What We Fund

2021 FUNDING CYCLE-COVID-19 Response

Ability Central recognizes that the COVID-19 outbreak has negatively impacted, if not completely disrupted, the work of many organizations. We are particularly mindful of the dramatic impact that the virus and shelter-in-place orders have had on the disability community, including Ability Central’s current Grantee Partners. We are committed to the success of our Partners, and we will be working with them to resolve any challenges in completing the terms of their current grants due to the coronavirus. 

This is typically the time of year that Ability Central issues a call for Letters of Intent (LOIs) for the following calendar year. In order to provide ongoing support to our current Grantee Partners, the Board of Directors has decided not to release new funding priorities for 2021. Instead, we will be offering Continuation Grants to our current 2020 Grantee Partners for the 2021 grant cycle. 

Should additional funding be made available by the Board, Ability Central will make a public announcement accordingly.



In past years, Ability Central has awarded grants to community-based nonprofit or educational organizations in California that establish projects and programs designed to benefit the communication needs of Californians with disabilities of all ages.

Ability Central GrantMaking

Ability Central has identified four (4) Funding Priorities. For a project to be considered it must address one of the following areas:

1. Training AT & AAC Professionals

Supporting projects that build capacity and skills of professionals (specialists & general care providers).

2. Facilitating Research & Innovation

Supporting organizations in the collection and evaluation of data on a service or target population or the development and testing of new technologies and services.

3. Collaboration & Exchange

Fostering collaboration and exchange to share successful models and strengthen networks.

4. Organizational Capacity Building. NEW FOR 2020! 

Supporting previous grantees to build capacity through planning and leadership development.

For a detailed description of these focus areas, please review the Ability Central Funding Priorities

Our grant cycle follows the calendar year. Projects are expected to last 12 months; grant amounts range from $10,000 to $100,000; organizations can receive a maximum of three consecutive years of funding. Ability Central is now also accepting requests for multiyear projects from current and previous grantees only; the maximum grant amount is $200,000 for a 3-year project.

Ability Central (Formerly DCF) Funded Projects

Since 2011, Ability Central Philanthropy has funded 164 projects by 93 organizations throughout California.

ability central EVENT SUPPORT 

In July of 2018, we launched a Discretionary Events Funding Program. Events selected for funding complement our mission to promote access to communication and information for individuals with disabilities in California. Funding is intended to support an organization in hosting a topic-based workshop or conference. 

Available Funds & Award Amounts

  • Applications are accepted year-round.
  • Ability Central has a total of $50,000 to award in the 2019-2020 rolling cycle. 
  • An organization can only receive an award for one event per year, ranging from $1,000 to $10,000.
  • Event must take place within three (3) months of the request for funding.

Before you start an application in Ability Central’s online grants management system for event funding, please carefully review the Event Funding Guidelines. 

Projects Funded

Since July 2018, Ability Central has funded the following events:

2019-2020 Pilot RFP

Providing Alternative Augmentative Communication (AAC) Training for Professionals in Rural and Underserved Areas of California

An invitation-only funding opportunity to improve the capacity to serve individuals with complex communication needs in remote geographic areas of California. This is a collaborative opportunity between organizations located in California’s metropolitan areas (Greater Bay Area, Greater Los Angeles, Sacramento, and San Diego) and organizations outside of that, to provide AAC training for professionals in rural and/or underserved areas. Only prior grantees that successfully implemented an AAC training program were eligible to submit a proposal.

Parents Helping Parents, San Jose, and their project “Accessing Communication Together” (in collaboration with Exceptional Parents Unlimited, Fresno) was selected for funding and is receiving $100,000 over a 24-month period.

Project Profile