Cape Abilities Programs and Services

Creating Opportunity for individuals with disabilities on Cape Cod is the touchstone that drives the life-changing services and supports offered by Cape Abilities. For 50 years, Cape Abilities has provided enriching, high quality services, coupled with diverse community opportunities that empower our participants to achieve meaningful and valued roles in society.

In 1968, Cape Abilities was founded as Nauset Workshop in Orleans, and began its first programs out of the old Orleans Fire Station, serving just a handful of individuals. Mrs. Rose Kennedy (right) visited the center in its first months, and shared our mission with many in her effort to support those with disabilities on Cape Cod.

After 50 years of providing exception services to thousands of individuals with disabilities across Cape Cod, Cape Abilities continues to grow, and currently serves, at any one time, more than 400 individuals with a broad range of developmental and intellectual disabilities, including autism spectrum disorder, cerebral palsy, blindness, Down syndrome, acquired brain injury, hearing impairment, mobility limitations, seizure disorder and mental health issues. The agency has program centers in Hyannis, Eastham and Falmouth and has over 285 talented staff members.

Cape Abilities is a valued influential member of the Cape Cod community, where program participants live, work and volunteer, and forge meaningful partnerships with individuals and businesses. We also seek to create or promote partnerships with various local civic, social, business and educational groups in order to maximize secular and social opportunities for individuals with disabilities.

We are grateful for the support of the entire Cape Cod community that allows our participants to improve their life goals, support their desire for self-advocacy, and help them to become valuable contributors in their community.



Cape Abilities is licensed and certified by the Massachusetts Department of Developmental Services, and is approved to provide services for clients of MassHealth and the Massachusetts Rehabilitation Commission, and AbilityOne/SourceAmerica.

The agency has been awarded a full three-year accreditation from the Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities (CARF) International, and has received commendations for developing and maintaining many and varied successful relationships in the community and reporting very high levels of satisfaction with services from all key stakeholders.

All services support individual choice and control, community inclusion and promote attainment of goals and aspirations.  While each program has specific intended outcomes, services are not continuous, thus an individual does not have to complete one service in order to move to another.


Cape Abilities Life Skills/Day Habilitation

Offered in both the Hyannis and Eastham centers, this program provides therapeutic-based activities to enhance wellness and independence for individuals who need more structure in order to succeed. As a community-committed program, it offers a variety of volunteer and social activities as well as physical exercise, arts and cultural events that are planned to meet each individual’s service plan goals. Physical and Occupational Therapy and Speech and Language supports are integrated into the daily program offerings.


Community Based Day Support Program (CBDS)

CBDS provides a range of supports and training in order to provide a springboard to successful employment and meaningful community involvement through assessment of participants’ skills, needs and interests and exploration of a range of community opportunities including volunteerism, internships, job training placements and community classes that match participants’ areas of specific interest.


Vocational Assessment, Training, Job Placement and Employment Support

This comprehensive program assists individuals in applying for jobs at businesses throughout the community and then, once they are placed in positions, provides the necessary transportation and supports so that they can keep their jobs and be valued employees. As part of this program, individuals may be placed in one of the agency’s four innovative Social Enterprises.


Pre-Employment Transition Services (Pre-ETS)

This program supports 16-21 year-old students with disabilities transition from high school into the adult services system by giving qualified candidates an introduction to work to enhance their vocational choices, develop positive work habits, and obtain valuable work experience that will make them more marketable in the competitive workforce.  Services include job exploration counseling, workplace readiness training, and work-based learning experience and internships.


Residential Services

Cape Abilities operates 15 group homes and a number of cooperative apartments that enable residents to live as independently as possible while still receiving the care and support they need, along with the security and comfort of knowing they have a lifelong home.  Our Residential Services include DDS and ABI/MFP Adult Long Term Residential Services, MRC Statewide Head Injury Program Residential Supports, Community Living/Individual Supports, Adult Family Care (AFC), Adult Shared Living and Agency with Choice.


The Transportation Program operates through contracts with the Cape Cod Regional Transit Authority. Participants in day and employment programs are provided with transportation to and from their daily program, employment, and community resources and activities.