About Company                                                                        

EmpowerAbility® LLC is an occupational therapy based consultancy specializing in environmental modifications and assistive technology. 

EmpowerAbility works with people of all ages and abilities across the lifespan helping homeowners, renters and caregivers whether they are residing in their own homes, in independent living retirement communities, assisted living communities or are in the process of transitioning from a hospital/rehabilitation stay back to a home environment. EmpowerAbility also provides consultation to professionals such as developers, builders, remodelers, architects, city planners, healthcare professionals, interior designers, realtors and attorneys along with disability-related associations, state agencies and product manufacturers. 

About Debra Young, M.Ed., OTR/L, SCEM, ATP, CAPS

Debra Young is a certified specialist in environmental
modifications, aging in place, and assistive technology.  
She is a registered and licensed occupational therapist with
a Master's in Education degree with specialization in
Assistive Technology (AT) from Bowling Green State University,
a graduate certificate in AT from Johns Hopkins University,
and a Bachelor of Science degree in Occupational Therapy
from Elizabethtown College.  

  • Specialty Certified in Environmental Modifications (SCEM)--American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA), (a distinction accomplished by less than 1% of occupational therapists nationally).

  • Certified Aging-in-Place Specialist (CAPS)--National Association of Home Builders (NAHB)

  • Assistive Technology Professional (ATP)--Rehabilitation Engineering and Assistive Technology Society of North American (RESNA)

  • Approved NAHB Instructor

AOTA Leadership

  • Elected Director to the American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA) Board of Directors (term: 2015-2018)
  • 2014 recipient of the AOTA Recognition of Achievement Award for notable contributions to the profession and its consumers in the environmental modifications specialty area of practice

NAHB Leadership

  • 2013 recipient of the CAPS of the Year Award
  • NAHB State Associate Director
  • NAHB 50+ Housing Council Trustee
  • NAHB Consultant Governor to the CAPS Board of Governors
  • NAHB approved instructor for the CAPS and Universal Design/Build courses. 

Home Builders Association of Delaware (HBADE) Leadership
  • Associate Vice President of the HBADE Executive Board
  • President of the HBADE Associates Council
  • Mid-Atlantic 50+ Housing Council--Founding Member

State & Local Council and Committee involvement
  • American Planning Association--Delaware Chapter Member
  • Delaware Assistive Technology Loan Program Advisory Board
  • Delaware Coalition for Healthy Eating and Active Living (DE HEAL),                                 Environment & Policy Committee      
  • New Castle County Council, Delaware, Subcommittee on Aging
  • Delaware Universal Design Coalition


Added Personal Experience...

Debra understands the special living needs of seniors and persons with disabilities, as well as their desire to live independently, because of two very personal experiences.

Bill, Debra’s husband, has a C5-C6 incomplete spinal cord injury resulting in quadriplegia.  Their current home has been universally designed by Debra to create an accessible, barrier-free environment, while maintaining the aesthetics by integrating the modifications into the design of the home.  

In addition, she has been working with her parents to allow them to safely age-in-place in their current home.  From these experiences, Debra is aware of the need for a highly qualified home modifications consultant that can make appropriate environmental modification recommendations, and has continued to pursue certifications and professional development to demonstrate her commitment to the field.