‘Empowering Abilities:’ HDC unveils its new identity

New name reflects a new vision and mission, CEO says
The announcment was made prior to the Davenport Police Association’s annual Thanksgiving event held for participants at HDC
Published: Nov. 17, 2023 at 7:15 PM CST
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DAVENPORT, Iowa (KWQC) - The Handicapped Development Center made a special announcement Thursday regarding it’s new brand and name.

The organization, formerly known as HDC, will now be known as Empowering Abilities.

Since 1969, the HDC has been a not-for-profit organization supporting people with disabilities.

“The word ‘handicapped’ is a term from the past, and also the word ‘center,‘“ CEO Jeff Ashcraft said. “HDC stands for ‘Handicapped Development Center,’ and it was time for our name to reflect who we are today, as opposed to who we were yesterday.”

He said the organization has redefined its narrative and mission to meet the needs of the new era we live in.

“Empowering Abilities’ has evolved as the community has required us to evolve as the needs have evolved,” Ashcraft said.

“We do it for the sake of keeping us up to date, keeping the people that we serve up to date, and making sure that we’re matching the needs they have today, as opposed to the needs they may have had in the past.”

Ashcraft said this is more than just a name change. It’s a move to break the stigma surrounding disabilities.

“There are still some people in society who just don’t understand or maybe don’t even want to be around or look at somebody who has an intellectual or physical disability,“ he said. “Our job is not to normalize that anymore but to help them understand that people with disabilities are human beings. They are no different from you or I.”

According to Ashcraft, the positive impact of their work on the community is what keeps them driven.

“They do it because of the participants that we serve,” he said. “They know that they’re making a difference. And they know that those participants are making a difference in their lives. There’s almost this symbiotic relationship that brings them back day after day, and it just drives them to make a difference.”

The re-branding announcement was made at the Davenport Police Association’s annual Thanksgiving dinner, which is held for the participants at Empowering Abilities. New logoed gifts were distributed during the event.