Main Street Unplugged

Events at Main Street Unplugged

Does is seem that sometimes the meaning gets lost in the acronym?

NDEAM is short for National Disability Employment Awareness Month.

But what does this acronym really mean?

Come to Main Street Unplugged and find out!

Main Street Unplugged is a FREE event showcasing exceptional businesses owned and operated by entrepreneurs with disabilities.

The Nebraska Self Employment Services and Metropolitan Community College are honored to invite you to our annual FREE event held during NDEAM that also provides unique networking with other employers and agencies that support the diverse contributions workers with disabilities bring to the job.

Mix and mingle over a free lunch, enter drawings for great giveaways and be a part of efforts to recognize and celebrate disability employment at:

Main Street Unplugged on Wednesday, October 28th at the South Omaha Metro Community College Campus (27th & Q Street, Omaha) from 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. 

 After listening to our amazing guest speakers, you will be inspired to maximize the potential – everywhere you find it!  Don’t miss the chance to hear:

  • Marcus Sikora is a 25 year old creative soul who has Down syndrome and lives in Omaha. An actor in local and national venues, Marcus has now added “author” to his list of accomplishments.  You won’t want to miss a chance to learn, smile and get a signed copy of his soon-to-be Halloween classic!


  • David Scott is the Director of Sales at Embassy Suites and Courtyard by Marriott Hotels in La Vista. He has been instrumental in supporting a Project SEARCH youth employment program at his hotel. However, it is the award winning short video that champions the benefits of promoting full inclusion and employment of people with disabilities that will both move and motivate you. Prepare to be surprised – not only by testimonies in this video, but also by the film crew that made it!  

Main Street Unplugged is open to the public and we are looking forward to hosting a big crowd who enjoy networking with mission-based organizations/agencies, local employers and area entrepreneurs with disabilities!

Please click on this printable flyer  and share with anyone and everyone you think would enjoy experiencing Main Street Unplugged.

Need more info or want to get involved? Email Christine at: 

Your Toolkit for All Things ADA

"I love the ADA," button, 1990s

“I love the ADA,” button, 1990s


Can you believe this July 26th marks the 25th Anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act?

Want to know how the ADA journey began?  Katherine Ott, curator in the Division of Medicine and Science recounts the journey over the last 25 years. Read more here.

Be apart of the Americans with Disabilities Act 25 year celebration. View this toolkit and see how you can easily partake in the celebration!



Opening Doors

John Kemp

John D. Kemp, President & CEO
The Viscardi Center

As we recognize the 25th anniversary of the signing of the Americans with Disabilities Act, our friend and mentor, John Kemp, shares his inspiring thoughts on employment, and self-employment, for individuals with disabilities. I’m not shy in telling all that The Abilities Fund would not be around today without John Kemp’s guidance and, frankly, love for our mission. Onward and upward, John!

Read about John’s story and others here.

Disability, Poverty do You have to Choose?

It’s easy to become discouraged when we, as a collective body of advocates for economic equality for individuals with disabilities, read the current statistics regarding their employment, benefits, and government supports – or lack thereof. The closing of the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services’ Federal Employment Guidance Services not only minimizes resources for individuals with disabilities but for thousands of others who are economically disadvantaged. It’s pretty hard to swallow when, in fact, we have first-hand experience in the benefit of supports to help inform and engage individuals who need a hand up, not a hand out.

At The Abilities Fund, we experience daily the advances made by the talented entrepreneurs with whom we have the good fortune to serve. People with disabilities are incredibly, naturally entrepreneurial. With a little guidance and a dose of “you need to do this for yourself,” they move ahead at a rate that is impressive, to say the least. Yes, disability remains present. No, it does not impede them. As we always say, the only thing we cannot support at The Abilities Fund is…an infeasible business idea. Success doesn’t have a thing to do with disability and disability doesn’t have to prevent success.

In a blog from our friends at, ‘Painful Lessons about Poverty and Disability,’ Executive Director Jennifer Laslo Mizrahi reviews the sad truth about the impact of closing the doors on FEGS. As you read, keep in mind the number of Americans who will lose what is one of the best resources we have in the US not to mention the thousands of people who will become unemployed. We can’t overlook the 2,000 volunteers that have invested their time and talent to keep FEGS’ services at a level of quality that is off the charts. All in all, it is a hit that will be hard to take.

Yes, it’s easy to become discouraged – but we are trying to use that negative energy to fuel positive activism. At The Abilities Fund, we are committed to the economic advancement of people with disabilities and devoted to the fullest expression of their entrepreneurial spirit in all its diversity, strength and boundless originality. It’s who we are.

Thank you,, for keeping us informed.

Patti Lind
Executive Director
The Abilities Fund

The Abilities Fund Introduces New Website!

The Abilities Fund new website

Welcome to The Abilities Fund’s new and improved website!

The site is full of information, tips and techniques for individuals with disabilities in the process of planning for a new business startup.

We are currently serving individuals who are receiving services through Nebraska Vocational Rehabilitation and Nebraska Commission for the Blind and Visually Impaired. However, if you are an emerging entrepreneur located outside of Nebraska, check out the vast information provided under ‘Resources.’Continue Reading The Abilities Fund Introduces New Website!