Blue Volunteer Icon


Out of an abundance of caution and consideration for the health of those we serve, our staff, volunteers and the greater community, Ability KC will start accept volunteers on case by case basis, beginning May 1, 2021.  We will adapt our services and volunteer opportunities in alignment with current health guidance and the evolving needs of the people we serve. We urge you to be flexible , proactive and safe in your volunteer response, and check back frequently for updates. We welcome all volunteers to complete an application to be considered for volunteer opportunities. If you have any questions, please contact us at or call Gemma Zook at (816) 751-7932.

Annually hundreds of volunteers across the Kansas City community make a difference in the lives of children and adults with disabilities and their families while participating in services at Ability KC. Volunteers like you make milestone moments possible by donating their time, talents and unique skills day-to-day and at our annual fundraising events.

Whether lending a hand in our therapeutic preschool classrooms to prepare children for kindergarten, assisting our therapists to provide high quality care or by working behind the scenes, volunteers have an incredible impact on our mission. You can join our mission to build brighter futures for individuals with disabilities by becoming an Ability KC volunteer.

Please complete the application below and our Volunteer Coordinator will be in touch shortly!

What are the different volunteer opportunities at Ability KC?

Adult & Pediatric Therapeutic Day Programs
The CARF-accredited outpatient medical rehabilitation day health program for infants through adults helps individuals who have experienced an injury or illness that has significantly impacted physical and/or cognitive function. Our day health program services provide a transition from inpatient rehabilitation for individuals who no longer require 24-hour medical or nursing support. The day programs offer the opportunity to volunteer directly with Ability KC staff, therapists, patients and families

Requirements: Volunteers must meet certain age requirements and follow specific procedures before joining the team. Volunteers must be at least 16 years of age.

Schedule: Hours/days can be flexible – volunteer availability mid-day is preferred. Morning (8AM – 12PM), Afternoon (1PM – 4PM) or Lunch Hour (12PM – 1PM).

Therapeutic Preschool 
The Mary Shaw Branton Therapeutic Preschool is NAEYC accredited and serves children with and without disabilities. Classrooms have a 1:4 ratio to ensure the level of support needed for each child. Volunteering in the therapeutic classroom requires a weekly commitment either in the morning or afternoon. Volunteer opportunities at the therapeutic preschool offers more interaction and hands-on experience.

Requirements: Volunteers must meet certain requirements and follow specific procedures before joining the team. Volunteers must be at least 14 years of age and have the physical ability to safely work with children at floor level. Please consider if you have adequate time to set up a consistent schedule as we require a weekly commitment.

Schedule: Morning Class (8AM – 11:30 AM) or Afternoon Class (12:30PM – 3:30PM ages 3-5 0r 1:30PM – 3:30PM ages infant – 3 years).

SAILS Program (Successful Adult Independent Living Skills)
Successful Adult Independent Living Skills (SAILS) is a program for individuals that have advanced from our day health program. Patients in SAILS are working towards independent living after an injury or illness.

Requirements: Volunteers must meet certain requirements and follow specific procedures before joining the team. Volunteers must be at least 16 years of age and be physically able to safely work with individuals of all abilities is required.

Schedule: Hours/days can be flexible. Volunteer availability Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday mornings are preferred.

Summer Therapies
Volunteers are paired up with a program participant as they receive specific programming. Summer therapies are typically focused on occupational therapy.

Requirements: Volunteers are required to commit to 2 days per week over the course of 4 weeks from either 8:30AM – 12:30PM or 11:30AM – 4:30 PM.

For additional information about summer therapy volunteer opportunities, please contact Janet Padley, Administrative Director of Medical Rehabilitation, Pediatric and Adolescent Therapies and Education Services at 816.751.7719.

Adaptive Swim Sessions
Volunteers act as a swim buddy to a child with disabilities between the ages of 3 and 10 years old while they learn to swim in a class lead by an Occupational or Physical Therapist.

Requirements: Must have some type of water training and experience.

Schedule: 8 week sessions are held throughout the year on Friday afternoons from 3:00PM – 5:00PM.

For additional information about Adaptive Swim Sessions, please contact Gemma Zook, Event Manager at 816.751.7932.

How do I apply to be a volunteer at Ability KC?

All of those who are interested in applying to volunteer with Ability KC can do so through our website, on the volunteer page under the “Application” tab. OR by contacting the Events Manager, Gemma Zook, at

What happens once I submit my volunteer application?

  1. Our Manager of Events and Operations will contact you within three days to conduct an interview and discuss available volunteer opportunities, which will help determine the best volunteer placement for you.
  2. After the interview, our Manager of Events and Operations will send you the required paperwork to review and sign. The required documents can be completed and submitted electronically, through the postal service, or in-person at Ability KC.
  3. Once you have completed the paperwork, along with any other requirements dependent on volunteer position we will schedule an orientation. During the orientation volunteers are familiarized with the location, expectations and to whom they will report. During the orientation the Volunteer Manual including the Code of Conduct and Volunteer Policy will be reviewed. Additional paperwork may be required.
  4. After your orientation you will be contacted through email with the supervisor you will report to, and from there you will establish a volunteer schedule with your supervisor.

How do I volunteer for special events?

Groundhog Run
Groundhog Run has been one of Kansas City’s favorite 5K/10K events since 1982. Each year thousands of runners fill the SubTropolis at Hunt Midwest for a 100% underground race experience. All of our runners are supporting a bigger cause when they register for Groundhog Run – the children receiving services at Ability KC.

For additional information about Groundhog Run, event volunteer opportunities, or to register as a volunteer please visit our Groundhog Run event page.

Wheelchair Wash
Each spring and fall, Ability KC hosts a free Wheelchair Wash for community members who use power and manual wheelchairs. Volunteers will assist with cleaning.

For additional information please contact Events Manager, Gemma Zook at

  • Patient, client, employee and Ability KC business information from any source and in any form is confidential. In my role as a volunteer/observer, I may have access to and receive such confidential information. I shall protect the privacy and confidentiality of employees, visitors and individuals and families served at Ability KC business information and shall limit my access to only the minimum of confidential information necessary to accomplish my job.
  • In an effort to reduce the risk of infectious disease exposure we are asking that you answer the following health screening questions -
    The MMR vaccine or medical waiver will be required for anyone that might be a risk prior to starting volunteering and/or interning.
    Exposure conditions considered high risk other than to the typical flu or cold will need to be reviewed/approved by Ability KC's Infection Control Coordinator prior to start of volunteering at Ability KC.

Have questions?


Ability KC