitation participants were invited to join in a VisABILITY art workshop series to help develop their creative talents. Workshops were led by The Foundling’s creative facilitators, with each one introducing our participants to a different artistic medium – from photography to poetry.

In the course of these workshops, many of our participants found that art provided a novel way to truly share their voices and experiences with the world. “We have a lot of individuals that really have a hard time expressing their feelings and emotions…but if you look at their artwork, it speaks a thousand words,” says Lamont Issacs, Assistant Vice President of our Day Habilitation program.

The VisABILITY project culminated in an art exhibition to showcase these bold and powerful works – and on March 23, The Foundling’s Developmental Disabilities team hosted a celebration of the exhibition at Vinny’s Café (a community space within Vincent’s Village, a supportive complex for seniors managed by the Sisters of Charity Housing Development Corporation.)

Jill Gentile - DD Art Show

Jill Gentile, who leads our Developmental Disabilities Division, provided opening remarks on March 23.

This special event allowed Foundling staff and Trustees, Sisters of Charity, program participants, and friends and family to enjoy refreshments, admire the artwork, contribute to a group installation, and learn more about the VisABILITY project. For many of our Developmental Disabilities participants, this was the first time they had attended a gallery event, and it was a wonderful experience where their abilities, viewpoints, and talent were acknowledged and celebrated.

Artists - DD Art Show

Artists had the opportunity to share and discuss their work.

“With the art showcase, we’re really giving an opportunity for the community to think more about what a society that’s more inclusive of the experiences and abilities around us might look like,” shares Carly Johnson, one of The Foundling’s Clinical Coordinators and a VisABILITY Workshop Facilitator.

And our VisABILITY project is not over – our art gallery continues to garner interest from the community and local officials.

Artwork - DD Art Show

Our participants’ artwork, photos, paintings, collages, textile arts, and more – was beautifully displayed throughout the café.

Additionally, The Foundling has also launched a corresponding digital exhibition featuring a virtual tour, art to view, and even the opportunity to purchase original works (with proceeds benefiting the artist and funding additional VisABILITY workshops). View the exhibition here.



Interested in learning more about the VisABILITY Project? Hear our participants and staff speak about their experiences in the video below:

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