A Message From The Founder

I started this program as a vehicle to introduce children in wheelchairs to the world of competitive wheelchair sports. I soon realized that not all kids shared my same passion for sports. I knew the mission had to change: not every child in a wheelchair needs to shoot three pointers, or hit topspin forehands, or ski like an Olympian, but all kids in wheelchairs do need to learn the basic life skills of living life from a wheelchair.

After my accident at age 17, I was fortunate enough to enter a rehabilitation facility where I learned all the aspects of becoming completely independent in my activities of daily living such as dressing, self-care, wheelchair mobility and transfers, driving a car with hand controls, cooking my own meals and the like.  Most children in ABLE Youth have to learn these things on their own, so I made it my mission to share what I had learned. The most important thing for any child, disabled or not, is to graduate from high school and continue to college or enter the workforce. Hitting three pointers are nice, but the kids growing up into happy, healthy, successful, spiritual and independent young men and women are the real winners in my book.

Rick Slaughter
Founder, ABLE Youth