About Ability Connection Texas (ACT)
At Ability Connection Texas, our clients are as diverse as our community. They are children and adults of all ages and ethnicities with all types of physical or intellectual disabilities. Our youngest client is 18 months old and our oldest is over 82 years old.
At Ability Connection Texas, our passion is providing the very highest quality care and support to children and adults with disabilities. Our organization has been building on this passion for over 59 years while continuing our commitment to level the playing field for those with disabilities. We empower individuals to live the best life possible by removing barriers that inhibit independence and autonomy. At Ability Connection Texas, we focus on each person’s ability and believe in each individual’s potential for success.
Ability Connection Texas was founded on June 15th, 1953 as United Cerebral Palsy Association (UCPA) of Dallas County. Initially UCP offered a sheltered workshop for adults with cerebral palsy and in 1957 added day care and pre-school classes for children with cerebral palsy. Adult services were located in a church on McKinney Avenue and children’s services were housed in the basement of Highland Park United Methodist Church on Mockingbird Lane. In 1959 UCP joined United Way.
The 1960’s saw an era of growth in mission and capabilities when both children and adults programs came together in a facility located on Core Street. Shortly after this relocation, UCPA’s leadership realized that the number of people it was serving had outgrown the new location and funds were raised to build a new facility located at Anson and Parwelk that would accommodate administrative offices and all UCP programs. In 1975 additional space for programming was acquired and the adult program was moved to a nearby location to better care for the individuals UCP was serving.
WASHINGTON, DC (December 19, 2014) — In an era of Washington gridlock, occasionally a ray of light breaks through and a silver lining appears on the horizon for the citizens of our great country. Such an event occurred quietly on December 19th, 2014 when President Barack Obama signed into law the Achieving a Better Life Experience (ABLE) Act after a long eight year campaign.
This new law will allow people with disabilities and their families to create a tax-free savings account up to $100,000 without risking eligibility for means-tested federal programs such as Social Security. The savings accrued in an individual’s ABLE account will not affect their Medicaid coverage. Modeled after the 529 college savings plans, any interest earned on the ABLE savings will be tax-free. Funds in an ABLE account may be used to pay for housing, health care, transportation, education and other expenses.
Last August, Pete Sessions spoke about the ABLE Act at a gathering in Dallas to celebrate Ability Connection’s Adaptive Aquatics Program. Congressman Sessions said “This legislation will help maintain the health and well-being of individuals with disabilities, allowing private contributions to their healthcare, education, housing and transportation, so that they can achieve employment and independence while growing to the best of their abilities.”
“As the proud father of a young man with Down syndrome, I believe that ensuring a sound financial future for our loved ones with disabilities is of the utmost importance. Today’s passage of the ABLE Act, a top legislative priority of mine, is a victory for all individuals with disabilities and their families. This bipartisan, bicameral package represents what Congress can do when it works together towards a common goal.”
Eligibility for an ABLE Act account is limited to individuals with a disability diagnosed before their 26th birthday. Each qualified beneficiary may only have one ABLE account, and up to $14,000 may be deposited annually under current gift-tax restrictions.
Each state that has a 529 plan will first need to put regulations in place before financial institutions will be able to offer ABLE accounts to people with disabilities. Legislators are optimistic that ABLE accounts will be available in all states by the end of 2015.
H.R.647 - ABLE Act of 2014
Obama Signs ABLE Act
Congressman Sessions discussing his involvement with the ABLE Act
ABLE Act Personal for McMorris Rodgers, Sessions
Ability Connection Texas (ACT) is lead by a dedicated team of people who are passionate about providing the very highest quality care and support to children and adults with disabilities. Our organization has been building on this passion for over 59 years while continuing our commitment to level the playing field for those with disabilities.