Skip to contentNational Women's Law Center

It's ACA's First Birthday, but Women with Disabilities are Among Those Getting the Gifts

My sister-in-law, Mandy, is a woman who loves Labrador retrievers, horseback riding and The Price is Right. She also has severe autism, a developmental disability which requires full-time care. She lives with three other women at Mandy's Special Farm in Albuquerque, NM, a home founded by my mother-in-law, Ruthie, who had a dream that her daughter would be loved and cared for with dignity and diligence. After years of hard work and heartbreak, Ruthie achieved this goal — Mandy's Special Farm is an amazing facility which provides individualized care for each of its residents ranging from specialized diets to music therapy.

Mandy's Special Farm is fantastic, but it is also expensive. Like many people with disabilities, the cost of Mandy's care is more than $100,000 each year — an insurmountable cost for so many families. For Mandy and other women like her, passage of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) was a terrific triumph that will help defray some of these enormous costs. The ACA allows parents to keep their children on insurance longer (to age 26) and it eliminates lifetime spending limits. It also ensures that children to age 19 with pre-existing conditions will not be denied coverage. And by 2014 some behavioral health services and therapies — critical for many people with autism — will be required to be covered by insurance.

For Mandy, passage of the ACA means services which help her thrive will be covered. For Ruthie, its passage means she'll be even better able to help her daughter. And for our family, and the millions of families across the country who have a loved one with a disability, passage of the ACA brings greater peace of mind.

So even though we're celebrating the ACA's birthday, we are the ones getting the gifts.


A Little Bit of Heaven!

My husband and I visited the farm last summer, and it truly is a magical place! In addition to what has already been mentioned, it does not look, feel, smell or sound "institutional" in any way. Instead, it presents as a family home with residents who have responsibilities, care for each other, learn together, and enjoy each other's company. It's a place where the women live rather than being housed. It radiates joy, embraces creativity and individuality, and builds bonds. We support MSF and you should, too!

The Affordable Care Act and Mandy's Special Farm

The Affordable Care Act is critical to the success of places like Mandy's Special Farm. In a political climate where some politicians are attempting to undo the progress of the ACA we must remember its benefits and work to strengthen, not undermine it.


You are exactly right. All Americans have to have access to health care.

Mandy's Special Farm

Mandy's Special Farm was conceived because of the love Dave and Ruthie Robbins had for their autistic daughter, Mandy. They wanted to provide the best environment for her now and after their demise. The farm is a beautiful place staffed by skilled, patient and caring women. It is a testament to the perseverance of Ruthie, against all odds. If you know a woman who would benefit from this program, you owe it to her to visit their website as well as the farm itself.

Mandy's Special Farm

A warm and loving environment for young women with Autism. A committed staff and managers. A farm setting complete with horses, goats, dogs and gardens. A home for your daughter with special needs, where those needs are met with special care. A place for her to bloom.

Mandy's Special Farm

A safe, warm loving environment for young women with Autism. It is a farm setting complete with dogs, horses, goats, chickens and gardens. A committed, caring involvement from staff and managers. It is the home families dream about for their daughters with special needs...they are met with special care and given the chance to bloom.

Mandy's Special Farm

A very worthwhile cause that is managed by talented and wonderful people.


ACA is such a blessing to people with developmental disabilities. Often they do not know that they even need health care and ACA helps make it easier on those who care for them.

Mandys Farm

I have been to the farm it is a really nice place you must visit the web site if you need their services!

Post new comment