News & Events

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 …

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 …

Ability Central Awards Grants to 17 Organizations Working with Deaf and Disabled Communities

Illustration of a diverse group of people with disabilities.

More than a million dollars awarded for communications access

Oakland, California – January 5, 2022 – Ability Central has awarded grants totaling nearly $1.2 million to 17 nonprofit organizations in California working to expand communications access for Deaf and disabled communities. The recipient organizations offer a wide range of support and services for these communities, including development of new assistive technologies, speech therapy for children in low-income areas, disabled leadership development initiatives, and more.

“People with communication disabilities have an urgent unmet need for support communicating and accessing information,” says Matt Cherry, director of philanthropy at Ability Central. “As the …

Rules of Engagement: How to Make Your Online Meetings Accessible for People with Disabilities

By Matt Cherry, Director of Philanthropy at Ability Central

First published by TechSoup at:

One in four American adults has a disability that impacts major life activities. Often these disabilities include communication challenges, like hearing and vision loss, sensory processing disorders, and difficulty speaking clearly. After years of slow steps to include people with communications challenges in workplaces, schools, and services, the COVID pandemic resulted in a giant leap backward.

As a nonprofit where communications accessibility is the core of our mission, Ability Central regularly hosts meetings with participants who are deaf, blind, have sensory processing issues, or difficulties …

Rules of Engagement: How to Make Your Online Meetings Accessible for People with Disabilities