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Ability KC: Igniting Brighter Futures for Children and Adults with Disabilities

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One in four adults in Kansas is living with a disability that leads to health disparities. Individuals from communities of color and those of diverse ethnicities are even more likely to have disabilities and to incur significant barriers to healthcare, education and employment. Across Kansas and Missouri, the need is great and continues to grow, but we are fortunate to have a unique organization in Kansas City that is helping thousands of individuals with disabilities reach their goals and achieve brighter futures.

Since 1947, Ability KC has been driven by the unwavering purpose of disabilities inclusion in our communities. The Ability KC team values continual advancements in expertise and innovation to support individuals with the most complex illnesses, injuries or disabilities to achieve life changing and impactful milestones.

Ability KC helps individuals of all ages who have a high level of acuity and complexity in conditions—from brain injuries, spinal cord injuries, stroke and amputation to rare conditions—through its outpatient medical rehabilitation services, Mary Shaw Branton Therapeutic Preschool, and employment and specialty services. Its approach is person-centered, building bridges between health care and quality of life to help with readiness for school, work and living independently.

“Our model is a purposeful and person-centered care design of therapies supported with medical supervision, case management, mental health and neuropsychology support, adaptive and transition services across an individual’s life continuum,” said Amy Castillo, CEO and executive director of Ability KC.

A leading comprehensive outpatient rehabilitation facility in Kansas City, it has been internationally accredited through the Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities for over 50 years and is recognized as a value-based care expert.

Ability KC also supports a high percentage of under-resourced families in our community, providing critical access to care regardless of people’s ability to pay.

One of Ability KC’s largest fundraising events is the unique underground Groundhog Run 5K/10K race. Since 1982, the annual Groundhog Run has raised more than $5.3 million for children receiving therapeutic and educational services at Ability KC’s Mary Shaw Branton Therapeutic Preschool. The 42nd annual race occurred on January 28, 2024, at the Hunt Midwest SubTropolis, the world’s largest underground business complex.

“A journey and impact of this magnitude is possible only when a community understands, collaborates and partners,” said Castillo. “Together, it is a necessity to ignite conversations in understanding the inequities for individuals with disabilities across communities. We must advocate for value-based rehabilitation care models and do our part to drive awareness and action.”
Ability KC can’t do it alone and relies on and appreciates the hundreds of community supporters, volunteers and partners that have been with them through their purposeful journey. According to Dr. Robert Jackson, chair, board of directors, Ability KC, “The need is great, so we are fortunate the community is with us to ignite conversations, imagine possibilities and make an impact, together.”

To donate or get involved with Ability KC, visit