Ability Bhutan Society (ABS) is a public benefit organization established in 2011 by a group of parents whose children needed special education services. With a growing population and especially with a growing number of children with intellectual disabilities, cerebral palsy, autism and multiple disabilities, the parents of these children recognized the need to institute formal services and facilities to address the needs of their families and communities. ABS also recognizes and addresses the need to acknowledge that these children and individuals living with multiple disabilities can have the ability to live lives as engaged and productive citizens in their society. Thus, ABS has a mission to enhance the quality of life for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities by creating collaborative, meaningful and inclusive programs in least restrictive environments, so that a child can grow to be independent and productive members of the Bhutanese society.
Currently ABS is supported by seven staff, catering to forty two children and nine disabled adults from ages of 7 months to 35 year olds. ABS also supports programs such as individualized education programs, psychosocial support to parents and family through home-based interventions, family support program, as well as advocacy and community outreach through media.
The Bhutan Foundationâ€™s Special Education Program has worked to assist and support the establishment and development of the Ability Bhutan Society. They, now. work in partnership to help support the needs of all children and providing collaboration amongst stakeholders. The Program has also supported ABS with a learning and exposure visit to India for special needs services, as well as building staff capacity for ABS social workers in partnership with the Anderson Center for Autism.