About Us

ABLE2: Support for People with Disabilities

ABLE2 is a not-for-profit charitable organization that empowers individuals with disabilities to lead fulfilling lives by supporting them with programs, services, and resources. People with disabilities face many barriers to their full participation in society; they can include stigma, discrimination, poverty, exclusion from employment, and inequities in the education, health care, and legal systems.

Our Mission

We work with partners to provide the tools, choices, and connections that empower people with disabilities to build lives of meaning and joy.

Our Vision

ABLE2 believes in an inclusive community where all people are seen as able, important, and valued.

Our Values

  • Honesty
  • Responsibility
  • Open access
  • Personal advocacy
  • Value in all people
  • Independence

What does ABLE2 mean?

The number 2 is included as part of the name for several reasons:

It refers to our core program, the Matching Program, that pairs community volunteers or “Allies”, with a child, youth, or adult living with a disability or “Friend” who wants an Ally, a companion to talk to, go to a movie, or do anything of the things that friends do together.

The number 2 recognizes the positive impacts that our matches have on two people – both the volunteer or Ally, and the person with disability or Friend.

The number 2 acknowledges that it takes more than one agency, program, or person to achieve our vision and mission.

Why your support for people with disabilities matters.

In 2022, 27% of Canadians aged 15 and older, or 8 million people had at least one disability. This represents an increase of 4.7 percentage points from 2017. Seniors, or individuals over the age of 65, living with a disability comprise 38% of the total number of Canadians living with disability. Mental health-related, pain-related, and seeing disabilities had the largest increases in the disability rate since

(Source: Statistics Canada, Canadian Survey on Disability, 2022)

On top of navigating the barriers to accessibility and inclusivity in the community, people with disabilities are also struggling with the rising costs of living for day-to-day items, lack of accessible and affordable housing, and inadequate support services. But that’s not all— there are extra costs associated with managing your disability including non-covered healthcare services, assistive devices, and personal supports. Now imagine trying to manage all those expenses on a yearly income of $12,250, the typical income for a Canadian with a disability.

Currently, there are over one million Canadians living with disability living in poverty, representing 41% of the people who live in poverty. (Disability Without Poverty, 2021) Support for people with disability living in poverty is more than a social responsibility— they should be able to live a life of dignity where they can afford the most basic human needs.

In Ottawa, there are more than 160,000 people living with disabilities, comprising 13.2 percent of Ottawa’s population. (Based on National Housing Survey in 2011)

By the year 2050, Canadian seniors and people living with disabilities will have the highest rate of poor physical and mental health outcomes than any other demographic. (Source: Mental Health Commission of Canada [MHCC], 2020)

Social isolation, depression, and loneliness are negatively impacting the mental and physical well-being of seniors and people living with a disability. ABLE2’s programs aim to reduce barriers and address the basic human need for developing social connections.

This need is recognized in research that shows there is a strong and positive association between quality of life and social participation. (Canadian Community Health Survey, 2008, 2009). The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted this need for social connection for all community members. ABLE2 has been proactively adapting all their programming to continue to offer support and resources to Ottawa’s most vulnerable citizens.

ABLE2’s programs channel the power of compassionate people to provide hope and support to people with disabilities in the community. Learn more about ABLE2’s Programs and Services. ABLE2 strives to deliver programming that helps build an inclusive community in Ottawa, where everyone can participate, according to their abilities, as full community members. Impact evaluations clearly show that inclusion, the reduction of loneliness and isolation, and the resulting improvement in mental and physical health have a significant positive benefit on the lives of people with disabilities, their families, our volunteers and partners, and the community at large.

How ABLE2 Supports People with Disabilities