There are many kinds of teachers and many types of students – and there is no better example of that than the 4-youth students at reachAbility.  

This class, in support of youth with disabilities integrating into mainstream environments, is providing youth opportunities to “do good” as part of their integral classroom experience.

So these young students – who don’t come with instructions; because, after all, who does – are creating challenges that maximize their contribution to the community and their own growth. 

This process is what reachAbility calls the “NOMAD effect” (New Opportunities to Make A Difference) a way by which we all win.

The students gain the life-skills often overlooked for persons with disabilities till now; the family and friends see how NOMAD can change lives, the community benefits from the projects- that to date have included a children’s book, traveling stigma forest, outreach to school kids of all ages and much more…

Now that is a true WIN, WIN, WIN!

The 4-Youth program is a 22-week employability and life skills program designed for youth ages 18-30 with a disability. The first four weeks of the program contain employability workshops, while participants spend the remainder of the program completing a community project.

During the program, the youth identify, address, and work to overcome their employment barriers. The workshops and activities include such topics as: self esteem and confidence building, identifying strengths, overcoming weaknesses, goal setting, communication, stress management and many more. Throughout creating the community project, the group learns to work together as a team while contributing their own pieces to the project.

The community project is hands-on and differs depending on the interests and skills of each group.  Community projects in the past have included presentations to schools, writing a children’s book, running a social games night, developing a board game and creating pieces of art for a community event.

Another component of the 4-Youth program is the volunteer placement. After the first four weeks are completed, participants begin to volunteer in various areas of interest. This allows the youth to gain experience that could lead to further goal setting and provides them with additional hands-on knowledge of the workplace.

Making Headlines:

4-Youth Art Defies Stigmas – The Halifax Commoner, by Greg Wade

 “It’s not your normal atmosphere [at reachAbility],” said Hynes. “Everybody’s positive, everybody’s bringing you up. We’re all doing the same thing and we’re all on the same track.”


4-Youth Anti-Bullying


 4 Youth Participant Quotes

“Of all the ways the 4-Youth program has helped me, I would say that my levels of confidence have increased substantially! This program has given me the means to truly feel confident in myself for the first time in a long time. Gradually going from being afraid to interact with people to feeling reasonable comfortable doing so is such a great thing.”

“Without this program, I would not be where I am today.”

“Ever since I was in the 4-Youth program, my family has seen a big difference in me. Some of the workshops that really helped me were stress management, confidence and budgeting.”

“4-Youth brought out the best in my abilities and skills. Even when I felt that I didn’t have the confidence to take on a new responsibility, I just had to think about what I had learned in the 4-Youth program.”

How Do I Get Involved?

If an individual is already associated with a case management agency, then they can speak directly to their case manager about referral to 4-Youth.

If an individual is not already case managed, but wishes to participate in a particular program, they can contact reachAbility anytime for contact numbers for a case management agencies or questions regarding the referral process.

For more information about  4-Youth, please contact Helen@reachability.org or call us at (902) 429-5878.

Specific accommodation(s) available upon request.

Application form

You have two options to fill out the referral form. You can either fill it out online, or download it to e-mail or fax it back to us. If you choose to download, please right click on “WORD,” and click on “Save As.”

Fill out the referral form online here: [ONLINE FORM]

Download the referral form here: [WORD]