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Naples-Based STARability Foundation Working to Transform the Lives of People with Disabilities

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WGCU is celebrating the 30th anniversary of the passage of the Americans with Disabilities Act this month by being a part of the “Move to Include” initiative. It’s a nationwide public media effort to motivate people to embrace different abilities and include all people in all aspects of life.

This week we’re learning about the Naples-based nonprofit StarAbility Foundation. Its mission is to transform the lives of people with disabilities through social, vocational and educational connections to the community, while strengthening awareness and respect for individual abilities.


  • Karen Govern, StarAbility Foundation Executive Director.
  • John Cooney, partner in Stofft-Cooney Architects in Naples.
  • Matt Martel, StarAbility participant who works at the firm through the foundation’s Trailblazer Academy.
  • Cayla Childs, Director of Communications & Special Initiatives at the StarAbility Foundation
  • Hannah Kandel, StarAbility participant
Mike Kiniry is producer of Gulf Coast Live, and co-creator and host of the WGCU podcast Three Song Stories: Biography Through Music. He first joined the WGCU team in the summer of 2003 as an intern while studying Communication at Florida Gulf Coast University. 
Julie Glenn is the News Director and the host of Gulf Coast Live. She joined the WGCU team in November of 2016 to expand the Gulf Coast Live call-in radio show from once a week to five days a week.  Since then, the show has been recognized in state and regional competitions and has featured artists, political leaders, historians, environmental experts, doctors, local reporters, and national and international scholars. After leading the station's award-winning coverage of Hurricane Irma in September of 2017, Julie was named Interim News Director. In January of 2018, she launched WGCU's first podcast: Grape Minds.