Breaking Barriers: Marking National Disability Independence Day with SELF’s inclusive efforts

“Accesibility is more than a legal requirement; it’s a fundamental aspect of a compassionate and inclusive society.” –Duanne Andrade, SELF executive director

National Disability Independence Day commemorates the signing of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) on July 26, 1990, a transformative piece of legislation that changed the lives of millions of individuals with disabilities in the United States. The ADA not only granted much-needed civil rights protections to people with disabilities but also paved the way for greater accessibility, inclusivity, and equality across all aspects of life.

 “Accessibility isn’t just a legal requirement; it’s a fundamental aspect of a compassionate and inclusive society,” said Duanne Andrade, SELF executive director.  “Beyond bricks and mortar, our true passion is creating sustainable and inclusive communities that embrace individuals with disabilities, where barriers are torn down with belonging and independence.”

SELF is a nonprofit Community Development Fund Institution (CDFI) and green bank offering inclusive financing programs that empower families to make essential home adaptations. From wheelchair ramps and widened doorways to accessible bathrooms and sensory accommodations, SELF’s low-cost, unsecured loans help transform living spaces to meet everyone’s needs. By making homes accessible, SELF empowers individuals with disabilities to lead independent lives, fostering a sense of dignity and self-worth. These programs earned SELF recognition as a finalist for the National Disability Finance Coalition first-ever Trailblazer award for its innovative contributions to expanding accessibility in disability finance.

SELF’s home adaptation loans are made possible in part by a $2 million investment from CNote, an impact platform on a mission to close the wealth gap through financial inclusion. 

Our HALO loans enable our customers to create safe spaces that promote their autonomy, including:

Widening doorways and hallways: Widening doorways and hallways ensures easy passage for wheelchair users and individuals with mobility aids.

Accessible and safe bathrooms: Installation of grab bars, roll-in showers, and adjustable-height sinks to create an inclusive bathroom.

Kitchen adaptations: Lower countertops, accessible cabinets, and pull-out shelves to make the kitchen more user-friendly for everyone.

Ramps and Lifts enable seamless movement.

Enhanced Lighting and Contrast to aid individuals with vision impairments in navigating spaces.

Smart Home Technology: Explore the potential of smart home devices, which can be voice-controlled and assist in various daily tasks.

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