Ability Now Bay Area
“What we want is a choice and a chance.”
-ANBA Center Participant J.S.
For more than 75 years, the Ability Now Bay Area has been enriching the quality of life for individuals with a diverse range of disabilities. In a learning center where innovation, aspiration, and community intersect, adults with developmental disabilities are offered the most comprehensive and cutting edge services available. The programs are designed to increase the involvement of participants in their communities, expand their skills, improve their health and wellness, and promote self-advocacy and self-sufficiency. Some of these include a computer lab with assistive technology in hardware and software, augmentative communication classes, a small business incubator for self-employed entrepreneurs, a community integration program, and a Wellness and Aging program which includes five adaptive yoga classes per week.
The Adaptive Yoga Program began with one class in 1996 with the fundamental belief that everyone, regardless of ability, can benefit from a yoga practice. Yoga has become so popular that the Center now offers five weekly classes. The teachers, recognized as experts in the field, adapt traditional poses for people with multiple physical limitations. Each student's practice is carefully tailored for his or her individual abilities.
Most people with life-long physical disabilities can typically expect their functionality to decline with age. The yoga program provides an antidote to this potential decline. It is a crucial component in helping students to maintain as much of their independence, self-sufficiency, and functionality as possible. Many students report less pain and discomfort, an increase in range-of-motion, and an improved sense of wellbeing and ease. The effects of the practice are global, allowing people to relate differently to their bodies, and to change how they move and act in the world.