ÁS styrktarfélag is a nonprofit organization and one of the leading companies servicing people with intellectual disabilities in Iceland. It was founded in 1958 by entrepreneurial parents whose goal was to fight for an independent life and full societal rights for their kids and others with intellectual disabilities. Children with intellectual disabilities had very limited options before for services. They either stayed at home with a nonworking parent or moved in to an institution to be separated from their families for good. One of the organization´s first projects was to open a daycare center for children in 1961 which provided a professional help. In 1976 ÁS styrktarfélag opened the first group home in Iceland.
Today ÁS styrktarfélag runs thirteen homes for 59 persons. Eleven of these homes are in houses owned by ÁS.
The organization provides daycare for five young children with severe physical and intellectual disabilities. Around 200 persons with intellectual disabilities use the organizations Work and Activity program on different locations around the city of Reykjavik and surrounding municipalities.
Employees are approximately 350.
The organization´s funding comes mainly through contracts with the city of Reykjavik, the municipalities in the capital area and the National University Hospital. This funding pays for all the services ÁS styrktarfélag provides. Other funding comes through member´s fees, donations, lottery tickets and other similar paths. It pays for the entrepreneurial work and projects the organization stands for.
ÁS styrktarfelag´s board is composed of parents and next of kin of people with intellectual disabilities. Today there are around 670 members registered. This strong support has made the association stronger and is the foundation for the future.
ÁS is active in co-working internationally on various projects related to the aspect of future development in the area of ideology and service for people with disabilities.