One in four Americans are living with a disability. Every 4 ½ minutes, a baby is born with a birth defect in the United States—120,00 babies each year. Easterseals is changing the future for these children.

Almost all of us know a family who has a child with some kind of disability—be it Downs Syndrome, spina bifida, autism, deafness, or blindness. The impact on children and their families is profound. Critical medical services like speech and physical therapy, family supports and individualized educational planning are imperative if children are to live fulfilled, self-sufficient lives within their communities.

As America’s largest nonprofit health care organization, Easterseals is committed to the comprehensive health and wellness of the more than 1.5 million people it serves each year. For 100 years, Easterseals has served as an indispensable resource for individuals with disabilities, veterans, seniors and their families. Together, 71 affiliates are providing high-quality programs including autism services, early intervention, workforce development, adult day care and more.

In schools, workplaces and communities, Easterseals is fostering environments where everyone is included and valued — with a real and positive impact on us all. The Fedcap Group’s combinations with Easterseals New York, Easterseals Rhode Island, Easterseals Central Texas and Easterseals North Texas provide a model of how to leverage the talents and skills of two highly reputable brands to accomplish tremendous things for people in need.

We are a beacon of hope when people say that competition stands in the way of true collaboration, when people say that egos impact leadership and when people say that fear trumps courage.

Together, Easterseals and The Fedcap Group have almost 200 years of experience and knowledge. We have driven innovations in service delivery, we have led changes in law, we have learned how to partner with government to advance system-wide change…all the while responding to significant spikes in need.

By working as partners, we ensure that the disparities in access are eliminated in our lifetime. That children with disabilities are provided with a top-notch education alongside their typically developing peers. That the employment rate for adults with disabilities is comparable to those of the general population. And that young people with disabilities transition not simply to the adult system, but to college and to careers.

What we do is vital to the long-term health and well-being of individuals with disabilities. What we do together, today, tomorrow and ten years from now, will change the world.