Your Support Allows Us to Make Beyond Possible Every Day
At Ability Beyond, the BEYOND is HOPE; it is JOY; it is ASPIRATION, OPPORTUNITY and MEANING!
Whether an individual with disabilities is just starting their journey, or nearing the end of their days, Ability Beyond is there to empower their abilities with skills for independence, employment and social engagement. And if needed, a loving, compassionate residential team to support them during every age and stage of their adult lives.
Compassion and innovation are part of the very fabric of our organization since our founding nearly 70 years ago, by parents who knew there was a better way. At the time, individuals with disabilities had had no local care or services. They were often separated from family and community. Today, it’s the support of so many caring individuals who allow us to continue our mission of discovering, building and celebrating the ability in all people.
When Anna was just five years old, she was sent to a special school for disabilities and separated from her family and friends. It was 1933, and as was typical for the time, she was housed in a looming structure with 5,000 other children, and no contact with the world outside.
At the time, it wasn’t deemed appropriate to discuss mental health issues, let alone integrate a child with complex needs into the family’s life. Desperate to see their daughter, but with limited options due to World War II rationing, her parents and siblings spent several days one winter hitchhiking to Amenia, NY, just to spend time with her.
It’s an unfortunate story that far too many individuals with disabilities faced during the early part of the 21st century, but Anna’s story has a silver lining.
Anna spent the last three decades of her life in group homes, including at one of Ability Beyond’s newest residences– Howland House. The home serves 14 individuals with the most medically fragile needs. It sits on top of a former ski slope with spectacular views of the Hudson Valley.
Anna was Howland’s first, and oldest resident. She enjoyed spending her afternoons sitting in the three-season room. Savoring her coffee or favorite ice cream flavors while enjoying stunning seasonal views of Mount Beacon. She spent her last nine years at Howland House embraced by a loving staff who understood her social cues and deeply connected with her joys and needs for many years before Anna passed away last fall at the age of 93.
Zach – Our Future
Zack is one of the youngest individuals served by Ability Beyond. He came to us… From our Day Programs to our Employment Training Initiatives,
“My dream is to have a life, to have a job – to have a life like everyone else.”
Through utilizing a variety of our programs, from our Day Program to our Employee Training and Placement initiatives, Zach has been able to do just that.
Zack sings his heart out during Karaoke or celebrations at our Leir Center, and happily shares his love of music lyrics and movie trivia with staff members and other individuals we serve. He’s also working on his own screenplay! His skills learned through the employment training program have also helped him become one of the hardest workers and friendliest faces at a local diner.
You’re Help Makes These Stories Possible
It’s because of the generous support of the community that’s allowed us to make such an incredible impact in the lives of Anna, Zach, and the more than 3,000 individuals we serve everyday throughout Connecticut and New York.
It’s because of this support that we’re able to offer innovative assistive technologies, therapies, independent and residential living services, employment training, day programs for social engagement, and so much more.