At the Frances Center "abilimall," disabled adults learn to direct their own lives by repurposing and selling their own products.
Nick Leo
Baton Rouge, Louisiana
United States
1 Team Member

The Story

At the Frances Center for Customized Employment, adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD) learn to take control of their own lives by repurposing and selling their own products. This includes projects like recycling different objects into furniture pieces, repainting furniture, repainting decorative pieces, and whatever else the employees decide. The business model, called an "AbiliMall," was developed as a doctorate thesis by Dr. Jo Monroe, the founder. It is a unique employment solution for adults with IDD, who face unique difficulties when attempting to enter the workforce.

Historically, adults with IDD have been either placed in homes, or given low-level jobs in facilities like fast-food restaurants. These provide employment, but don't create much value for the employer or the employee. The Frances Center for Customized Employment offers a new approach to employment for adults with IDD. Employees repurpose donated items in the workshop, and then sell them using their own spaces in the "Finds & Fixes Thrift and Gift Store" next door. They have flexible hours, plenty of freedom to experiment, and only minimal guidance. Employees are treated like the adults that they are, and maintain responsibility for their projects. The goal is for employees to learn to develop their unique abilities, instead of simply learning to cope with their disabilities. With the freedom and independence they need, they can become self-employed, valuable creators.

The Frances Center is also an educational institution. Employees attend classes regularly, where they are taught essential skills like mathematics, reading, and writing at their own pace.

Repurposing is your window into the inner workings of the Frances Center, to see how adults with IDD can repurpose refuse into valuable products, and to repurpose their lives into something new. They truly do have tremendous capabilities that the world has been ignoring for too long.

Crowd-funded, Crowd-owned

Once this project leaves my hard drive and hits the internet, it belongs to you. I will be publishing Repurposing using Creative Common's CC0 tool, which waives all of my copyright privileges for the documentary. That means you can use it however you please:

  • Download it
  • Copy it
  • Share it
  • Sell it
  • Screen it
  • Change it
  • Use it in your own project
  • Anything else you can imagine

CC0 even waives the requirement for attribution. This is a crowd-funded project, and it will be a crowd-owned product. I I prefer to provide a product that is yours to use however you want in exchange for your contribution, instead of focusing too much on swaying you with perks.

Please understand that waiving copyright privilege is a big undertaking, but I do believe that it is the most sensible and natural way to release a creative product. This is an experimental business model, and I hope it will demonstrate to other artists that creative projects can be both copyright-free and worthwhile for the creator.

Where Your Money Goes

I have already made an investment in this documentary out-of-pocket by purchasing a new camera and microphone, to ensure a quality product. About half of the funds will cover this expense.

A fraction of the funds will be used for buying royalty-free music (to keep the end product free to use) and for submitting to festivals.There is a considerable amount of editing to be done, as well as the possibility of more filming if the need becomes apparent during the editing (I have already gathered a substantial amount of the footage). Whatever is left of the funds will be my payment for this work. I hope this is modest enough!

Update: I've been using some internet marketing in getting this page noticed, and have found that it is very effective. I've decided to allocate a portion of the funds to marketing/advertisement after its completion. The end goal is to show the Frances Center to as many people as possible, after all. I hope this will make you feel even more comfortable that your money is going to a good place.

Find This Campaign On
raised by 41 people in 1 month
106% funded
0 time left
$2,000 USD goal
Fixed Funding This campaign has ended and will receive all funds raised.
Campaign Closed
This campaign ended on January 31, 2014
Select a Perk
  • $1USD
    Crowd Funded, Crowd Owned

    Repurposing will be published with using Creative Commons' CC0 "no rights reserved" tool. This means that I will waive all copyright privileges as the author of documentary. Anyone will be free to download and use it however they please, without the need for even an attribution. YOU will own it. I hope it will serve as a tool for educational or entertainment purposes in your work environment, school, charity or any other organization.

    2 claimed
  • $15USD
    Test Screening

    You'll be invited to preview and provide feedback for the documentary before its official release through an early, password-protected release on Vimeo.

    1 claimed
  • $50USD
    Special Thanks

    Thanks so much for your generosity! You will receive a special thank you by name in the credits.

    15 claimed
  • $60USD
    A Gift from the Frances Center

    Receive an item from the Frances Center as a gift for your contribution! I can only offer this to people who claim this perk specifically, because supply is limited. Check out the video in my gallery to see what's being offered, and let me know which one you would like when you claim it. The earliest contributors will have first choice. This perk entitles you to all perks of lesser value as well. Price now dropped to $60.

    4 out of 5 claimed
    Estimated delivery: February 2014
  • $100USD
    Associate Producer

    You'll be listed as an associate producer in the credits for Repurposing, plus all of the above perks! Excludes "A Gift From the Frances Center," because of limited supply.

    0 claimed
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