2019 2nd Cycle Direct Effect Quality of Life Grants

54 Grants of Totaling $963,677

Grants are funded through a cooperative agreement with the Administration for Community Living (ACL) (Cooperative Agreement Number 90PRRC0002-01-01)


Tallahassee, FL 32308-4465

$20,000 – Durable Medical Equipment

Access to Independence

This Direct Effect grant will support a durable medical equipment (DME) loan closet within the Access to Independence (ATI) program. This is a core program that targets low-income persons who experience paralysis, mobility and other disability challenges that directly impact their ability to meet their most basic needs: bathing, toileting and safely entering/leaving their home. This expansion would increase the program’s ability to provide critical DME to persons living with paralysis. The DME to be purchased or repaired with grant funds consists of mobility equipment such as manual wheelchairs, power-chairs, scooters, shower/bath benches, rolling shower chairs, and hospital beds. ATI targets adults/seniors in Tallahassee and surrounding rural counties.

ALS Association Greater Chicago Chapter

Chicago, IL 60654-3991

$16,884 – Durable Medical Equipment

Mobile Stair Accessibility

This Direct Effect grant will provide two portable stair climbers/lifters for the chapter's durable medical equipment (DME) lending program to be loaned out as needed to individuals with limited or no mobility who have no other resources or options in their homes. The program will also provide appropriate training related to equipment use to caregivers and patients with ALS. Because of the impaired mobility associated with the disease progression in ALS, most individuals living with the disease will reach a stage when using any stairs becomes unsafe or impossible. This issue often leaves these individuals confined to one room in their home and keeps them isolated.

Camelot Therapeutic Horsemanship

Scottsdale, AZ 85255

$13,278 – Therapeutic Horseback Riding

Wheelchair Accessible Horse Carriage and Sports Wheelchair

This Direct Effect grant will provide Camelot students the use of a wheelchair accessible, four-wheel, horse carriage, along with the use of a compatible sports wheelchair. Horse driving improves the quality of life for children and adults with disabilities through programs of horsemanship and outdoor education, which develop self-worth, independence, and active participation in the community. Currently, 16 of Camelot’s 24 students are living with paralysis due to neurological conditions including, but not limited to, spinal cord injury, traumatic brain injury, stroke, cerebral palsy and multiple sclerosis.

Camp Summit

Dallas, TX 75252

$17,417 – Camp

Camp Program Accessiblity Enhancement Project

This Direct Effect grant provide access to safer transfers for campers and staff at Camp Summit’s horse riding program with the addition of a ceiling mounted lift; a safe release adapted saddle; a variety of belts to provide more comfort while riding; various harnesses for the ropes course to increase stability, safety and comfort. The majority of campers (76%) are adults. This project would provide the latest technologies to keep these aging campers, as well as youth campers, safer during lifts and will provide more comfort during the activity through the additional features of the belts and harnesses which can be easily customized depending on individual needs.

Causes for Change International, Inc.

Gary, IN 46403-1124

$25,000 – Adaptive Sports

Expanding options so kids to seniors with paralysis can enjoy nature & outdoor recreation in Gary IN

This Direct Effect grant will expand participation of persons with paralysis from Gary and surrounding communities in a wide variety of outdoor recreation opportunities by using existing accessible outdoor facilities and lendable adaptive equipment. Funds will supplement existing adaptive equipment with two adaptive wheelchairs to provide for greater independence; developing/implementing programs and events to attract and introduce kids, adults, veterans and seniors with paralysis to a variety of outdoor rec options including: kayaking, beach and water activities, biking, accessible gardening and in exploring and learning about Gary’s extraordinary natural resources.

Center for Chronic Illness

Seattle, WA 98103

$5,000 – Peer Mentoring and Support

Two Pilot Chronic Illness Support Groups for Those Living with Paralysis and Their Caregivers

This Direct Effect grant will support the pilot of two web-based peer support groups. One support group will be for individuals living with paralysis and the second group for caregivers of those living with paralysis. These support groups will be facilitated by compassionate and skilled licensed mental health professionals and will be free of cost.

