Projects focus on inclusion and community engagement for individuals living with paralysis

Short Hills, N.J. (March 2, 2017)- The Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation, a national nonprofit dedicated to improving quality of life for individuals living with paralysis, announced it has awarded $721,425 in Quality of Life grants to 102 nonprofit organizations nationwide. Quality of Life grants support fellow nonprofits that mirror the Reeve Foundation’s mission and commitment to foster community engagement, enhance independence and promote healthy self-esteem. The program has awarded over $20 million in grants to over 2,900 programs since its inception in 1999. Funding for the grants is made available through the Paralysis Resource Center (PRC) operated by the Reeve Foundation under a cooperative agreement with the Administration for Community Living in the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

The Reeve Foundation is one of the few national funders that has such a diverse award base, with 26 categories supporting everything from small community nonprofits that rely mainly on volunteers to human services agencies that serve entire regions.

“For the first time in the history of the grant program, we have received over 100 applications from medically underserved areas,” said Maggie Goldberg, Vice President of Policy and Programs, Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation. “This cycle, specifically, we have funded multiple organizations focused on inclusion and universal design to increase accessibility and community engagement for individuals living with paralysis. We hope to fill the needs of our community in all areas and continue our progress in eliminating funding disparities.”

The grants awarded in the second cycle of 2016 were distributed among a wide variety of categories, including recreation, sports and leisure, advocacy, equipment and other independent living-related services. A significant number of projects focus on community re-integration initiatives such as assistive technology programs, home accessibility modifications, accessible transportation, and accessible playgrounds that create more community opportunities for those living with paralysis and their families.

“It’s important to find balance while filling the needs of the community, especially those living in underserved areas,” said Donna Valente, Director of Quality of Life Grants. “People may live only a few blocks from an outstanding adaptive recreation program, but if they don’t have a ramp to get out of their homes or accessible transportation to get to that location, they can’t participate in the activity, and we really aren’t meeting the overall goal of this program. That’s why we examine every proposed project to see the impact it will have in the community, and try to determine how we can best help them reach their full potential.”

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About the Reeve Foundation:

The Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation is dedicated to curing spinal cord injury by funding innovative research and improving the quality of life for people living with paralysis through grants, information and advocacy. The Paralysis Resource Center (PRC) is the support side of the Reeve Foundation’s twin missions to provide “Today’s Care” and to strive for “Tomorrow’s Cure” and offers a free, comprehensive, national source of informational support for individuals living with paralysis and their caregivers. We meet all 20 of the Better Business Bureau’s standards for charity accountability and hold the BBB’s Charity Seal. For more information, please visit our website at www.ChristopherReeve.org or call 800-539-7309.

Media Contact:

Rita Gentles

(973) 379-2690 ext. 7123

rgentles@christopherreeve.org