Monday, August 1, 2011

California Non-Profit Makes Dreams Achievable for the Disabled

Each day across America we hear about state and local governments cutting their budgets and grappling with ways to provide critical services to citizens everywhere. The debate over the federal budget in Washington, DC has people worried about cuts in healthcare, defense and social security.  Overall confidence in the U.S. economy is at one of its lowest points in recent years.  That's what makes the accomplishments of this one California  non-profit based in Culver City even more astonishing.  The Achievable Foundation was profiled on the public affairs program "The Business of Giving," for its outstanding work in assisting the developmentally disabled and their families.  Their mission is to improve the quality of life for individuals who have autism, intellectual disability, cerebral palsy, epilepsy or other developmental concerns.

These individuals and families struggle with major life challenges such as communication, mobility, learning, socialization and independent living.  Achievable was established in response to the financial challenges and gaps in costly services. Program coordinators say "lifetime costs associated with having a developmental disability can reach up to $5 million dollars due to costly services like special education, extra medical care, supportive care and therapeutic care.  A number of these individuals have more than one type of disability with a variety of challenges requiring different types of services.  This same population and their families often experience higher rates of poverty and economic hardships, and cannot afford crucial services or even basic necessities on their own."

Achievable treated kids to a day of 
fun and baseball with the Dodgers
while bringing awareness to their
cause.  Photo Courtesy of the 
Achievable Foundation.

Fifty-seven percent (57%) of Achievable's target population consists of children, teens and young adults age 21 and under.  The remaining 43% make-up the following age groups:  13.6% ages 22-31; 12.3% ages 32-41; 9.6% ages 42-51; and 7.5% ages 52 and older.  It's total population is ethnically diverse, consisting of 32% White, 29% Latino, 24% African-American, 4% Asian and 11% other.  Achievable services a socioeconomically diverse area, which includes many traditionally under served communities in Inglewood, Hawthrone, Lennox and Gardena.  In previous fiscal years, 60% of clients served by Achievable were female and 40% were male.

Achievable clients and supporters
gather to celebrate the gift of a
 Chrysler Town and Country Van.
Photo Courtesy of the Achievable 
Whether they are acquiring a modified Chrysler Town and Country van fitted with specialized adaptive equipment, including a wheelchair lift or taking kids to a Dodgers baseball game to increase public awareness  on  Autism, the Achievable Foundation does this and more, despite the economy and cut backs.  The contributions of people like "Geri Brawerman, Jim and Cathy Gott and many others help them find a way.  Current Achievable programs include:  Health and Wellness, Emergency Support, Specialized Adaptive Equipment and Camps that promote healthy learning and social experiences.  This is truly one of my favorite organizations.  For more information on how you can help visit WWW.ACHIEVABLE.ORG or call (310) 258-4256.