MILWAUKEE, Sept. 29, 2021 /PRNewswire/ — A historic day has arrived for Bethesda and for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities across the country.
Bethesda has announced that as of Jan. 10, 2022, it will become AbleLight, a name chosen to reflect the many skills and talents of people with disabilities while also demonstrating how the organization will be a guiding light for people and the field as a whole.
«Our purpose is clear – we believe the world shines brighter when people with developmental disabilities achieve their full potential,» said Cesar Villalpando, Chairperson of the Bethesda Board of Directors. «With more than 7 million Americans who have an intellectual or developmental disability, our services are more essential than ever before. And our unique approach to supporting the whole person and our drive to continuously improve the world for people with disabilities are what set AbleLight apart in the disability field.»
In addition to the corporate name change, Bethesda is announcing:
- AbleLight Innovation Center launch: Today Bethesda announces the opening of the AbleLight Innovation Center, a research and development hub for the use of technology to improve independence and well-being for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. The center is located in downtown Milwaukee near university and corporate partners. It is here that assistive technology is conceived, developed and launched across the country.
- College expansion to Michigan: For young people leaving high school, Bethesda College (soon to be AbleLight College) at Concordia University Wisconsin builds life and work skills in young adults, getting them ready to dream big and accomplish more. Today, Bethesda announces the expansion to Concordia University Ann Arbor in Michigan, planned for next fall.
- Aggressive expansion of core services: With the goal of serving the whole person, AbleLight will increase services including behavioral supports, host homes and supported living services, as well as financial services.
«Through programs like AbleLight College and our Innovation Center, and thanks to the creativity and dedication of our team, we are fulfilling our promise – to pioneer life-changing services that empower the people we serve to thrive,» said Dave Sneddon, Interim President and CEO of Bethesda. «We will create a bold future for people with disabilities.»
The name «AbleLight» was chosen after much discussion and engagement with stakeholders, including people served and their families, employees and donors.
«Over the course of the last year, we connected with hundreds of individuals and asked what was important to them,» said Cindy Moon-Mogush, Chief Marketing and Communications Officer. «We took these valuable perspectives as our starting point, and we considered our history and our plans for the future. From there, we identified and vetted a new name – AbleLight – from more than 1,000 choices. AbleLight will further differentiate us as a leader in our field and help us expand our reach nationally.»
Five impact areas
Going forward, AbleLight will be focused on five impact areas to enhance the lives of people at every age and stage:
Safe and Loving Homes: AbleLight will continue to provide a variety of housing options to meet every need, including group homes, supported living and host home arrangements. AbleLight will expand the innovative Cornerstone Village concept, a first-of-its-kind residential community uniting individuals with disabilities with people of all abilities in a loving, welcoming environment.
Financial Security: AbleLight’s Financial Services team will provide one-on-one consultation and support to help people navigate the complex world of benefits and achieve their financial goals. This includes rep payee services, Medicaid redeterminations, Social Security reporting and ABLE account support and training.
Independence and Wellbeing: AbleLight will make it possible to achieve joy in daily living. As just one example, through its emerging Behavior Supports area, the organization provides individualized treatment plans for people with disabilities and their families to promote positive behavior change. This has made a world of difference in helping people achieve their life goals.
One-on-one support guides the transition from school-based services to independent living, and from adult living skills to on-the-job support.
Innovation and Technology: AbleLight will innovate for good, researching and developing new technology to improve all aspects of life for people with disabilities, and will provide customized solutions to meet individual needs. Assistive smart home technology is deployed in a growing number of homes, including Cornerstone Village, promoting safety, security and independence.
Community and Faith: A strong connection to the community is vital to a life well lived. AbleLight will make that connection through day programs, virtual programming, faith connections, and volunteering options that bring people together.
AbleLight will continue to offer thrift shops as a connection point with the community and a meaningful source of revenue for needed programs.
For more information
Information about AbleLight and the transition will be shared on social media and at BethesdaLC.org/AbleLight.
Bethesda is a national leader in pioneering life-changing services that empower people with intellectual and developmental disabilities to thrive. Founded in 1904 in Wisconsin, Bethesda promotes independence and inclusion across the U.S. through comprehensive and individualized supports that include housing, employment, financial services, assistive technology and much more. In January 2022, Bethesda will become AbleLight. For details, go to http://www.bethesdalc.org, like our Facebook page and follow us on Twitter, LinkedIn and Instagram.
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SOURCE Bethesda Lutheran Communities