Serving the Needs of Individuals with Disabilities

(above) For over 35 years, Michele Ford has dedicated her life to serving the needs of individuals with disabilities. A life-long advocate, Michele has been a champion for this most vulnerable population by serving on the Union County Nonprofit Consortium, Union County Crisis Consortium and most recently addressing members of the US Commission on Civil Rights in Washington, D.C. to raise awareness of choice in defense of employment options for individuals with disabilities. Courtesy photo

Michele Ford Interviewed on “Get Connected”

Inroads to Opportunities

Michele Ford, President & CEO, Inroads To Opportunities, was recently interviewed on 106.7 Lite FM, “Get Connected,” with Host Nina Del Rio. Inroads to Opportunities is a Union County, NJ based non-profit human services agency, that provides programs and services to individuals with disabilities.

In a wide-ranging conversation, Ford covered what drew her to advocacy, her experiences and vast responsibilities at Inroads. Ford is dedicated to the success of each participant and noted that Inroads is one of the most diverse workplaces to be employed. 

During National Autism Awareness Month,  Inroads expands their already robust outreach to increase awareness for individuals with autism who are seeking employment. Ford mentions 45% of Inroads participants that transition from their school to work program are on the autism spectrum, but yet in the employment world 85% of people with autism and other disabilities are unemployed. This is a huge statistic and obstacle that Inroads seeks to turn around. 

According to Ford, “Our participants bring such an enrichment to our setting…we really need employers to open their doors just for practice, just to let someone come in and try.” Exposure is necessary for these prospective employees to have a better understanding of their work environment and the expectations of their potential job.  

To listen to the episode visit: 


Since 1959, Inroads to Opportunities, formerly the Occupational Center of Union County, has provided programs and services to over 400 individuals each year with all types of disabilities and ranging in age from 16 through retirement. Programs and services include vocational preparation, transition from school to work, job placement and mental health services. For more information visit:

Inroads to Opportunities is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities (CARF), an approved provider of the NJ Department of Labor, Division of Vocational Rehabilitation Services and Commission of the Blind and Visually Impaired.  Inroads is licensed by the State of New Jersey Department of Human Services, NJ Division of Mental Health and Addiction Services to provide partial care and the NJ Department of Developmental Disabilities to provide Day Habilitation Services. Inroads is an approved Medicaid provider, an approved Employment Network under the Ticket to Work Social Security initiative and an approved Benefits Planning and Counseling Service through the Division of Vocational Rehabilitation Services.

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