Challenge Mountain of Walloon Hills, Inc

Boyne City, MI 49712

$18,426 – Adaptive Sports

Purchase of winter and summer sports equipment for use in adaptive recreational programs

This Direct Effect grant will fund the purchase of a snowmobile and bi-ski for the adaptive skiing program offered in the winter at the Challenge Mountain ski hill and lodge. Challenge Mountain volunteers use the snowmobiles to transport adaptive skiers and volunteer ski instructors up the hill. The bi-ski is adaptive equipment for children and adults with an inability to use legs due to neurological conditions and/or developmental disabilities.

Chanda Plan Foundation

Lakewood, CO 80214-5985

$25,000 – Education

Developing a Workshop Education Series on Sex and Sexuality with a Spinal Cord Injury

This Direct Effect grant will support the development and offering of a “Sexuality and SCI” educational workshop series at the Chanda Center for Health. Individuals who have sustained an SCI resulting in partial or full paralysis need to gain a new understanding of sex, both from a logistical and safety standpoint. They also often need to redefine their sexuality in a larger sense in order to enjoy a healthy and enjoyable sex life post-injury as part of ensuring a high quality of life. Sessions will be videotaped and made available to a wider audience along with supplementary topical informational videos.

Children's Center for Communication/Beverly School for the Deaf

Beverly, MA 01915

$6,635 – Assistive Technology

Enhancing Independence with a Liko Lift

This Direct Effect grant will enable the school to purchase and install one Liko overhead lift in the new Life Skills Center which was recently constructed to house the Life Skills Program on the school campus. A lift system will enable teachers and nurses to lift students who use wheelchairs, and those with paralysis and lower extremity challenges, for toileting or transfer without risk of harm to the student or staff.

City of Chattanooga- Department of Youth & Family Development

Chattanooga, TN 37402

$8,267 – Accessible Trail

Hiking/Outdoor Adventure

This Direct Effect grant will the City of Chattanooga's Division of Therapeutic Recreation Services (TRS)’s loan closet to purchase two Grit Freedom Chairs to be loaned to individuals requiring an all-terrain wheelchair to participate in the various outdoor activities. This equipment will change the lives of youth and adults with paralysis and other disabilities throughout Chattanooga and surrounding area by giving them secure access to outdoor exploration and adventure.

Community Sailing of Colorado

Denver, CO 80250

$19,265 – Adaptive Sports

Adaptive Sailing Program and Accessibility Project

This Direct Effect grant will support the Adaptive Sailing Program and Accessibility Project which bridges the gap between specialized adaptive equipment and the less than ideal access that exists to these valuable resources. Funds will enable purchasing a commercial tent and an ADA-accessible portable bathroom, paving a picnic area to increase accessibility, and hiring an Adaptive Sailing Coordinator.

Conquer Paralysis Now

Las Vegas, NV 89101

$14,425 – Fitness and Wellness

Promoting Independence - DRIVEN NeuroRecovery Center

This Direct Effect grant will support programming at DRIVEN NeuroRecovery Center, a multidisciplinary center where children and adults with disabilities can improve their physical, mental and emotional health, increase independence, and enhance their overall quality of life. DRIVEN helps people living with paralysis participate in exercise opportunities and provides an activity-based training program that serves economically disadvantaged children and adults with all forms of disabilities and neurological conditions including veterans and wounded warriors, individuals with spinal cord injuries, stroke, Multiple Sclerosis, Parkinson’s, Spina Bifida, Cerebral Palsy, brain injuries, amputees and Transverse Myelitis. Funds will support the purchase of a Standing Frame Support System.

Dallas Jr. Wheelchair Mavericks

Dallas, TX 75354

$20,800 – Adaptive Sports

Dallas Jr. Wheelchair Mavericks

This Direct Effect grant will provide basketball wheelchairs for the Dallas Jr. Wheelchair Mavericks, a wheelchair basketball team within the National Wheelchair Basketball Association (NWBA). The Mavericks have three teams: one prep team (under age 13), and two junior varsity teams (ages 13-high school graduation), constisting of 45 athletes. Their goal is to foofer children living paralysis/ambulatory issues the opportunity to play this adaptive sport with no cost to the family.

Disabled Sports Eastern Sierra

Mammoth Lakes, CA 93546

$24,300 – Adaptive Sports

Empowering Individuals with Paralysis Through Winter Sports

This Direct Effect grant will allow DSES to provide athletes with paralysis opportunities to participate in year-round adaptive sports programs at no-cost. Each year, more than 60 athletes with paralysis participate in DSES’ year-round programs.

