It’s Official: Bethesda is Now AbleLight

AbleLight Logo

As of Monday, January 10, we are thrilled to officially be AbleLight!

We celebrated with a grand kickoff featuring a special performance from Grammy- and Dove-award winning Christian artist Michael W. Smith. Also at the event was NASCAR great and FOX Sports announcer, David Ragan, and his brother, disability advocate Adam Ragan. (Psst—if you missed the concert, you can still watch it!)

But the concert was just the beginning, because truly this change is about the people we serve.

“For 117 years, Bethesda has led the transformation of vital services for people with disabilities,” said Dave Sneddon, Interim President and CEO. “Today, we’re approaching the future with open arms and bringing new friends into the mission all under a new name – AbleLight. This transition has been years in the making, and a true team effort. It marks the beginning of a new and promising era for people with developmental disabilities across the country, and we couldn’t be more excited.”

The name AbleLight was chosen from among more than 1,000 name choices and reflects the many skills and abilities of people with disabilities while also demonstrating how the Christian organization is a guiding light for people with developmental disabilities and their families. 

“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. “As AbleLight, we have a renewed opportunity to serve the more than 7 million Americans who have an intellectual or developmental disability. We are committed to supporting the whole person and continuously improving the world for people with disabilities.”

Going forward, AbleLight will be focused on five impact areas to enhance the lives of people with intellectual and developmental disabilities:

Safe and Loving Homes

AbleLight continues 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 AbleLight 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

Managing money can be stressful for anyone, but for a person with a disability and their family, it can be daunting. To help, AbleLight’s Financial Services team provides 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 makes 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. One-on-one support guides the transition from school-based services to independent living, and from adult living skills to on-the-job support. Lastly, AbleLight College recently expanded to Concordia University Ann Arbor in Michigan, building on the successful life and work skills program at Concordia University Wisconsin.

Innovation and Technology

AbleLight innovates 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 AbleLight Village, promoting safety, security and independence. 

Community and Faith

A strong connection to the community is vital to a life well lived. AbleLight makes 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.