About Us

ABLE2: Support for People with Disabilities

ABLE2 believes in an inclusive community where all people are seen as able, important, and valued. People with disabilities face many issues, including stigma, accessibility, social isolation, and legal problems. Our programs and services empower persons of all ages across the disability spectrum and their families to build lives of meaning and joy as valued members of our community.


We work with partners to provide the tools, choices and connections that empower people with disabilities to build lives of meaning and joy.


An inclusive community where all people are seen as able, important and valued.


  • Honesty
  • Responsibility
  • Open access 
  • Personal advocacy
  • Value in all people
  • Independence

Why the name ABLE2?

ABLE is an acronym for:

  • Ability
  • Benevolence
  • Liberty
  • Empowered

The number 2 is included as part of our name for several reasons:

  • It refers to our core program, the Matching Program, that pairs community volunteers (Allies) with a child, youth or adult living with a disability who wants an Ally – a friend and companion to talk to, go to a movie with or do any of the things that friends do together. 
  • It recognises the positive impacts that our matches have on two people – both the volunteer (Ally) and the person with a disability (Friend). 
  • It acknowledges that it takes more than one agency/program/person to achieve our vision and mission.

Why Support for People with Disabilities Matters

More than 50% of Canadians have a relative living with a disability. In Ottawa, there are 161,445 people living with disabilities. Three quarters of this population has more than one disability and one third are over the age of 65. This marginalized population is diverse in ethnicity, age and type of disability.

By the year 2050, Canadian seniors and people living with disabilities will have the highest rate of poor physical and mental health outcomes than any other demographic (Mental Health Commission of Canada [MHCC], 2020; Whalen, 2013). Social isolation, depression and loneliness are negatively impacting the mental and physical well-being of seniors and people living with a disability. ABLE2’s programs tackle the basic human need for social connections. 

This need is recognised in research that shows that there is a strong and positive association between quality of life and social participation (Canadian Community Health Survey, 2008, 2009). The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted this need for social connection for all community members. ABLE2 has been proactively adapting all their programming to continue to offer support and resources to Ottawa’s most vulnerable citizens.

ABLE2’s programs channel the power of compassionate people to provide hope and support to the city’s most vulnerable citizens in several ways. 

  • Matching Programvolunteers are matched one-on-one with people living with disabilities of all ages, across the disability spectrum.
  • Build Community aims to build relationships for individuals living with a disability, by building a network of unpaid people who support the individual in their daily life.
  • Person Directed Planning and Facilitation (PDPF) for individuals and families – focuses on helping those living with disabilities to discover their dreams and aspirations, and then to develop a plan to reach their goals, based on their strengths, interests and abilities. 
  • Fetal Alcohol Resource Program (FARP) draws together the resources, skills and knowledge that exists in Ottawa and provides support and community navigation for individuals with FASD and their families.
  • Family Support – ABLE2 offers a series of educational workshops on a variety of topics and a Funding Brokerage
  • Reach Legal Services mobilizes a network in the Ottawa region of more than 200 lawyers, mediators and paralegals and connects with community resources to assist people with disabilities in dealing with legal issues.

ABLE2 strives to deliver programming that helps build an inclusive community in Ottawa where everyone can participate, according to their abilities, as full community members. Impact evaluations clearly show that inclusion, the reduction of loneliness and isolation and the resulting improvement in mental and physical health has a significant positive benefit on the lives of people with disabilities, their families, the volunteer cohort and the community at large.

Our Story