News & Events

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 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 …

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 …

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 …

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 …

New Online Tool Transforms Information Access for Disability Communities

Ability Central launches digital portal with comprehensive resources for people with disabilities

Oakland, California – June 27, 2022 – Ability Central today launched a new website to provide information and resources to the more than 61 million Americans who are Deaf, disabled, or neurodiverse. The Ability Central Portal offers support for a wide range of disabilities, covering vision, hearing, mobility, and cognitive needs. Primary audiences for the Portal include people with disabilities, people experiencing physical or sensory declines, caregivers, and community organizations.

“Whether technology provides a lifeline for people with disabilities or isolates them further often depends on easy access …

Ability Central Announces 2023 Funding Cycle

More than a million dollars in funding available to California nonprofits serving people with disabilities

Oakland, California – May 31, 2022 – Ability Central today announced their 2023 funding year will focus on empowering nonprofits to implement innovative communication access projects aimed at creating equity for people who are Deaf, disabled, and neurodiverse and their communities of support. Now in its 11th year of grantmaking, Ability Central is the only foundation exclusively funding communication access projects for disability communities.

To meet the current needs of constituents, Ability Central is announcing two funding priorities for its 2023 annual grants: innovation

Ability Central 2021 Impact Report

Did you know?

In 2020-21, Ability Central’s grantmaking initiative supported organizations that served more than 56,000 people with disabilities, nearly doubling the amount served in our previous grantmaking cycle.

Keep reading to learn more about our programs and initiatives and discover meaningful stories from our grantees and clients about innovative projects benefitting people with disabilities.

Read the 2021 Impact Report.

What we’ve been doing

In 2020 and 2021, as complications from COVID-19 required ongoing adaptation and flexibility, we recognized this wasn’t business as usual. We expanded our philanthropic efforts to continue empowering our community as they supported vulnerable populations during …

Ability Central Announces Educational Access and Improvement Mini-Grants

$2,500 mini-grants available to create inclusive educational access for students with disabilities

Oakland, California – April 12, 2022 – To address issues of access to inclusive education exacerbated by COVID-19, Ability Central is offering a handful of small response grants to improve socio-emotional learning (SEL), communication access, and sensory development programs for youth (K-12) with disabilities.

Ability Central recognizes the pandemic continues to create a severe crisis for students with disabilities. Without access to their usual mode of education, children with disabilities are sliding backward, losing academic, social, and emotional skills.

As part of its philanthropic mission, Ability Central is …

Ability Central Announces New Tech Grants for California Nonprofits

Grants offer help installing CRMs for nonprofits serving disabled communities

Oakland, California – February 23, 2022 – Ability Central is introducing a new grantmaking program from its Cloud Consulting initiative, offering grants to cover the complete cost of a Salesforce CRM implementation, plus support and maintenance from staff for a full year. The combined value of the installation plus service is more than $10,000, provided at no cost to the grantee.

Recipients of the Reach for the Cloud grant will be provided with a dedicated project manager and expert technical resources to install and configure the Salesforce Nonprofit Success Pack …