Who We Are
Able SC is a Center for Independent Living (CIL), an organization not about “helping” people with disabilities, but built on the central concept of self-empowerment. It’s a consumer-controlled, community-based, cross-disability nonprofit that provides an array of independent living services. We do everything it takes to empower people with disabilities to live active, self-determined lives including advocacy, services, and support. More than half of our staff are persons with disabilities, as are over half of our Board of Directors. We didn’t just learn this– we live it!
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.
Mission: To create greater access and opportunities for independence through empowering individuals with disabilities and promoting community inclusion.
Vision: A South Carolina that promotes equality and access for individuals with disabilities.
Values: Non-negotiable principles that we will not compromise that guide our decision-making.
- Empowerment – We don’t reach goals for individuals; we teach the skills that allow them to do for themselves.
- Inclusion– We advocate for individuals with disabilities to be included in integrated environments in the classroom, employment, housing, leadership roles, and in discussions that impact their lives and the disability community.
- Independence– Individuals 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.
- Equality– We advocate for equal rights and access, not special treatment.
- Disability Pride – “Disability” is not a negative word. It means we are more adaptable. We are proud of who we are, and the barriers we have overcome have only made us stronger.
- The Independent Living Movement is founded in the belief that people with disabilities, regardless of the form, have a common history and a shared struggle, and that we are a community and a culture that will advance further banded together politically.
- Equal opportunities and rights are for ALL. There should be no segregation by disability or stereotypes.
- People with disabilities are the best experts on their own needs and should decide what is best for them.
- No person should live in institutions on the basis of a disability.
- Having a disability does not mean a person is sick and requires a certified medical professional for daily living.
- People learn and grow from discussing their needs, concerns, and issues with people who have had similar experiences.
- Systemic cross-disability advocacy efforts are needed to ensure that people with disabilities benefit from all that society has to offer.
- There should be no barriers to independence, including architectural, communication, and attitudinal barriers.
- The organizations best suited to support and assist individuals with disabilities ARE governed and operated by individuals with disabilities.
- Leadership for independent living and disability rights is vested in individuals with disabilities (not parents, service providers, or other representatives).
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.