TRUCKEE, Calif. – The Tahoe Ability Program, a local day program for adults with developmental disabilities, will host a community basketball game against the Truckee Police Department and California Highway Patrol (CHP) on Tuesday, June 25, from 11 a.m. to noon at the Truckee Recreation Center.

The purpose of the game is to foster organic community relationships while promoting health and wellness. Participants in the Tahoe Ability Program have honed their basketball skills, learned to pass, share the ball and work as a team.

“This is more than just a game; it's a fun way to expand our health and wellness initiatives,” said Mariah O'Shaughnessy, the day program director. “It's more exciting than just going to the gym.”

The Tahoe Ability Program has a long history of working with local police and fire departments because many of its clients have a strong interest in these services. The basketball game represents a new way for clients to engage with these services, not just as admirers, but as friends.

“We are building organic relationships within the community,” said Kimberly Whitington, executive director of the program. “We hope to expand this initiative to many more members of the community.”

The event will feature a scoreboard provided by the recreation center, and the local Truckee Brewing Company will generously donate pizza for all participants and visitors.

The Tahoe Ability Program, founded by O'Shaughnessy and Whitington in September 2020, initially operated virtually due to the pandemic. They received a grant to provide laptops to participants for online classes. Recognizing that there was a lack of services for community members with intellectual disabilities, they used this time to carefully develop their program.

“Although the pandemic could have been a terrible thing, it was beneficial to us in some ways. It gave us a time buffer to create our program,” Whitington said.

Currently, the program serves 21 clients with a staff-to-client ratio of 1:3. They receive government funding by helping participants achieve personal goals. Their activities include delivering meals on wheels, cooking classes, and promoting literacy through book clubs. They also focus on outdoor activities such as skiing, hiking, and rock climbing.

The Tahoe Ability Program will host a community basketball game against the Truckee Police Department and California Highway Patrol (CHP) on Tuesday, June 25 from 11 a.m. to noon at the Truckee Recreation Center.
Offers / Tahoe Ability Program

The program emphasizes volunteerism as a way for clients to gain job skills and feel fulfilled. They work with organizations such as Slow Food Garden, Sierra Community House, the local library, and others.

“Some of our clients want a job but may not have the skills needed to keep a job. And using volunteer programs helps them learn the skills they need to get a job. For those who can't find a job, it's fulfilling to feel like an active member of the community through volunteering,” Whitington said.

Volunteer customer at Slow Food Garden.
Offers / Tahoe Ability Program

In addition to its day program, the Tahoe Ability Program offers customized day services that include comprehensive job coaching, higher education assistance, and volunteer placement. They also offer Independent Living Services, assisting clients with tasks ranging from cooking and housekeeping to arranging medical and dental care.

Looking to the future, O'Shaughnessy and Whitington want to stay close to North Lake Tahoe. They also have a long-term vision of creating group housing for clients who want to live independently but face challenges due to their income.

Community members who would like to learn more about the program or volunteer are encouraged to reach out and get involved. For more information, visit the Tahoe Ability Program website at

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