Author: Diane Stewart, Enable Outreach Specialist

“That should be our aim: a situation in which all individuals are enabled to maximize their potential, and to contribute to the evolution of society as a whole.” (Kofi Annan, 2001 Nobel Peace Prize Winner)

Enable, maximize and contribute precisely describe the work we do at the Enable Savings Plan Alabama and this work goes beyond just financial development. Our goal at Enable Alabama is to ensure that every individual with disabilities has access to financial security and independence, so that our account owners are empowered to live their best lives and be their best selves.

At Enable Alabama, we believe that everyone is entitled to certain inalienable rights, including the right to financial stability and security, which are vital to living a fulfilling life. Yet, persons with disabilities have historically faced discrimination and been barred from enjoying the full range of human rights.

Thanks to recent and increased awareness, however, there has been a positive shift towards inclusivity to ensure that those with disabilities are treated as equals, and that they receive the same rights and treatment that we all deserve.

This movement towards inclusivity and equality is in part due to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which was adopted by the United Nations General Assembly in 1948. Now the most translated document in the world—available in over 500 languages—the declaration defines the fundamental rights that every person is entitled to, including the right to a standard of living adequate for health and wellbeing and the right to life, liberty and security of person. Often taken for granted, these rights have long been out of reach for those with disabilities.

At Enable Alabama, we strive to uphold our commitment to this document and make it our priority to ensure that individuals with disabilities are treated fairly and have access to the standard of living and quality of health that allow for a vibrant life. How do we do this? We empower our account owners with the tools to achieve financial stability and afford daily necessities.

Living with a disability is costly and oftentimes the resources needed to maintain a healthful lifestyle are expensive, leading many to rely on resource-based benefits like SNAP, Medicaid and Supplemental Security Income, which don’t always fully cover life’s necessities. And before plans like Enable Alabama, individuals were unable to save over $2,000 without comprising their access to these vital benefits. 

With Enable Savings Plan Alabama, account owners can save funds—up to $15,000 annually—that do not conflict with their eligibility for resource-based benefits. These savings ensure that account owners have the funds necessary to cover their unique disability-related expenses, and pursue a life that is defined by potential, rather than limited due to monetary constraints.

Every citizen has the right to a bright future that is free from financial obstacles, and we at Enable Alabama work every day to make this right a reality.

This International Human Rights Day, tell us: how do you show your commitment to human rights and bettering the lives of others? Use the hashtag #StandUp4HumanRights and tell us on our Facebook page (@EnableSavingsPlanAlabama).