Grant Opportunities

A group of residents with disabilities pose for a photo at the Noah Homes Training Institute for Excellence, held in a conference room with black circular tables, green walls, and an American flag in one corner.
A group of residents with disabilities pose for a photo at the Training Institute for Excellence, hosted by Ability Central grantee Noah Homes. The event is held in a conference room with black circular tables, green walls, and an American flag in one corner.

Grants from Ability Central

Ability Central makes grants to improve communication and information access for people who are Deaf, disabled, and neurodivergent. Since 2010, Ability Central has provided more than $13.5 million in support of 200+ projects, serving more than 555,000 people with disabilities.

Ability Central only funds nonprofit organizations headquartered in California.

We value our grantees as partners and provide practical support in addition to our funding. We encourage the input, collaboration, and knowledge exchange of our partners through regular communication and grantee meetings. Additionally, we uplift and highlight the impact of our grantee partners throughout our digital presence, at conferences, in our newsletter, and in our annual impact report. We also require grantees to participate in at least one in-person grantee gathering during the year of their grant award, and another one the following year, to share ideas, needs, and lessons with other grantees.

Our 2025 funding cycle for Communication Access Grants encourages projects focused on leadership and career development for people with communication disabilities and their employers and training projects for healthcare professionals to increase accessibility and inclusion for people with communication disabilities. We award these major grants on an annual basis with the application period typically spanning the summer.

Take a look at our funding categories to learn more.

2025 Communication Access Grants Funding Categories

Applications accepted July 9th, 2024 – September 13th, 2024

Developing and training healthcare professionals in strategies and tools that improve access to care for people with communication disabilities.

We are looking for projects to develop, train, and implement resources and programmatic models for people with disabilities who communicate and access information via methods such as braille, screen readers, American Sign Language (ASL), tactile interpreters, co-navigators, and/or Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC).

This project is intended to train and equip healthcare professionals and healthcare systems with the knowledge, accessible resources, and multi-modal communication partner strategies to improve culturally responsive care for patients with communication disabilities and their care teams. These projects should be replicable and include people with disabilities in the planning, training, and implementation.

We encourage projects that incorporate these elements:

  • Person-Centered Approach: Successful culturally responsive healthcare training projects for people with communication disabilities should prioritize a person-centered approach. This means that the training should focus on the individual needs and preferences of the person, and the training should empower the person to be an active participant in their healthcare decisions.
  • Communication Access: Successful projects should prioritize and understand access needs. This includes accommodations such as sign language interpreters, captioning, assistive technology, etc., that allow individuals to communicate effectively with healthcare providers.
  • Collaboration: Healthcare training projects should involve multidisciplinary collaboration to ensure that all aspects of a person’s health needs are addressed. This could include collaborating with healthcare administration, front line staff such as doctors, nurses, medical assistants, behavioral health therapists, social workers, occupational therapists, appointment schedulers, and/or other professionals whose interactions impact the medical care of individuals with communication disabilities.
  • Ongoing Evaluation: Successful projects should include ongoing evaluation to ensure that the training is effective and meets the needs of individuals with communication disabilities. This includes collecting feedback from both healthcare providers and individuals with communication disabilities to identify areas for improvement and make necessary adjustments to the training.

Interested in applying for a grant from Ability Central? Take our quiz to determine your eligibility.

Career and leadership development projects for people with communication disabilities.

We are seeking strong, scalable, and replicable projects that provide supportive and fairly-compensated career training opportunities for people with communication disabilities.

We seek projects that:

  • Demonstrate understanding of the unique challenges faced by people with communication disabilities in accessing career and leadership development opportunities.
  • Prepare people with communication disabilities for career advancement, going beyond entry-level, customer service-based work. While also considering preparations on the employer’s behalf to ensure an accessible and inclusive work environment.
  • Utilize innovative and effective strategies for providing support to participants with communication disabilities throughout the career training process.
  • Have or will establish partnerships with relevant stakeholders, including self-advocates, disability organizations, employers, colleges, and/or training institutes.
  • Include accommodations (interpreters, screen reader-friendly documents, AAC, etc.) and project staff/mentors who are familiar with them to enhance accessibility and participation.
  • Incorporate a person-centered approach, considering the individual strengths, preferences, and goals of participants with communication disabilities.
  • Measure outcomes and evaluation methods to assess the effectiveness of the career training program and its impact on participants’ employment outcomes.Plan for sustainability beyond the grant period, including strategies for long-term funding, partnerships, and ongoing support for participants.
  • Describe the project’s scalability, indicating the potential for expansion and replication in other settings or regions.
  • Commit to a disability inclusion framework within their organization.

Interested in applying for a grant from Ability Central? Take our quiz to determine your eligibility.

Rapid Response Grants

Ability Central is not offering Rapid Response Access Improvement Grants in the 2025 Grant Cycle.

Learn More

Tuesday, July 9th, 2024 Eligibility Quiz and Application Open

Tuesday, July 9th, 2024 Front Porch Applicant Calls Begin

Thursday, July 25th, 2024 at 11am PDTApplicant Webinar

Friday, August 16th, 2024 Last Day to Schedule an Applicant Call

Friday, September 13th, 2024 at 5pm PDT Application Closes

Ability Central’s grantmaking process has undergone some changes for the 2025 cycle.

In place of the Letter of Inquiry, we are implementing an eligibility quiz and will host calls with those who pass the quiz.

This call is an opportunity for potential applicants to ask questions about our process, funding initiatives, and scoring criteria. It is also a time for Ability Central Grants staff to ask questions, ensuring the fit of the proposal.

Applicants must attend a call upon passing the eligibility quiz before continuing to the application. However, if a potential grantee has questions after reading the materials provided on the Grants Opportunities page, they are welcome to schedule a call using this Outlook Bookings link or send an email to grants@abilitycentral.org.

After speaking with the Grants Team, those who meet the requirements will be given access to the full application.

At any time during the application process, potential and returning grantees can schedule a call with the Ability Central grants team. We are here to talk you through potential fit, questions about the application, and support you as much as we are able.

Applicants unsure about their project’s fit are welcome to schedule a call with us when the process opens and will have until Friday, August 16 to make an initial approach and schedule their first call. Those who have reached out and begun the application process prior to 8/16 are welcome to continue asking questions until the application process closes on Friday, September 13th.

For more information, see our FAQs.

Thursday, July 25th, 2024 at 11am PDT

Ability Central will host a webinar for those interested in applying for a grant, offering more detailed information about our funding and the chance to ask questions.

Looking for other funders? Check out our curated list of foundations providing support to disability-focused organizations in California and beyond.

To schedule a call please use the following link to Outlook Bookings. Organizations that schedule a call before completing the eligibility quiz will still be required to meet with Ability Central staff after passing the quiz but before completing the application.

Want to learn more about our grant cycle? Check out our Frequently Asked Questions.

If you have further questions regarding eligibility or whether your project is a good fit, please contact Ability Central at grants@abilitycentral.org.