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Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Leading Disability Organizations Announce Leadership of the ABLE National Resource Center

from a Press Release | Oct. 15, 2015
National Disability Institute 

Washington, D.C., October 15, 2015 -- National Disability Institute (NDI), founder of the ABLE National Resource Center (ANRC), has entered into a formal partnership with three other leading national disability organizations - National Down Syndrome Society (NDSS), Autism Speaks, and The Disability Opportunity Fund (DOF) - to assist in better achieving the goals, objectives and mission of the ANRC. The four organizations will collectively serve as the executive leadership over the ANRC, and will work in collaboration with the Center’s current membership, consisting of over 30 national disability-related organizations.
"NDI is looking forward to working with these three dynamic organizations. The value brought by their collective contributions will inevitably ensure a bright future for the Center and ultimately the people with disabilities it serves,” Michael Morris, NDI Executive Director, said.  “I would, in particular, like to thank the Bank of America Foundation for being the inaugural sponsor of the ABLE National Resource Center. With its support, and the additional sponsors we expect to sign on by the end of the year, we can expand our vital work on behalf of people with disabilities and their families.” 
Each of the four executive leadership organizations has committed substantial ongoing resources to both pass the Stephen Beck Jr. Achieving a Better Life Experience (ABLE) Act (Public Law 113-295) and to ensure the success of the ANRC. In addition to support NDI received from Bank of America Foundation for the Center, DOF is committing a portion of its recent Wells Fargo NEXT Award to the ANRC. This particular award recognized the potential impact the Community Development Financial Institution industry can play in starting an innovative consumer finance strategy, such as ABLE accounts. 
“This is an historical collaboration between four leading disability organizations. It is vital that the disability community work together to ensure we have effective, efficient and widespread availability of ABLE accounts across the country,” Sara Hart Weir, NDSS President said. "The ABLE Act remains one of the most significant pieces of disability legislation and is among the most bipartisan, bicameral bills ever passed any Congress – 85 percent of the entire 113th Congress supported the law.”
The ANRC goals and objectives are the following:
  • Serve as a facilitator between the disability sector, government, and financial service companies to accelerate the effective design and availability of ABLE accounts nationwide;
  • Educate the disability community about the opportunities available to save and plan for a better economic future and quality of life experience through the establishment of ABLE accounts;
  • Educate government at federal and state levels about consumer needs and challenges in establishing and/or managing an ABLE account;
  • Educate and inform financial service companies about the needs and interests of the disability community to offer investment product choices to place ABLE account resources; and
  • Educate the public, policy makers and other relevant stakeholders about the positive impact of ABLE accounts at an individual and systems level and any needed changes for further policy development.
The ANRC collaborative estimates the number of eligible individuals and families is between five and eight million and will grow each year. It is projected that more than $50 billion is expected to be invested in ABLE accounts over the next five years. The ANRC will provide consistent, reliable information about the benefits of an ABLE account and its potential impact on quality of life experience for individuals with disabilities. Additionally, the ANRC will educate individuals with disabilities and their families, state governments and related agencies, financial service companies, and financial planners and attorneys in relevant specialty areas, about the rules governing the administration and use of these accounts.
For more information on the ABLE National Resource Center please contact Chris Rodriguez at crodriguez@ndi-inc.org.

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