ABLE2 Celebrates 50 Years of Empowering People with Disabilities and their Families

As ABLE2 turns 50 years old, we invite you to join us in Empowering Lives for 50 More Years! Be part of the legacy of making Ottawa more inclusive and accessible for people with disabilities in your community.

Throughout the years, ABLE2 has supported over 2,000 people with disabilities annually by providing direct-impact programming and services to facilitate growth, development and independence, reduce vulnerability, build skills and remove barriers. In Ottawa, more than 500 people volunteer their time and skills with ABLE2, contributing an average of 36,500 hours yearly. 

The rate of disability among Canadians aged 15 years and older increased from 22% in 2017 to 27% in 2022. Data further shows that about eight million Canadians reported having at least one disability, about twice the percentage of people who reported having a disability 10 years ago. (2022 Canadian Survey on Disability, Statistics Canada)

“Our role within the community is growing and focused on reducing social isolation, expanding and supporting social connections and assisting people with disabilities to enhance their quality of life.” – Heather Lacey, ABLE2 Executive Director

Please give generously today in Empowering Lives for 50 More Years. Your support will reduce barriers, improve accessibility, and positively affect mental and physical health to help people with disabilities be active members of their community.

Thank you for believing inclusivity matters!

Empowering Lives for 50 years

Stacey gains independence and pursues her goals

When Stacey decided she wanted to move to Ottawa, she reached out to ABLE2’s Person-Directed Planning & Facilitation program so she could receive the support and resources to become independent. The PDPF facilitator assisted her in finding a place of her own and even helped her register in school, so she could graduate from 12th grade. Stacey is now planning for her future and aspires to pursue journalism in college. 

“PDPF has helped me live the life in the way I wanted it. The [PDPF] facilitator takes the time to get to know me. We build a relationship. Compared to other types of workers, PDPF facilitators hear me for what I have to say, and help me live my best life. Working with ABLE2 changed my life.” Stacey 

Sophia becomes a part of the family

15 years ago, Sophia and Patricia was paired through ABLE2’s Matching Program, and had no idea how it would profoundly impact their lives. As Sophia was able to go on outings regularly with her Ally, she was also able to spend more time with Patricia’s children, watching Disney movies with them, having dinners at Swiss Chalet, and enjoying outings. “I have grown to love Patricia’s children like my own siblings, and I am grateful to be a part of a bigger family outside of my group home,” says Sophia. To this day, Sophia and Patricia continue to share many milestones and meaningful moments together. 

“I am glad that Patricia and I met through ABLE2’s Matching Program because I have been able to enjoy going out into the community, experiencing new things, and meeting a lot of people. I know I can rely on Patricia for support, and I know she will always be there for me.” Sophia

Mom finds direction and support for son in navigating FASD

When Tracy adopted her son Alex, she knew he had complex needs and started researching Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD). There was an overwhelming amount of information but no support for parents like her, who needed direction and navigation for supporting individuals with FASD. With the help of ABLE2’s Fetal Alcohol Resource Program (FARP), Alex and his family were provided with tools and connections tailored to their unique needs, and received support within their family home, within Alex’s educational support system, and mental health resources, among other things. 

“We really felt very alone. FARP for our family has been life-changing. [ABLE2] has helped us through some really difficult times when our family has truly been in crisis. And their help and assistance in navigating really complex support systems… they have been there every step of the process. They respond to the unique needs of the child, and for a parent, that is just invaluable.” Tracy

Read more stories in the full Anniversary Issue here.

Read the full 50th Anniversary Media Release here