Special Olympics Illinois Global Messenger Achieves More with her IL ABLE Account

IL ABLE will cheer on Account Owner athletes and all of the teams that will compete at the Special Olympics Illinois Summer Games in Bloomington-Normal, IL this weekend!

Our editors connected with IL ABLE Account Owner and Special Olympics Illinois Global Messenger and athlete Zinyra “Z” Ross and her mom, Simyra. During the interview, Z shared how being a participant and owning her IL ABLE Account boosts her continued achievements as an entrepreneur, artist, disability community advocate and volunteer.

Illinois Family Dreams Big with IL ABLE Account

Pisani family saves for short and long-term disability expenses

IL ABLE accounts can help people with disabilities save money for a variety of expenses, from everyday groceries to planning for larger purchases that improve quality of life and increase independence for the Account Owner. The editors of accessABLE News & Updates recently connected with Special Olympics Illinois athlete and IL ABLE Account Owner Louis Pisani and his mom Kish to learn about how IL ABLE helps Louis save for his future and build his independence.

Brothers Build Independence with IL ABLE

Mom and sons Zach and KC share their IL ABLE story

For people with disabilities, the positive impact of being able to save money in an IL ABLE account extends far beyond the dollar amount of their savings. IL ABLE accounts can foster a sense of accomplishment and independence. In a recent interview, IL ABLE Account Owners Zach and KC, along with their mom, Micki share how IL ABLE is an important financial resource for them.

Illinois State Treasurer Declares the Special Olympics Illinois Winter Games Open!

Treasurer Frerichs paraded with athletes and spoke at the Opening Ceremonies. 

The Treasurer was on-hand to kick-off the Special Olympics Illinois Winter Games 2022! The games, which featured skiing and snowshoeing competitions, were held in beautiful and wintery Galena.

After a parade down historic Main Street, the Treasurer declared the games open and shared the many benefits of IL ABLE savings and investment accounts for SOILL athletes and all ABLE-eligible individuals. Some of those benefits are:

  • You can contribute up to $16,000 per year to this tax-free savings account – more if you work.
  • Contributions may be tax deductible.
  • You can save for everyday and/or long-term expenses.

“I wish all the Special Olympics athletes the best of the luck in the Winter Games and encourage families to find out more about how to save for your child’s future at illinoisABLE.com,” said Treasurer Frerichs.

Learn more about the IL ABLE Special Olympics Illinois partnership and IL ABLE.   

Find quick answers to your IL ABLE questions with IL ABLE FAQs.

IL ABLE Account Owner is bound for the Special Olympics USA Games in Florida

Special Olympics Illinois athlete Brandy shares how her IL ABLE account helps her with her Special Olympics goals. 

Brandy is an IL ABLE account owner AND a Special Olympics Illinois athlete and she is bound for the USA Games in Florida in June 2022. In our recent interview with Brandy, she shared how her IL ABLE account helps her with her Special Olympics goals.

accessABLE:  IL ABLE is helping to make it possible for athletes like you to attend the USA Games next year. You are an IL ABLE Account Owner. How did you find out about IL ABLE?  

Brandy:  I found out about IL ABLE through my case manager (a person who supports Brandy).

accessABLE:  When did you open your IL ABLE account? 

Brandy:  I have had an IL ABLE account since 2019.

accessABLE: Did you open the account yourself or did someone help you open the account? 

Brandy:  I was assisted by the case manager of my group home to open my IL ABLE account. (For our readers: many people with disabilities deposited their stimulus payments into their IL ABLE accounts to protect their benefits).

accessABLE: Tell us about your job and what you do.

Brandy:  I work at Accolade Nursing Home. I am a dietary aid. I serve the residents, wash the dishes, and interact with the residents. 

accessABLE:  Do you deposit your paycheck into your IL ABLE account?

Brandy:  No (For our readers:  Did you know that you can deposit all or part of your paycheck into your IL ABLE account?  And, IL ABLE Account Owners who work can contribute more each year to their IL ABLE accounts.   Learn more!

accessABLE: How might you use the money you have saved in your IL ABLE account during the USA Games in Florida?  

Brandy:  I plan on buying souvenirs. I also want to experience as much as I can from the USA Games.

accessABLE: Tell us what it was like for you when State Treasurer Frerichs visited you at the Rec Center in Pontiac, IL?  What were you thinking when you first saw him?  

Brandy:  I was so excited and I was thinking ‘What are all these cameras and people here for?’

accessABLE: How did it feel to hear the news from the Treasurer that you are going to represent Illinois in next June’s Special Olympics USA Games in Florida?

Brandy:  It was exciting! I felt good inside to know I was going to the USA Games in Florida.

accessABLE: Being a Special Olympics Illinois athlete must keep you busy.  What sports do you play?

Brandy:  My sports are bowling and basketball. But I like all kinds of athletics. 

accessABLE:  What will you do to get ready for the USA Games in Florida next June?

Brandy:  I will continue to train and strengthen with my coach for the USA games, I will continue to eat and drink as healthy as I can. 

accessABLE:  Have you ever been to Florida?  What do you think it will be like to go to the USA Games? 

Brandy:  I have not been to Florida. I think it will be amazing and fun. I will meet a bunch of new people. Special Olympics has made me very proud of myself and my accomplishments. 

accessABLE: Thank you, Brandy, for being an IL ABLE Account Owner and good luck at the USA Games!

In September, Treasurer Frerichs had the great pleasure of surprising Brandy with the news that she had been selected to represent Team Illinois at the Special Olympics USA Games in Orlando, Florida. You can watch the surprise [reveal here].

For our readers and Special Olympics families:  Did you know that many of the costs of equipment, training and transportation can be covered by funds you save in your IL ABLE account? Just like Brandy, you or your athlete can open an IL ABLE account.  Learn more about IL ABLE here. Find quick answers to your IL ABLE questions with IL ABLE FAQs

Special Olympics Illinois & IL ABLE partner to help families

This Athlete and Global Messenger is Building Physical & Financial Wellness On and Off the Field

When 21-year-old Special Olympics Illinois (SOILL) Global Messenger Michael Williams collaborated on an Autism Awareness Month video, he was filling pandemic time to build communications skills while waiting to return to in-person SOILL competition. “Michael is not as interested in the virtual activities, so he is looking forward to entering more Special Olympics events in-person,” said Dawn Williams, Michael’s mom, and coach of several of Michael’s teams.