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Happy Anniversary to the ABLE Act!

Happy Anniversary to the ABLE Act!

December 19, 2015 marks the one-year anniversary of President Obama signing the historic Stephen Beck, Jr. Achieving a Better Life Experience (ABLE) Act into law. On this anniversary of the ABLE Act, the National Down Syndrome Society (NDSS) is pleased to issue our report on ABLE past, present and future – The Stephen Beck, Jr. Achieving a Better Life Experience Act: One Year Later. The report includes the history of ABLE, the status of the federal ABLE Act, the progress of ABLE in the states and next steps for implementation of ABLE. NDSS has been actively engaged in supporting states to pass ABLE bills and develop ABLE programs, and has been advocating for favorable federal ABLE regulations and for improvements to the federal ABLE Act.

Much has happened since ABLE was passed one year ago:

  • 34 states have passed ABLE legislation authorizing establishment of state ABLE programs
  • In June, the Internal Revenue Service issued proposed ABLE regulations and, in November, provided interim guidance on the proposed regulations that is favorable to the disability community
  • ABLE programs are being developed in many states, and we expect accounts to start to become available in 2016
  • ABLE has just been amended to eliminate the home state requirement so that qualified individuals will have a choice of where to open an ABLE account and may have access to these accounts earlier than anticipated

Please join us in celebrating how far ABLE has come, and thanking all those who have made it possible to fulfill ABLE’s promise of enhancing the economic self-sufficiency of people with Down syndrome and other disabilities.

We hope you find this report useful and encourage you to share it broadly!

Happy holidays,
National Down Syndrome Society (NDSS)

For more information about ABLE and ongoing updates on ABLE implementation, please visit the NDSS website ( and or contact our NDSS VP of Advocacy & Public Policy Heather Sachs at

NDSS ABLE Act image