Able Mindset is a nonprofit organization geared toward assisting individuals with disabilities to express themselves through creative arts. We provide educational programming, resources, and support services that empower people of all abilities to engage in the arts. Our mission is to create an inclusive society where people of all abilities are able to participate in the arts and to empower them to overcome obstacles in their daily lives. Our programs are designed to be inclusive and accessible and are open to people of all ages and abilities.
Able Mindset was established in 2020 by Addis Gonte, a then college senior at the University of North Texas. At the time, he was facing additional pressure brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic and felt isolated from his peers. He focused instead on what he loved: music and art. His drive founded Able Mindset - an organization that connects people living with disabilities to support one another and find an outlet for creativity.
The papaya fruit and the associated green color on our website have deep meaning. Growing up in Ethiopia, I had a papaya tree growing in my yard; this would always remind me of home once I moved to the U.S. Moreover, the seeds signify a community coming together unitedly to support a larger mission.
Founder of Able Mindset
Addis is a passionate community member that believes in the power of community. This great belief was solidified after surviving a severe car accident at the age of 16, where he sustained a Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) and Spinal Cord Injury (SCI) that almost took his life. Rediscovering his new life with all the obstacles couldn’t have been possible without the support of his family, friends, and community members. Some of his greatest accomplishments, such as completing high school, and yet alone being the first one in his family to obtain a college degree, was an invisible goal during the early stages of recovery. Thanks to his instilled appreciation for being a community member it helped him and his family overcome this difficult time.
With his background as a certified peer and family support mentor for the Christopher and Dana Reeve organization and United Spinal Association, he possesses strong skills for supporting newly injured individuals and their families with this difficult transition in life. It was during his last semester of college that his vision for creating Able Mindset that would open doors for others living with disabilities became a reality. After reflecting on his journey to his native country Addis Ababa, Ethiopia before his accident in 2008 and his second visit in 2016 after his injury and being paralyzed that he recognized the need for advocacy and awareness for persons living with disabilities in marginalized countries.
As an avid hand cyclist and having a keen interest in the arts, Addis has great hopes for bringing awareness and more opportunities for individuals living with disabilities by creating an African Paralympic Games and doing collaborative work with a variety of gifted artists in Africa.