David Bruce McMahan was inspired by his doctoral research to found The McMahan Center – Abilities Activists, a nonprofit Bermuda based foundation, to encourage international projects that help people learn to use their own range of abilities.
McMahan Center – Abilities Activists in Cambodia
McMahan Center – Abilities Activists first partnered with the World Rehabilitation Fund, the pioneer organization devoted to the development and implementation of rehabilitation programs for people with disabilities throughout the world. Together they created the Poverty Alleviation Through Community Empowerment Program (PACE) to provide individualized vocational training to the amputees (most of them the result of landmines) that make up the majority of the population of the village of Veal Thom in Cambodia.
The PACE program was designed specifically to address the unique needs of this community, yet is flexible enough to be applied to other rural communities throughout the world. Bruce McMahan and McMahan Abilities Activists also sponsored a training film, Cambodia: Living with Landmines to facilitate replication of the program in other countries. As a result of the PACE training over 200 amputees are now running their own businesses. Bruce McMahan also sponsored a general documentary to educate the public about landmines, Bare Hands and Wooden Limbs.
McMahan Center-Abilities Activists in Brazil
Bruce McMahan and McMahan Abilities Activists then partnered with the Fundação Pensamento Digitalin Brazil to bring computers and computer skills to low-income areas.
Poverty in Brazil assumes giant proportions; 56.9 million people live in poverty and 24.7 million are extremely poor. Research shows a direct correlation between poverty levels and lack of education.
The Digital Cooperation Network: Connecting Communities to Development project trains educators from non-governmental organizations in basic information technology skills, the use of the Internet for research, interaction and publication.
McMahan Center – Abilities Activists in Ireland
The Inclusive Learning Through Technology Project was created in 2003 to study how a wider spectrum of abilities in the learning process might be recognized for students with a disability. The McMahan Center-Abilities Activists provided supported the application cutting edge network technologies and training workshops to four schools in Ireland.
Education for Employment
The Education for Employment project is an important program offering training and employment specifically aimed at marginalised groups such as people with disabilities, and the disadvantaged in Ireland and other European countries.
The McMahan Center – Abilities Activists have added their support to funds from the European Union to provide high quality, flexible and supported learning opportunities in the IT sector to individuals from various marginalized groups.
Creating Futures Program – Comptia
McMahan Center – Abilities Activists is also partnered with COMPTIA and their Creating Futuresprogram to provide transitioning U.S. Veterans, individuals with disabilities, youth-at-risk and dislocated workers with the opportunity to obtain employable skills to achieve rewarding careers in the IT industry.
McMahan Abilities Activists is also partnered with the Maryland State Department of Eduction to increase awareness of the educational needs and abilities of people with autism through the development of a web portal and other services.