Dreams on Horseback

Blacklick, OH 43004

$9,411 – Therapeutic Horseback Riding

Creating Full Accessibility at Stepping Stone Stables - A Dreams on Horseback Satellite Center

This Direct Effect grant will support the purchase of a mounting lift to accommodate participants with full or partial paralysis in DOH’s therapeutic riding lesson program. The program currently supports 64 weekly therapeutic riders with 102 potential participants on its waitlist.

Easterseals Washington

Seattle, WA 98119

$23,252 – Camp

Program Investments at Easterseals Camp Stand By Me

This Direct Effect grant will enable Easterseals Washington to purchase Hoyer Lift, Shower Chairs, Beach Wheelchair, Universal Paddling Seat for Canoes, and other accessible equipment for its Camp Stand By Me which provides camping and respite programs to children and adults of all ages with paralysis and other cross-disabilities.


Peoria, IL 61615

$18,076 – Adaptive Sports

Bikes for all

This Direct Effect grant will support EPIC to enable people who experience paralysis and cross-disabilities to utilize bike trails, participate in bicycle clubs, and engage in their communities with the assistance of specialized bicycles that provide adaptive seating and co-navigation and peddle-power so staff, peers, family, and/or volunteers can accompany and support them to participate in the recreational sport of biking. Funds will be used to purchase 4 accessible bicycles of 2 different designs. Two will have the person who has paralysis in the front with the navigator in the back; the front portion detaches and can be used as a wheelchair as well. Two are side-by-side.

Foundation for Springfield Public Schools (Be Like Nick Fund)

Springfield, MO 65810-1901

$25,000 – Accessible Playground

Mr. Nicks Playground at McBride Elementary

This Direct Effect grant will support an inclusive playground which will include adaptive swings, accessible zipline, arch swing, and merry-go-round, as well as an all-inclusive structure and other stand alone equipment. The design will also benefit a growing number of adults/seniors with disabilities. All will have increased access to the park through better sidewalks, benches, and play areas for their families. Grandparents with orthopedic disabilities will be able to visit the playground and play alongside their grandchildren. Funding will provide a merry-go-all and an accessible zipline.

Girl Scouts Heart of the South

Memphis, TN 38117

$7,247 – Accessible Beach/Dock/Pier

Water Access for All

This Direct Effect grant will enable the Scouts to purchase a pool lift, providing new experiences and expanded program activities for children living with paralysis and other disabilities. Girl Scouts Heart of the South has been offering the Elizabeth Gwin (EG) Special Session at Camp Tik-A-Witha in Van Vleet, Mississippi every July for over 40 years. This inspiring resident camp program allows children with special needs to experience and explore their capabilities in the great outdoors. Thirty campers, girls and boys ages 6-21, who have special needs related to Downs Syndrome, Autism, Cerebral Palsy, paralysis, hearing and vision impairments, social disorders, and other physical disabilities attend the EG Session for six days and five nights to enjoy games, swimming, canoeing, fishing, hiking, crafts, outdoor cooking, horseback riding, singing, themed parties, a carnival, and singing by a camp fire.

Gowan Science Academy

Yuma, AZ 85364

$24,000 – Accessible Playground

Gowan Inclusive Playground

This Direct Effect grant will support an accessible playground. The area of Yuma where the playground is located--the North End--is the most economically disadvantaged in the city, which already has some of the highest unemployment in the nation. Funds will be used to purchase the ground covering to make the playground fully wheelchair accessible and for Game Time’s Inclusive Whirl. This merry go round has a zero point entry, so wheelchairs can roll straight on. It can be used for many children at the same time, both in and out of wheelchairs.

Heritage Christian Services

Rochester, NY 14623

$15,390 – Adaptive Sports

Duet Tandem Wheelchair Bicycle

This Direct Effect grant will offset the cost of purchasing 2 Duet Tandem Wheel Chair Bicycles. These bicycles will be used by individuals in HCS’programs; specifically those with cerebral palsy. The wheel chair bicycle accommodates people of all ages and abilities by combining the features of a bicycle and wheelchair to enable individuals living with paralysis or conditions that limit the use of their arms and/or legs, to experience the benefits of riding a bicycle. The wheelchair is positioned to allow the rider to communicate with the cyclist and easily disconnects from the bicycle to be used independently.

