top of page

Granting Success: Celebrating Our Newest Program Grant Awardees!

Welcome to the Foundation for Developmental Disabilities (FDD), where our goal is to champion innovative programs that enhance the lives of individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDDs) in San Diego and Imperial Counties. Through our program grant opportunities, we empower nonprofit organizations pioneering new approaches to support those with IDDs.

With a steadfast commitment to making a meaningful impact in vital areas such as employment, family support, housing, and self-advocacy, we are excited to share that FDD's Board of Directors has recently approved over $69,530 in Program Grant funding. These funds have been allocated to seven deserving organizations throughout San Diego.

We warmly invite you to join us in applauding our newest program grantees. Take a moment to delve into the remarkable initiatives these organizations are spearheading as they continue to make profound differences in the lives of individuals with IDDs and their families.


Adjoin's mission is to pave the way for individuals to find genuine belonging in every aspect of their lives, whether within their communities, workplaces, schools, or leisure pursuits.

Their vision is ambitious yet straightforward: to become the most resourceful and impactful social service organization dedicated to turning the dream of inclusion into a tangible reality. Adjoin envisions a future where everyone, regardless of their background or abilities, is valued, respected, and empowered to participate in and contribute to society actively.

Further, Adjoin is committed to dismantling barriers, challenging stereotypes, and creating opportunities for authentic connection and collaboration through steadfast dedication to inclusion and an innovative approach to social services.

Foundation for Developmental Disabilities funding will support the creation and dissemination of self-advocacy courses tailored for the Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (I/DD) community.

This series of five self-advocacy courses will equip participants with essential skills, provide a platform to address advocacy-related questions, foster a deeper understanding of self-advocacy, and offer guidance on navigating current or anticipated advocacy challenges. Open to both the I/DD community and individuals facing self-advocacy needs or concerns across San Diego and Imperial County, these courses aim to empower individuals to advocate for themselves effectively and confidently.

By investing in programs like these, we are not just offering education; we are nurturing empowerment, fostering resilience, and strengthening the fabric of our community. Together, we strive to build a more inclusive society where every voice is heard, and every individual is valued.


Beacons, Inc. is a nonprofit established in 2018 with a clear purpose: to enrich the lives of adults with developmental disabilities in North County, San Diego. Founded by passionate parents deeply involved in special education organizations and task forces, BEACONS emerged from recognizing the pressing need for expanded postsecondary options for individuals with developmental disabilities.

Further, Beacons is driven by the belief that every individual deserves the opportunity to lead a fulfilling life, complete with meaningful employment, educational pursuits, and vibrant social connections. They believe that too often, individuals with developmental disabilities find themselves lacking suitable postsecondary options, leading to isolation and limited opportunities for personal growth.

Using their mission as their framework, Beacons strives to empower adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities to realize their dreams of success, joy, and purpose to the best of their abilities. Through structured on-site and off-site programs, workshops, services, and activities tailored to each individual's preferences and needs, Beacons endeavors to equip individuals with developmental disabilities and their families and support teams with the knowledge, tools, and support needed to thrive.

Funding provided by FDD will be used to purchase equipment for their upcoming Art Fair.  Let's create a world where everyone can lead a fulfilling and purposeful life. 


The Boys & Girls Clubs of Oceanside (BGCO) stands as a beacon of hope and opportunity for youth in the community, offering a safe, engaging, and supportive environment during non-school hours. With a legacy spanning over 70 years, the Club has been dedicated to enriching the lives of Oceanside's youth through various academic enrichment programs and activities.

BGCO is a vital lifeline for over 700 youth daily, totaling 2,800 annually. In addition to youth programs, BGCO is proud to offer R.O.A.D.’s, a unique program catering to adults with disabilities. Through R.O.A.D.’s, BGCO provides meaningful opportunities for personal growth, skill development, and social engagement, furthering a commitment to inclusivity and community support. At BGCO, they believe in the transformative power of opportunity and support. With the unwavering dedication of staff, volunteers, and supporters, BGCO aims to build a brighter future for the youth of Oceanside, one child at a time.

The Foundation for Developmental Disabilities (FDD) is proud to allocate funding to support the Boys & Girls Clubs of Oceanside (BGCO) in their Fit and Fun Health and Wellness Program. This vital initiative aims to promote the health and well-being of adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDDs) by providing access to various physical activities and resources.

With the generous program grant allocation from FDD, BGCO will be able to offset the costs associated with this program, including covering expenses such as gym memberships, hiring certified instructors for Zumba and yoga classes, providing admission to swimming pools, and acquiring necessary sports equipment. These resources are essential for creating an inclusive environment where individuals with IDDs can engage in activities that contribute to their overall physical and mental wellness.

FDD recognizes the importance of ensuring that adults with IDDs have access to opportunities that promote their health and well-being. Research shows that adults with disabilities are at a higher risk of developing chronic diseases such as heart disease, stroke, diabetes, and cancer compared to those without disabilities. Regular aerobic activity, such as the activities offered through the Fit and Fun Health and Wellness Program, can play a crucial role in reducing the impact of these health conditions and improving overall quality of life.

By investing in programs like the Fit and Fun Health and Wellness Program at BGCO, FDD is committed to empowering individuals with IDDs to lead healthier, more fulfilling lives. Together, we can create a more inclusive society where everyone can thrive.


