Able SC is a disability lead organization seeking transformational changes in systems, communities, and individuals.
Since 1994, we’ve remained a consumer-controlled, community-based, cross-disability nonprofit that seeks to make South Carolina a national model of equity and inclusion for all people with disabilities.
- We are the state’s oldest and largest federally recognized disability-led organization.
- More than 3/4 of our staff are people with disabilities, as are over half of our Board of Directors.
We practice coequality, disability justice and representation, and true inclusion through consumer-driven independence and disability pride.
We didn’t just learn this.
As people with disabilities, our work doesn’t end when we leave the office. Disability is part of who we are. We live this every day.
We are an organization of people with disabilities leading the charge to:
- Equip people with disabilities with tools to foster pride and to direct their own lives;
- Educate the community to challenge stereotypes and eliminate barriers; and
- Advocate for access, equity, and inclusion at the individual, local, state, and national level.
A South Carolina that is a national model of equity and inclusion for all people with disabilities.
Coequality/Equity: We promote equal status, rights, or opportunities while addressing barriers that prevent this. We advocate and provide equity, not special treatment. We advocate for respect, fair access, and opportunities while identifying and eliminating barriers to ensure full participation.
True Inclusion: Inclusion that incorporates intersectionality and being an active and vital part of the community. We advocate for people with disabilities to be included in integrated environments in the classroom, employment, housing, leadership roles, and in discussions that impact their lives within the community.
Consumer-Driven Independence: People with disabilities should have the right to control their own lives and make decisions about what’s best for them. We believe every individual can be independent and sometimes that means utilizing the supports around them including mentors and peer supports. People with disabilities should always direct their services and how they access the community. We teach the skills that allow People to lead their own lives; we don’t reach the goals for them. We enhance the independent support networks that allow People to achieve their goals and grow their own support system through mentoring and leadership.
Disability Justice: Acknowledging that everyone has their own unique experiences of discrimination and oppression, we must consider anything that can marginalize people - disability, gender, race, class, sexual orientation, and other lived experiences. The disability community is diverse and many members face oppression and are marginalized for identities beyond their disability. We recognize that all parts of a person’s identity need to be recognized, as these can further marginalize someone. We believe everyone deserves equity and should be celebrated for their entire identity.
Disability Pride: Individual and community pride in being part of the disability community is critical as it builds up the confidence to navigate life and not to feel ashamed of having a disability. “Disability” is not a negative word. We are proud of who we are, and the barriers we have overcome have only made us stronger. It’s ok to have a disability. Do not pity us.
Representation: We believe organizations best suited to support and assist People with disabilities are governed and operated by People with disabilities. Able SC centers on the belief that all plans and activities impacting People with disabilities should include those impacted; nothing about us without us is a core philosophy. We will remain a disability-led organization for all people with disabilities.
Independent Living Philosophy
Independent Living philosophy emphasizes consumer control, the idea that people with disabilities are the best experts on their own needs. Their thoughts and opinions matter, especially when it concerns their own lives. They should be able to make decisions for themselves on how they live, work and take part in the community, particularly in reference to services that powerfully affect their day-to-day lives and access to independence.
Core Service Area
Able South Carolina is established under the Rehabilitation Act to be run and operated by people with disabilities as a U.S. Department of Health and Human Services designated Center for Independent Living.
Able SC offers core services to the following counties in the Midlands and Upstate: Abbeville, Anderson, Calhoun, Cherokee, Chester, Clarendon, Fairfield, Greenville, Greenwood, Kershaw, Laurens, Lee, Lexington, Newberry, Oconee, Orangeburg, Pickens, Richland, Saluda, Spartanburg, Sumter, Union, and York. However, many of our programs are statewide.