Kimberly Tissot proudly serves as the Executive Director of Able SC where she guides the staff in applying the philosophy of independent living to real situations. Kimberly believes in the value of individualized and community-based empowerment as she wants people to recognize their full potential. Under Kimberly’s leadership, Able SC has experienced years of growth, success and has become a nationally recognized Center for Independent Living. Kimberly’s road to disability rights began at an early age, after having her leg amputated from a rare childhood cancer, Alveolar rhabdomyosarcoma. Kimberly began deciding her style of mobility, becoming the first soccer player with a disability in her town, and speaking up anytime she was treated differently. Kimberly has over 20 years of experience advocating for disability inclusion on a local, state and federal level, and also internationally!
Kimberly holds a Bachelor of Science degree in human development from Boston University, Wheelock College of Education and a Master of Social Work from the University of South Carolina. In 2017, Kimberly led the efforts in the passing of progressive legislation in South Carolina, “Persons with Disabilities Right to Parent Act” and in 2018, the SC Employment First Initiative Study Committee. Kimberly mentors other Centers for Independent Living across the nation due to her marked success in the field. She also serves as an Executive Director mentor to other South Carolina nonprofit organizations via the state’s nonprofit association. In addition to Kimberly’s role at Able SC, she has successfully held multiple state-appointed responsibilities, serves on the board of directors of the Association of Programs for Rural Independent Living and the National Council on Independent Living (NCIL); co-chairs the NCIL ADA and Civil Rights Committee, as well as co-chairs the NCIL Parenting Rights Task Force. Kimberly was also the master mind behind several statewide initiatives that have led to major systems change in South Carolina. Those efforts include: SC’s first statewide youth transition conference, Advocacy Day for Access and Independence, SC Disability Employment Coalition, SC Disability Partners in Disasters to name a few.
Kimberly’s special interests include parenting with a disability, ADA/Civil Rights, engaging in early youth transition, universal design, developing new disability rights leaders, legislative disability rights advocacy, and advancing disability employment and awareness. When Kimberly isn’t at Able SC, she is making precious memories with her husband and son!
- 2019-2010 Richard M. Kuffle Memorial Award (Outstanding Contributor Award), South Carolina Division on Career Development and Transition, Greenville, SC.
- 2019Women’s Caucus Leadership Award, National Council on Independent Living, Washington, DC
- 2018 Awardee of The State’s 20 Under 40 top Leaders, The State Newspaper, Columbia, South Carolina
- 2017 Pat Head Advocacy Award, Family Connection of SC, Columbia, South Carolina
- 2008 Hero in the Fight, Mental Health America of South Carolina