Real change starts at the grassroots!
We’re proud to partner with hundreds of disability-focused organizations through our Nonprofit Partnership Program. Many of our amazing partners make a tremendous impact for children and adults living with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). They spread awareness and build accessible environments through community initiatives that create a more inclusive world for people with ADHD.
That’s why, for ADHD Awareness of Month, we’re honored to highlight 5 organizations that implement their immense knowledge and powerful programs in the disability space, while sharing their valuable insights about ADHD.
Mission: Understood is a nonprofit dedicated to shaping the world for difference. They provide resources and support so people who learn and think differently can thrive — in school, at work, and throughout life.
Their Insight: ADHD is a common condition that’s caused by differences in the brain. People with ADHD have trouble with focus. But, some are also hyperactive and impulsive. That’s especially true for kids and teens.
For a long time, people thought ADHD was something only kids — boys, in particular — had. But, research shows that adults struggle with ADHD and that women and girls have it as often as men and boys. ADHD doesn’t just go away as people get older. Most of the time, hyperactivity and impulsivity lessen or disappear by the teen years or early adulthood. But the trouble with the focus usually continues. Some people aren’t diagnosed with ADHD until after high school or adulthood. No matter when people are diagnosed with ADHD, some treatments can make symptoms more manageable. And some support can make things easier at school and work.
Also, people with ADHD have difficulty with a group of key skills known as executive function. And that creates challenges in many areas of life, from school to work to everyday living. For example, they often struggle to get organized, follow directions, and manage their emotions. ADHD isn’t a matter of laziness or willpower — that’s one of many myths about it. People with ADHD are often trying as hard as they can to focus and keep their impulses in check.
Mission: Pal Experiences exists to create access and inclusion for individuals and families with developmental disabilities. By partnering with museums, restaurants, sporting events, and more, they ensure everyone gets to go. Just as a ramp helps guests who move differently, Pal creates tools to support guests who think differently, achieving the next level of accessibility for families who are often isolated.
Their Insight: ADHD is not an adjective for when someone is distracted. I have heard it overused by people without a diagnosis and it is frustrating. It belittles the understanding of what it is like to live with ADHD. I wish more people would respect the effort so many in our community are exerting to get along in a world not built for people with ADHD.
Our Pal Tools use a technique called behavior chaining - the process of breaking down a complex task into bite-sized pieces. This helps guests with Developmental Disabilities, including ADHD, to have more structure to an outing, and transition from step to step with support. Moving through an event can be challenging if you become hyper-focused in a certain area. The prompts in our tools can help.
Umbrella Alliance US
Mission: Umbrella Alliance US Inc. is a registered 501(c)(3) working toward sustainable economic security for neurodivergent individuals (NDs) and our community. Working alongside their allies in creating meaningful change, Umbrella Alliance takes an intersectional approach to identifying and addressing the barriers faced by a variety of NDs and works to increase knowledge of both NDs & the public about neurodiversity by researching, studying, & engaging in collaborative activities to establish extensive, free access to evidence-based, community-created, and ND-affirming resources.
Their Insight: Recognizing ADHD in adults is not just about understanding a neurological condition; it's about acknowledging the complex challenges faced by individuals who exist at the intersection of multiple marginalized identities. These individuals confront a unique set of hurdles, navigating a world where societal biases and systemic barriers often compound their struggles. Embracing this awareness means acknowledging the interplay of race, gender, socioeconomic status, and other identities with ADHD, and how they shape an individual's experiences. It means recognizing that for marginalized intersectional communities, the road to diagnosis and treatment can be marred by disparities in access to healthcare, stigma, and a lack of culturally competent support.
By shedding light on ADHD in the context of marginalized intersectional identities, we not only unlock the potential of those with ADHD but also pave the way for a more inclusive and equitable society where every voice can be heard, every talent can flourish, and every person can thrive, not regardless of, but because of their intersectional identity.
I Am Able Foundation
Mission: The I Am Able Foundation is creating a more inclusive world by increasing the visibility of neuro-divergent learning styles through community and storytelling in schools and the workplace.
Their Insight: We are building a community to remove the stigma and misconceptions about ADHD, dyslexia, and other invisible learning disabilities. The IAAF is squashing the stigmas and fighting against the idea that there is a one-size-fits-all approach to how people can or should think, process, and prioritize. Our community advocates for change, and stands up for and with people that have been taught to feel shame or fear about their invisible differences.
Additionally, The I Am Able Foundation is spearheading a campaign with six additional supporting non-profit partners called We All Learn Differently, where every student is valued and celebrated for who they are.
Attention Deficit Awareness of MN, Inc. (A-D-A-M)
Mission: A-D-A-M is Central Minnesota’s attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder resource center, forging innovative and respectful links between individuals, organizations, and professionals. Founded in December 1997 as a nonprofit, A-D-A-M provides educational resources on ADHD and related behavioral, educational, medical, and social issues accompanying this neurodiverse condition. Their mission is to help families, professionals, educators, employers, and community support services find and offer reliable, evidence-based resources to address the lifelong challenges that come with having ADHD or living with someone who has it.
Their Insight: Living with ADHD requires lifelong learning and searching for ADHD resources on the Internet can be overwhelming and families often feel alone and don't know where to begin. Our website provides information on events that include webinars, conferences & workshops, support groups, and local clinicians, along with ADHD educational resources for youth, adults, and professionals. Your (accessWidget) app fits our mission to provide users on our website additional support in their ADHD learning. We are here to support those who need information on ADHD so they can have successful lives.
While each of our partners' missions vary in activity and effort, they all work towards a common goal of improving the quality of life for people with ADHD. By working together, we can share the incredible efforts of these organizations for ADHD Awareness Month, and in turn, help make the world a more accessible place all year round.
Are you part of a not-for-profit organization making a change for disability communities? Check out our Nonprofit Partnership Program today.