GiGi’s Playhouse was founded with a powerful mission: to reshape society's perception of Down Syndrome and promote acceptance for all individuals. The organization recognizes the pivotal role of support and understanding for families, especially those who are navigating a Down Syndrome diagnosis for the first time.

At GiGi’s Playhouse, families find unwavering support from day one. Whether it's prenatal guidance or assistance with career development, they are committed to standing by families throughout their journey. Gigi’s Playhouse can equip families with the tools and resources to empower their child's success.

The journey began with Nancy Gianni realizing her daughter GiGi's limitless potential. What started as a mother's determination to ensure her daughter's inclusion has blossomed into a global acceptance movement. Nancy's vision of preparing GiGi—and the world—for each other inspired the creation of our first Playhouse. At GiGi’s Playhouse, every individual is celebrated for their unique abilities. 

FDD-allocated funds will support Gigi’s current programs, including fitness equipment, food supplies, printing costs, art supplies, facilities/staffing, music therapy, and tutoring programs.  The Foundation is honored to support an organization dedicated to creating a world where everyone is valued and included.

New Village Arts (NVA) is dedicated to igniting the human spirit through bold and imaginative artistic experiences. NVA has been a beacon of culture in North County San Diego for over two decades, offering award-winning professional theatre alongside vibrant education and outreach initiatives.

Drawing over 30,000 patrons annually, NVA is a cornerstone of Carlsbad Village, where audiences gather to immerse themselves in top-tier theatre, music, and art events. Their commitment goes beyond performances; they foster community dialogue through talkback discussions and supplementary events, fostering connections and sparking meaningful conversations.

NVA is proud to partner with local schools, ensuring that theatre and arts experiences are accessible to all. They are dedicated to equity, diversity, and inclusion, striving to be a leader in these values within the San Diego arts scene. NVA is committed to serving our community by presenting works that honor its diversity and engaging citizens with stories that resonate and inspire. At NVA, they believe in the power of art to unite, uplift, and transform lives.

Support from the Foundation for Developmental Disabilities (FDD) will be directed toward the final editing and post-production of the documentary film "Extraordinary Character." This captivating film chronicles the journey of a group of talented actors with neurodiversity as they embark on a school tour of the beloved play "Stellaluna.”

In addition to enhancing the film's production quality, FDD funding will also facilitate a series of screenings of the completed documentary. These screenings will allow audiences to engage in insightful talk-back sessions with the participants, gaining deeper insights into their experiences and the broader themes explored in the film.


The San Diego People First Conference is a transformative two-day event orchestrated by and for self-advocates with intellectual and developmental disabilities (I/DDs) aged 18 and above. This conference is a beacon of empowerment, education, and advocacy in San Diego.

Participants immerse themselves in diverse activities and sessions tailored to meet their needs and interests during the conference. The conference covers a broad spectrum of topics crucial for self-empowerment and civic engagement, from immersive self-advocacy workshops to insightful discussions on legislative affairs and effective communication with governmental entities.

Through interactive breakout sessions and workshops, attendees explore various facets of life, including relationships, health and wellness, community safety, education, and employment. They can acquire essential skills, exchange perspectives, and forge meaningful connections with peers and experts in a nurturing and inclusive setting.

By providing a platform for self-advocates to share their stories, voice their concerns, and glean wisdom from one another, the San Diego People First Conference catalyzes promoting self-determination and empowerment within the I/DD community. It is a cornerstone of support and empowerment, inspiring individuals to advocate for themselves and drive positive change in their lives and communities.

Support from the Foundation for Developmental Disabilities (FDD) helps to ensure the conference’s success. This sponsorship underscores FDD's unwavering commitment to championing the rights and voices of individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities, reinforcing the vital importance of community support in fostering inclusivity and empowerment.


St. Madeleine Sophie’s Center (SMSC) is a beacon of empowerment for individuals with developmental disabilities and their families. With a rich tapestry of programs tailored for adults facing developmental challenges such as Autism, Down Syndrome, and Cerebral Palsy, SMSC is more than just a center—it's a catalyst for growth, exploration, and the realization of potential.

At SMSC, the mission is clear: to educate and empower individuals with developmental disabilities to unlock their fullest potential. Through a holistic approach that blends compassionate care with innovative strategies, SMSC offers diverse programs designed to foster practical skill development, cultivate employment pathways, and ensure lifelong dignity.

One such program receiving vital support is SMSC’s Aquatic Program, a cornerstone of their offerings. This program not only provides a space for physical activity but also serves as a platform for social interaction and skill enhancement. With FDD-allocated funding, SMSC will bolster the Aquatic Program by supporting the salaries and benefits of dedicated aquatics staff, covering utilities, and ensuring the availability of necessary program supplies.

The impact of FDD’s funding will be tangible and far-reaching. Throughout the spring to summer season, the Aquatic Program will offer 51 practice days, facilitated by four skilled aquatics staff members, amounting to 102 hours of dedicated practice time and participation in three aquatics meets. SMSC staff members wear many hats, from lifeguarding to coaching, and play a pivotal role in organizing events for swimmers of all ages.

Ultimately, this funding will benefit 20 to 25 participants aged 8 to 75, providing them with a recreational outlet and an opportunity to develop essential life skills, forge meaningful connections, and experience the joy of achievement. SMSC's Aquatic Program exemplifies the center's commitment to holistic growth and underscores the transformative power of community support in enhancing the lives of individuals with developmental disabilities.



115 views0 comments


bottom of page