JCC Chicago

Northbrook, IL 60062

$24,331 – Accessible Beach/Dock/Pier

Accessible Sand and Water Equipment

This Direct Effect grant will support JCC Chicago’s Camp Chi as it develops a fully accessible campus to serve campers with physical disabilities who rely on wheelchairs, have partial paralysis and/or require walkers. Funds will be used to purchase a variety of accessible equipment, including: two PVC beach wheelchairs, two pool lifts, six Universal Access picnic tables, two Kayak Chariots and transfer benches, and one floating beach wheelchair.

Kyle Pease Foundation

Atlanta, GA 30345-1253

$25,000 – Transportation

Kyle Pease Foundation Adaptive Van

This Direct Effect grant will support the purchase of a wheelchair accessible van. The van will provide transportation for 20 athletes living with paralysis and other cross disabilities and their families for opportunities “beyond the finish line” to expand engagement and socialization opportunities.

Liberty ARC, Montgomery County Chapter NYSARC, Inc.

Amsterdam, NY 12010

$9,309 – Accessible Playground

Enhancing Quality of Life for People Living with Paralysis through Improved Accessibility

This Direct Effect grant will support the purchase and assembly/installation of: 1 wheelchair accessible swing platform with pull chain for self-propelling, 1 wheelchair accessible picnic table, 24 surface mats to be installed between layers of existing rubber mulch and 2 beach wheelchairs. Liberty ARC is the only chapter within the largely rural county in New York (NY), which spans approximately 410 square miles and provides services and supports to more than 500 individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities each year; 56 (11%) of whom are living with paralysis.

Magee Rehabilitation Hospital Foundation

Philadelphia, PA 19102

$6,500 – Education

Adolescent and Young Adult Program for Academic Success

This Direct Effect grant will support the services of the Adolescent and Young Adult (AYA) Program for Academic Success. Located in in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, AYA assists 30 young patients with paralysis, from ages 14 to 25, to remain active in school and achieve their academic goals while they are in care at Magee and after discharge.

Marshall University Research Corporation

Huntington, WV 25755

$24,035 – Facility Accessibility Modifications

Maker Vault Accessibility Upgrades

This Direct Effect grant will enable the Robert C. Byrd Institute at Marshall University to incorporate supplies into its maker space in Huntington, West Virginia – the Maker Vault (MV) – to increase accessibility for people living with paralysis and their caretakers and family members. Equipment will include height-adjusting tables for 3D printer access, a mobile cart and a pegboard to improve access to tools; ultra-wide high-resolution monitors so that individuals living with paralysis can easily see items they are designing on-screen. Staff will also recruit MV members from the area Veterans Affairs office and heavily promote the enhanced accessibility available in the space, to find new members in the targeted demographic.

Merrimack Valley YMCA

Lawrence, MA 01843-1740

$25,000 – Fitness and Wellness

YMCA Health and Wellness Programs

This Direct Effect grant will increase access and opportunities at the YMCA’s branches through the purchase of ten sports wheelchairs for a wheelchair basket ball team as well as four new lifts for their swimming pools.

Mighty Penguins Sled Hockey

Pittsburgh, PA 15238

$13,515 – Adaptive Sports

Team Development Ice Acquistion

This Direct Effect grant will support MPSH teams to acquire ice time at two new locations for the 2019-2020 season due to the lack of ice availability at thier home rink. Now in its 20th year, MPSH has six robust teams which benefit 20 adults with disabilities who were either born with neurological conditions such as spina bifida, spinal cord atrophy, arthrogryposis, polio or who suffered a virus resulting in loss of a limb(s) or physical trauma resulting in the amputation of a limb(s). The teams are co-ed with participants ranging from age 18 to 50.

New Heights Therapeutic Riding Center

Folsom, LA 70437-5212

$22,660 – Therapeutic Horseback Riding

Hope Through Horses

This Direct Effect grant will introduce children and young adults to therapeutic horseback riding which has numerous physical and emotional benefits. The initiative will target people between the ages of 5 and 30 who are recently or suddenly paralyzed. Unexpected paralysis is not just a shock to the body, but a shock to the psyche. This grant will significantly increase the number of people New Heights serves with spinal cord/brain injuries and related conditions that cause paralysis. Funds will be used for riding instruction, participant recruitment and administrative support.

