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Managing ABLE Accounts for Individuals with Disabilities

Managing ABLE Accounts for Individuals with Disabilities

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CalABLE Ambassador Raymond J

CalABLE Ambassador 2024 - Raymond J

Raymond is a service oriented, driven 26 years old, living in the Bay Area. Since his car accident when he was 21 and became paralyzed from the chest down, with no hand function and blind in one eye, he has returned to college, earned an AS degree in CAD, a Bachelors in Business Entrepreneurship and Innovation, and entered a master’s program in Information Systems. He has also returned to driving with the support of the Department of Rehabilitation and a modified van, continues to volunteer in the 4-H Youth Development program, serves on the Board of Directors of the San Mateo Events Center, and on a town of Atherton Transportation Committee.

Most recently, he has added manager of the Menlo College Innovation Center to his community service focused engagements. Alongside Raymond’s professional development, Raymond enjoys visiting his two LaMancha dairy goats as well as designing and making things with his 3D printer and laser engraver. To stay fit, Raymond uses an indoor rowing machine from his power chair and spends time on the water with friends and family in a kayak specially fitted with a core supporting chair back and an AngleOar.

Evidenced by Raymond’s educational journey and work experience, his goal is to someday be gainfully employed such that he no longer is in need of disability assistance and can afford to live independently with quality caregiving, keep livestock, and pursue his maker’s hobbies. It was learning of the CalABLE account that lit his vision with hope. He saw a way to save a nest egg and reduce his anxiety about his future. He saw a way to save for things not covered by medical insurance. The first thing he bought was a rowing machine for experiencing a full body workout. Now, he is saving with plans for purchasing a special purpose wheelchair to transport himself on farmland to be closer to his animals.

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CalABLE Ambassador Steven D

CalABLE Ambassador 2024 - Steven D

Steven has had a CalABLE account for his autistic son almost since the program started in 2019. As they are in the early years, they are focused on long-term growth which has been solidly successful.

Ever since Steve heard about CalABLE, he has been an avid promoter of the program to everyone he meets. He is very excited to work to help get the word out on this important program to the 8 million eligible disabled people across the US.

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CalABLE Ambassador Otto L

CalABLE Ambassador 2024 - Otto L

Otto Lana is a high school senior and lives in San Diego. He is an award winning poet, writer, consultant, an accomplished film maker, actor, lyricist, and has been lending his voice as a self advocate championing the rights of those with communication challenges since 2018.

He was a Youth Delegate for the Department of Rehab in 2021 and was awarded the Harry Servidio Memorial Leadership Award for his work in advocacy and inclusion. He was the recipient of the first inaugural Heumann-Armstrong Award for Excellence in 2021 for overcoming ableism in academia and presented with Judy Heumann herself. He was recently appointed to the Office of Administrative Hearings Advisory Committee for the Department of Developmental Services.

April 12, 2023 was proclaimed Otto Lana Day in San Diego by the San Diego County Board of Supervisors for his service, leadership and championing the right to communicate. He is the co-founder of the Autism Tree Project Foundation Book Club where award winning authors visit and share their stories. He is a California State Youth Ambassador for the Center on Youth Voice Youth Choice, a resource center for youth with disabilities informing youth about alternatives to conservatorship. He was recently appointed to the Youth Adult Advisory Board for the Center for Applied Special Technology which is a non profit research organization that created the Universal Design for Learning.

As an Ambassador for CalABLE, he hopes to inform California’s disabled community and their allies about ways to create wealth and a stable financial future. Disability should not equate to poverty. He is a member of the Disability Voices United Self Advocacy Speakers Bureau advocating for funding for access and support to communication. He is an entrepreneur, designing and selling waterproof letterboards and apparel on his website Instagram is a great way to get the word out too @otto_types.

He is doing all this while taking honors classes at Fusion Academy. He loves the outdoors. Whether it's hiking trails or swimming in the ocean, the beach is definitely his happy place.

Oh and he has Autism and Apraxia by the way. He says these are diagnoses that describe him but do not define him. His goal is to change the face of Autism and Apraxia. He has a great life and a bright future and wishes to lead by example giving parents and disabled individuals hope to fuel their own moonshots.

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CalABLE Ambassador Charles B

CalABLE Ambassador 2024 - Charles B

Charles is from Placer County. His grandson, Henri, is an individual with autism. Charles is a graduate of Sac State and retired in 2015 from a career in the tech industry. Charles enjoys volunteering in the community and playing golf with his wife Debra.

They are using Henri’s CalABLE account to save money for his current and future needs that improve his quality of life.

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CalABLE Ambassador Adrienne G

CalABLE Ambassador 2024 - Adrienne G

Adrienne resides in Centennial, Colorado and is the loving sister of Allison, who was diagnosed with schizophrenia at age 10. Allison currently lives in a group home in Zachary, Louisiana and enjoys watching movies, listening to music and shopping.

Adrienne learned about CalABLE from her parents’ accountant when settling their estate as a way to distribute Allison’s portion of the estate without messing up her SSI benefits. Allison mainly uses her CalABLE account for transportation since she lives independently but does not drive.

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CalABLE Ambassador Tianni J

CalABLE Ambassador 2024 - Tianni J

Tianni is 28 years old quadriplegic. Tianni is a sophomore in college majoring in communications. She aspires to become a police dispatcher as well as a traveler to speak at events raising awareness on young adults with disabilities.

Tianni recently used the CALABLE Account to purchase a power manual chair for easier convenient transportation. Tianni continues to use her CALABLE account to fund her trips and mobility equipment as she needs.

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CalABLE Ambassador Curtis G

CalABLE Ambassador 2024 - Curtis G

Curtis is from Los Angeles County. He loves gardening, drawing, and taking pictures. Curtis also participates in Special Olympics.

Curtis has Tourette's and ADHD. He went to biofeedback as a kid to help it. Curtis now works at Albertson’s and saves his money in his CalABLE account. His goals are to save for retirement, long-term care, and emergencies. He currently uses his CalABLE account for groceries, trips, and personal needs.

Curtis’ favorite feature of CalABLE is e-gifting. “You can have friends and family members send you money, for your birthday and holidays. They can add funds to the e-gift card to your CalABLE account.”

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CalABLE Ambassador Miguel C

CalABLE Ambassador 2024 - Miguel C

Miguel Casillas is born and raised in Los Angeles County. He is legally blind due to a rare retinal condition called Choroideremia. He is the proud son of immigrants from Jalisco, Mexico. Miguel is a practicing attorney and is opening his own law firm to assist blind people with their legal needs. Miguel is a graduate of UCLA and the UC Berkeley School of Law.

Miguel uses his CalABLE account to save for his own home and to learn to manage his own investment portfolio. "The CalABLE program has been a helpful introduction to investing and building a portfolio for my future."

He enjoys traveling, attending live music concerts, and sports events. Miguel uses his CalABLE account to save and pay for these expenses. He uses CalABLE to pay for transportation and assistive equipment for work and school. Miguel takes classes at El Camino College and uses his Cal ABLE account for his education expenses. "My CalABLE account allows me to plan for and lead the life I want. It's simple, flexible, and it works for me.”

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