United with our partners to make an impact

CARF Accreditation 2017-2020!

We are proud to have received our Three-Year Accreditation for Children and Adult Services from CARF International, an independent accreditor of health and human services. Accreditation means that Abilities United is recognized as delivering high-quality services to the individuals served and maintains a high level of quality standards. Abilities United has been accredited by CARF since 1980.

In our recent comprehensive review, CARF wrote, “Abilities United is recognized by both funders and families as a leader in the field and having strong neighborhoods, community, and regional connections; high family involvement; and strong business connections and relationships with participants. Funders and referral sources describe Abilities United as having outstanding service quality and consider it to be the provider of preference in the region.”
This accreditation demonstrates Abilities United’s substantial conformance to the CARF standards. To receive the Three-Year Accreditation, Abilities United goes through a rigorous peer review process. We have demonstrated our commitment to offering services that are measurable, accountable, and of the highest quality.

Partnerships are critical to our success

Abilities United is fortunate to have hundreds of business and community partnerships and collaborations that enable us to provide the comprehensive services for which we are known. Each of those partners is critical to our success. Our relationships have grown and changed over the years but they continue to remain strong and a vital part of our operations.

Stanford University School of Engineering

This past winter, Stanford University School of Engineering students, Ehson Kolbehdari, Darrel Deo, and Francisco Lopez, worked with Abilities United to create an artist’s tool that allows people with limited arm and hand control, to make art on their own without human assistance. Abilities United challenged them to come up with a solution that was inexpensive, easy to use, and fostered artists’ independence. The students from the “Perspectives in Assistive Technology” course spent 10 weeks observing artists from Abilities United and designing the prototype tool. The result is an adjustable easel that sits on a desk and has a mechanical arm, or “helping hand,” that holds a pen, marker or paintbrush in place and keeps it upright allowing the artist to move the pen across the page.

Mechanical Engineering students, Kolbehdari, Deo, and Lopez, have entered the prototype in a design competition and plan to put together a do-it-yourself booklet so other nonprofits and people around the world can replicate it. They are also looking into ways to have the product mass-produced and plan to remain connected to Abilities United artists through their engineering work.

Stanford Medicine

Since 2013, Stanford University researchers, lead by Dr. Grace Gengoux, a Clinical Associate Professor in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at Stanford Medicine, continue to partner with Abilities United Children’s Services to develop and evaluate an inclusive social skills group designed to improve social development among young children, aged 4-6 years, with autism. The program, which includes children with and without autism, teaches children how to initiate and interact with peers. Stanford Child Health Research Institute funded the initial pilot research. In the coming year, with a new grant from the program will test the addition of an innovative parent-training component.

Sobrato Family Foundation will triple your donation!

Thank you to our very generous and long-time partner, the Sobrato Family Foundation, for their 2-for-1 match. Your new or increased gift made before June 30th will be matched 2-for-1, which means that each qualifying $1 you give will be worth $3!

Palo Alto Weekly Holiday Fund

We are honored to receive $10,000 from the Palo Alto Weekly Holiday Fund, which is funded by community members. This grant will allow us to continue and expand our early intervention services for children under age 3 years. Since 1987, the Palo Alto Weekly has been a consistent and committed supporter of Abilities United as a donor and a sponsor of the Aquathon and Authors Luncheon.

Rotary Club of Palo Alto

Over the years, the Rotary Club of Palo Alto has generously donated time and funds to support Abilities United services and facilities. This year we are delighted that they have chosen the Art Program to receive $7,000 to purchase accessible furniture and art making supplies for the art studio. This will give community artists access to the art studio and to art tools designed specifically for people with mobility limitations.

Aquathon: 40th Anniversary Celebration with Redwood City!

The 40th annual Aquathon makes it’s splash on Saturday, September 16, 8:00 am – 1:00 pm, at the Hoover Pool in Redwood City. Join us for a fun day of swimming, food, activities, and music. Your participation as a sponsor, swimmer, or donor will make this Aquathon the best ever! You will enjoy a wonderful day with friends and family while you benefit children and adults with developmental disabilities!

Authors Luncheon in partnership with Books Inc.

The 26th annual Authors Luncheon returns on Saturday, November 4, 10:30 am – 3:00 pm at the Crowne Plaza Cabaña in Palo Alto. Don’t miss this momentous opportunity to meet and hear four acclaimed authors talk about the inspiration behind their books. Join this literary audience for an entertaining day to help us continue to advance advocacy, inclusion, and independence for people with developmental disabilities!

Meet our newest partner…ArtLifting

We are delighted to announce the launch of our partnership with ArtLifting, an award-winning online marketplace for artists impacted by homelessness or disabilities.

ArtLifting has contracts with more than 100 artists in 19 states, including three Abilities United artists. The ArtLifting.com website allows buyers to browse by artist, art type, or city, and offers a variety of products from framed prints and canvases to smartphone cases and greeting cards.

All of our partnerships are critical to the success of any venture Abilities United embarks on. Their contributions increase our capacity immeasurably. We thank each of our partners for their dedication and commitment to people with developmental disabilities.

Abilities United cannot achieve our mission without your help. Thank you for all your contributions because everything you do brings us closer to reaching a world where people of all abilities live, learn, work and play together.

As we approach the close of Fiscal Year 2017, I thank all of you for the impact you have made in the lives of individuals with developmental disabilities and at Abilities United.

Charlie Weidanz
Chief Executive Officer

P.S. For more information about all of our Abilities United services and partnerships visit our website.