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Cape Abilities partners with Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution to provide quality work at the small and mid-scale production level, while offering opportunities to individuals with disabilities in the science and technology field.

Cape Abilities is a non-profit that has over 40 years of experience providing jobs and job training for people with disabilities on Cape Cod. Cape Abilities works with a variety of businesses to provide skilled and reliable employees. In addition, Cape Abilities operates several businesses on Cape Cod that employ people with disabilities, including Cape Abilities Farm, Cape Abilities Farm to Table, Cape Cod Salt Works, and Cape Abilities Vending.

Cape Abilities also provides residential and therapeutic services for people with disabilities.

The collaboration has so far consisted of four main projects. See Current Projects and Past Projects for details.

  • For our pilot project, we had a crew of four Cape Abilities workers manufacturing Silver Chloride Electrodes for use in a new fleet of seafloor magnetotelluric instruments, used by scientist Rob Evans, funded by a Major Research Infrastructure (MRI) grant from the National Science Foundation.
  • Cape Abilities workers assisted with laboratory tasks in the Coastal Research Lab such as crushing sediment samples, labeling, and taping.
  • Cape Abilities worker Carol Dimock built alkaline battery packs for use by the Acoustics and Signals Lab and a group in Physical Oceanography.
  • Aeolian Sediment Traps were built for the Coastal Systems Group by a crew of Cape Abilities workers. There were fifty traps in February 2012 for a deployment in Florida during hurricane season.
  • Cape Abilities has also teamed up with WHOI to run a winter coat and winter items drive in the Clark lobby. We have had great support and sucess as of January 2016!


Our goals for a continuing partnership between Cape Abilities and WHOI are:

  • Offer Principal Investigators another avenue for increasing the Broader Impact (Criterion II) sections of their proposals
  • Assist technicians and engineers in production work
  • To provide employment for individuals with disabilities in the fields of science and technology
  • To help create high quality products and demonstrate that people with disabilities can be part of complex work and have significant talents and abilities
Cape Abilities workers Carol Dimock (left) and Lisa Magnuson with Project Manager Trevor Harrison stand by the protoype batch of new electrodes. Carol, Lisa, and two gentlemen, Joe Sattler and Paul Kristiansen, comprised the Cape Abilities crew which built 180 new electrodes in 2011. (Photo by Tom Kleindinst)
Cape Abilities partnership project manager and worker collecting coats for the Cape Abilities/WHOI coat drive in late 2015. (Andy Needle)

Related Links

» Cape Abilities YouTube 
YouTube link to Cape Abilities/WHOI Partnership Video

» Cape Abilities
Learn more about Cape Abilities