COVID-19 Updates

COVID-19 Updates

The Ability Experience is committed to supporting our members, chapters, volunteers, and partner organizations during the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19). At this time, our staff is focused on incorporating safe and healthy practices to ensure the long-term success of our fraternity and those we serve. As this situation is fast-moving and constantly evolving, we will continue to provide updates and recommendations through this page.

Updates as of August 15th

Chapter Service

For many people with disabilities, a sense of isolation can already be a part of daily life. COVID-19 has only exacerbated their sense of social isolation. Many organizations that serve the community have either been forced to cut staff or are still trying to navigate how they can serve their clients while keeping everyone safe.

For many people with disabilities, a sense of isolation can already be a part of daily life. COVID-19 has only exacerbated their sense of social isolation. Many organizations that serve the community have either been forced to cut staff or are still trying to navigate how they can serve their clients while keeping everyone safe.

No Ability Camps have been planned for this semester. We will continue to track local conditions and determine what opportunities for accessibility construction can safely occur. Should these opportunities come available, we will inform area chapters accordingly.

For chapters that have local volunteer relationships, we encourage you to work with your organizations to identify opportunities to continue to serve. Should the organization not already have plans for safe social interaction, we encourage you to plan virtual friendship visits. See our Best Practices Guide or sample virtual friendship visit resource for ideas and direction. If you need guidance or need to leverage Ability Experience’s technological platforms to host virtual events, contact your regional director.

For chapters without local volunteer relationships, we are offering recurring virtual friendship visits with our partner organizations throughout the fall. All students and alumni are encouraged to participate in our virtual bingo, karaoke, campfires and dance parties. Visit our friendship visits page to find upcoming events and reserve a spot for your chapter.

Awareness events typically hosted by chapters are also difficult to conduct this semester. With this in mind, we are continuing to host monthly Ask Anything Panels where members of the disability community come together to share their perspective and answer questions you may have about disability. Our next panel will be in September with a date announced shortly.

Chapter Fundraising

While many chapters typically host in-person fundraising events each year, there are many restrictions and uncertainty due to COVID-19 that make it more difficult than ever to host a traditional fundraiser. We are encouraging all chapters to avoid planning large fundraising events especially those with upfront costs that would result in a loss of funds should the event be cancelled.

Taking your Fundraising Virtual

  • In some cases, traditional in-person fundraising events like Bike-a-thons, War of the Roses, Ability Weeks can be shifted to a virtual format with the right planning. Work with your Regional Director to stay up to date on how chapters across the country are adapting this semester.
  • Peer-to-peer is often the most low-effort, high-impact form of fundraising when enough chapter members are willing to participate in email / social media campaigns or phone-a-thons. See our Virtual Peer-to-Peer Fundraising resource for samples and ideas.
  • Get your chapter signed up for one of our national fundraising events this fall.
    • Gaming For Inclusion
      • Gaming tournaments that pair members with our partners in the disability community. National tournaments take place at least once per month, but your chapter can also leverage our platforms to host your own.
      • Registration for each tournament counts toward chapter fundraising and registrants also have the option to fundraise.
    • Virtual 5k and 1-Mile Challenge
      • Ability Experience will be hosting two virtual run challenges this semester that can count towards chapter fundraising. Simply register and select your chapter’s team.
      • Whether you can plan an in-person event to coincide or simply recruit others to participate, getting chapter members or other organizations to sign up can be an easy way to raise funds with little planning required.

Programs

In-Person Challenge Events have been cancelled, virtual Challenges available.

Our first Virtual Challenge for the fall is our Virtual 5k  / One Miler scheduled for September 26th. Sign up today!

Journey of Hope, Gear Up Florida, Build America return 2021.

Applications for Summer 2021 Team Events are now open. Positions are now open for Build America, Gear Up Florida and Journey of Hope. Crew positions are also available and can be used for internship credit. To see more details or recommend a brother, visit our interest page or apply now.

Our staff is also hosting virtual Team Event Interest presentations for any chapter that wants to learn more about the programs and what opportunities they offer. These 20-minute presentations give an overview on the experiences and answer any questions your chapter may have. Schedule yours here or contact your Regional Director.