Serving and Including People with Disabilities

“A community’s inclusiveness of everyone – regardless of ability – is a measure of a community’s character. I’m proud we’re making our community more accessible for everyone.”

--Supervisor Simitian​​​

  • All-Inclusive Playgrounds -- Inclusive playgrounds can be used by all children and adults, regardless of their physical, sensory or cognitive abilities. Yet, only two existed in Santa Clara County: Magical Bridge Playground in Palo Alto – for which Supervisor Simitian secured County funding – and the Rotary PlayGarden in San Jose. The overwhelming success of these playgrounds led Supervisor Simitian to propose a matching grant program to inspire the creation of additional all-inclusive playgrounds. So far, more than $15 million in County funds have been awarded to build 16 new all-inclusive playgrounds at parks and schools, with more to come.  Learn more
  • ​Affordable Housing -- In 2018 and at Supervisor Simitian's urging, the County committed $40 million to build affordable housing for developmentally disabled adults, a County population that has grown over 47% in the past decade.  People with developmental disabilities have unique housing and resource needs; this housing includes supportive services specifically for those living with developmental disabilities and will be targeted for those in the very low or extremely low income brackets.

    The Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors awarded funding for three housing projects in 2019, one each in Palo Alto, Sunnyvale and the City of Santa Clara.  In 2020, Supervisor Simitian identified an additional County-owned site in Palo Alto that was coming available.  He proposed, and the Board has agreed, to consider using this site for extremely low and very low income housing, which would include specialized units for developmentally disabled adults.  Learn more
  • Ada's Cafe Job Training -- Supervisor Simitian recommended County funding for Ada’s Café, which creates unique employment opportunities for adults with disabilities who face obstacles to full employment. Employees are trained in food preparation, customer service, and other professional skills, interacting with the larger community while also earning a paycheck.  Learn more
  • Via Services Scholarships -- Via West is a 13-acre residential camp serving children and adults with disabilities. It provides recreation and social experiences to individuals whose disabilities and medical needs exclude them from other camps, as well as vital respite for caregivers. The County and the City of San Jose provide scholarships for Via West attendee families without the ability to pay.​  Learn more

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