CAA Story

In 2009, DeAnna Pursai and Pamela Lindsay joined up to begin a nonprofit entitled The College of Adaptive Arts (CAA). They realized there was a rich pool of talents and abilities among adults with disabilities waiting to be illuminated.

The vision of CAA is to provide a college campus for adults with differing abilities where they will have opportunities to learn from a diverse and rich curriculum that will enable them to live a full and empowered life as successful, contributing members of the community.

CAA started in the summer of 2009 with 12 adult students in a performing arts class. For the Fall semester, songwriting, art, and acting classes increased enrollment to 21 students.  We are now offering a wide array of classes and serve over 60 students.

The College of Adaptive Arts represents a unique model of adult service delivery that the CAA Leadership Team believes is desperately needed.  The College of Adaptive Arts allows individuals to channel their passion and achieve competency to the best of the individual’s ability in an arts discipline such as the fine arts, dance, theatre, digital arts and video/television.

Unlike typical therapeutic recreational programs that offer a smorgasbord of services the College of Adaptive Arts provides a curriculum that coherently builds upon each course, allowing the adult learner to grow in the artistic area of their choice.

CAA is not an adult day home model and CAA receives no funding from the state.  It is designed to be a value-added model based on the interests, choices, talents, and desires of the adult students with differing abilities.  There is a defined curriculum and the intent is to teach new skills to adults who are interested in improving in a particular area of the arts.  It is CAA’s belief that for individuals with special needs, many of them may develop at different rates that than their typically-developing counterparts.  Consequently, many adults are just finding out who they are, where their interests and passions lie, and how they can be of maximum service to the community at just about the same time that so many services are discontinued because they have aged out of the public school system.

It is our belief that these adults have an incredible wealth of talent, ability, and community contribution capacity when people in the typically-developing world can create a safe, engaging, and creative outlet for their abilities to be optimally illuminated and capitalized upon.