News & Events

Ability Central Announces 2024 Funding Cycle

$1M+ in funding available to nonprofits serving people with disabilities in California

Oakland, California – May 25, 2023 – Ability Central, now in its 12th year of grantmaking, announced their 2024 funding year, focused on empowering California nonprofits to implement programs that expand access to communication and information for people who are Deaf, disabled, and neurodivergent.

Ability Central revealed three funding priorities for its 2024 annual grants: digital innovation and accessibility projects, disability access training for healthcare professionals, and leadership development programs for people with disabilities. Grant awards range from $10,000 to $100,000 and grant inquiries are accepted until …

Access:Ability September 2023 Newsletter

The September 2023 edition of the Ability Central monthly e-newsletter, Access:Ability.

Grantee Highlight: Upcoming Event

Young man with Down syndrome working in industrial factory, social integration concept.

Thursday October 26th, 2023 | 10:00AM – 12:00PM

Mental Health Services and the I/DD Population

Join Ability Central grantee Down Syndrome Connection of the Bay Area (DSCBA) for a free online symposium from their Mental Health Alliance program. This event features trainings from two experts and will provide clinicians with:

  • An overview of the challenges that individuals who experience I/DDs (Intellectual or Developmental Disabilities) continue to have in accessing needed mental health care/treatment,
  • The therapeutic process for people with I/DD and mental health conditions, with

Access:Ability August 2023 Newsletter

The August 2023 edition of the Ability Central monthly e-newsletter, Access:Ability.

Feature in Focus

Learn More About the Mobile Device Finder on the Ability Central Portal

Latino senior married couple sit on couch and smile at tablet device

Struggling to make a smart device accessible or easily usable? Finding it hard to know what accessibility features your mobile phone or tablet has? We have a free tool that can help!

One of the key features of the Ability Central Portal is the Device Finder, a comprehensive database that provides accessibility information for every mobile smart device available to buy. Developed and regularly updated using data from the Global Access Reporting Initiative …

Access:Ability July 2023 Newsletter

The July 2023 edition of the Ability Central monthly e-newsletter, Access:Ability.

Disability Pride Month 2023

Celebrating Disability Pride Month 2023

This July, Ability Central celebrates Disability Pride Month, in recognition of the signing of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) in 1990. This landmark legislation prohibits discrimination and guarantees full and equitable participation in all aspects of society for people with disabilities.

2023 marks the 33rd anniversary of the ADA being signed into law, and while many advancements in inclusion have been made, people with disabilities continue to face exclusion and disadvantage in the United States and around the world. …

Ability Central Announces Second Year of Rapid Response Grants

Up to $5,000 available to enhance accessibility for individuals with communication disabilities

Oakland, California – June 30, 2023 – Ability Central, a foundation working to expand inclusion and accessibility for individuals with communication disabilities, today announced the availability of Rapid Response Access Improvement Grants. These grants, offered on a rolling basis from July 1, 2023, to June 30, 2024, aim to support California-based organizations and projects focused on serving people with communication disabilities.

The mini grants, first offered in 2022, range from $1,000 to $5,000, and provide short-term funding with an expedited turnaround of approximately one month from application receipt. Access Improvement …

Access:Ability June 2023 Newsletter

The June 2023 edition of the Ability Central monthly e-newsletter, Access:Ability.

Ability Central Philanthropy

2024 Funding Cycle Open: Apply for a Communication Access Grant

Graphic in green and white with text that reads "Stop scrolling! Start making social media accessible for all."

This year, Ability Central is announcing three funding priorities for 2024 annual grants: digital innovation and accessibility projectsdisability access training for healthcare professionals, and leadership development programs for people with disabilities. Grant awards range from $10,000 to $100,000 and will total around one million dollars.

We are accepting annual grant application inquiries until July 12, 2023.

To learn more about a grant from us, eligibility requirements, and a cycle timeline, including details on …

Ability Central Announces Board Election Results

Celia C.J. Solis to succeed Jesus M. Gonzalez as board chair in FY2024

Oakland, California – June 2, 2023 – Ability Central today announced board elections for FY2024. At their May meeting, the board elected Celia C.J. Solis as chair, Dr. Sofia M. Vergara as vice-chair, and re-elected Sarah Slaughter as treasurer. The Ability Central board of directors, comprised of 12 members, is responsible for governing the strategy, goals, and vision of the organization.

Celia joined the Ability Central board in February of 2020 and most recently served as vice-chair. Celia is a senior executive with more than 15 years of experience …

Ability Central Launches New Portal Version with Updates to Function and Accessibility

The upgraded site joins top websites conforming to high web accessibility standards

Oakland, California – February 14, 2023 – Ability Central has launched an updated version of its Portal website, bringing a streamlined user experience and greater accessibility for people with disabilities to the site. Originally introduced in June of 2022, the Ability Central Portal now conforms to WCAG 2.1 Level AA web standards, joining only 2% of the top one million websites that reach these accessibility criteria.

“This new update brings the same informative content on the Portal into a more equitable space,” says Matt Cherry, director of philanthropy …

Ability Central Awards Grants to 13 Organizations Working with Deaf and Disabled Communities

More than a million dollars awarded for tech innovation and accessible training

Oakland, California – December 20, 2022 – Ability Central, the only foundation exclusively funding communications access for people with disabilities, has awarded $1.03 million to 13 nonprofit organizations in California working to expand communications access for Deaf, disabled, and neurodiverse communities. The grants will support programs that focus on emerging technologies for accessibility solutions and communications training for professionals to create inclusive environments for their clients with disabilities.

“When people with disabilities can fully express themselves, it can transform their education, employment, and independence,” says Matt Cherry, director …

Watch “Everyone Can Communicate”, a new short film from Ability Central

One in six Americans has or will have a communication disability in their lifetime. So why don’t we know more about these disabilities and hear more about them?

Everyone Can Communicate, a new short film from Ability Central, features interviews with members of our board and advisory group. As people who have communication disabilities, they share unique insights into their experience of communicating in a system that is built to exclude them, addressing their fundamental rights to access that are often violated. As the only funder working exclusively to address all communication disabilities, Ability Central is proud to highlight …