Richboro Dad Creates Professional Opportunities for Intellectually Challenged Workers, Including His Son


Richboro resident Michael Fitzgerald’s 24-year-old son Shawn sought a productive career. But his Intellectual, Developmental Disabilities (IDD) status hampered him. So Michael, looking to give Shawn a leg up (as fathers do), took action. The resulting organization he co-launched, ABLE Force, was covered by Matteo Iadonisi at 6abc.

The nonprofit currently provides job opportunities to IDD workers at four local employers:

  • Classic Rock Auto Detail
  • Requip’d, an upcycling company for used hockey sticks
  • Able Fulfillment, a packing firm
  • Shredable, a document disposal provider

At present, 15–20 young adults report to work under ABLE Force’s connections; Fitzgerald and his partner look to expand those resources eventually to 50.

Fitzgerald sees his effort as rather straightforward. “It’s just taking the advantage of the skill sets of our adults and training them and seeing the potential and opportunity. Because they want to be part of the community. They want to be able to do a job like everybody else,” he said.

Resultant benefits have been bilateral in the Fitzgerald household. Shawn’s employment is bolstering his self-sufficiency. And Michael reports that he is “…just learning so much more from Shawn. About how to be a better person and be a better dad.”

More on ABLE Force is at 6abc.