NextStep Orlando

Longwood, FL 32750

$20,000 – Fitness and Wellness

NeuroMuscular Electrical Stimulation (NMES) Program

This Direct Effect grant will enable the NMES Program to add an additional Xcite Clinical Station that helps individuals who have some form of paralysis where NMES is an effective modality of recovery. Targeted muscle activation through NMES is used to alleviate muscle atrophy and to restore movement following damage to the central motor pathways and was designed to promote neurorecovery and minimize compensation. It has been proven that utilizing NMES stimulation as a controlled modality can regain some form of function to paralyzed neuropathways.

Not Forgotten Outreach, Inc.

Taos, NM 87571

$23,480 – Accessible Trail

Taos ADA Accessible Walking Trail

This Direct Effect grant will support NFO to build an accessible public walking trail through the Living Veterans Memorial Garden and onto NFO’s 24 acres of pasture land in Taos, New Mexico. The walking trail will assist in introducing veterans, military families, and people with ambulatory and mental disabilities to other NFO programs including the wellness center, adaptive sports, and VetCorps farming program. There are an estimated 500 people living with paralysis in Taos County, New Mexico. The walking trail will improve the lives of people living with paralysis, veterans, their families, and the entire community.

PACE of Guilford and Rockingham Counties, Inc.

Greensboro, NC 27405-4533

$8,878 – Fitness and Wellness

Exercise for Life

This Direct Effect grant will enable PACE to purchase two NuStep T4r’s, recumbent cross-trainer exercise machines that are easy and safe to gain strength/improve mobility for its Exercise for Life program. The NuStep enhances fitness/wellness programs by offering aerobic and strength workouts for users of all ages, fitness levels, abilities and conditions. The machine’s low impact design and full-body workout helps older adults with strength, range of motion, flexibility, weight loss, orthopedic issues, arthritis and more. For those experiencing paralysis, the NuStep cross trainers can provide access to exercise that may help users gain strength and independence, get valuable cardiovascular exercise and maintain or lose weight. PACE will also sponsor a family caregiver skills workshop for families of Exercise for Life program participants.

Pennsylvania Elks Major Projects, Inc.

Somerset, PA 15501

$14,042 – Advocacy

Supporting Persons with Paralysis from Ethnic Minority Groups

This Direct Effect grant will provide free in-home and community support services to at least 750 individuals of any age from ethnic minority groups, living with paralysis, and the families who care for them. Services will be offered to persons living in cities, small towns and even the most remote rural areas of Pennsylvania. Most of the families served will be from low-income and under served communities. Eleven specially trained nurses will meet with persons in their homes, and together with them and their caregivers, determine the services they need to improve their health, independence and quality of life. They will then help them access these services and will also help to advocate for individuals out in the community – at schools, job sites, health care providers, medical equipment suppliers, etc.


Portland, OR 97239

$15,000 – Facility Accessibility Modifications

Emergency call system for low-income disabled adults

This Direct Effect grant will fund the installation of an updated emergency call system at the Rolling Green Apartments, located in Hillsboro (Oregon). Emergency call systems are critical to Quad and its residents for providing the highest quality of personal safety and the most responsive care possible. 100% of residents at Rolling Green Apartments are reliant on wheelchairs for mobility. Most residents have disabilities akin to quadriplegia, which can be defined as total or near-total loss of function in all four limbs. Disabilities range from quadriplegia, cerebral palsy, multiple sclerosis, spina bifida, diabetes related complications, and Parkinson’s. For many living in a Quad apartment it is their first and only opportunity to live as independently as possible having moved from from rehabilitation facilities, nursing homes, adult foster care or from their parent’s home.

RISE Adventures DBA RISE Adaptive Sports

Irving, TX 75014-1122

$19,550 – Adaptive Sports

Equipment for Adaptive Therapeutic Recreational Programs for Persons with Paralysis

This Direct Effect grant will support RISE’s adaptive sports programs for people living with paralysis. All RISE programs are free for participants and family members and include rugby, canoeing, kayaking, and handcycling. Accessible, adaptive equipment will include a Defensive Quad Rugby Chair, an Offensive Quad Rugby Chair, two 3-Person Square-Stern Canoe3-Person Square-Stern Canoes, 4 sit-inside Kayaks one Force 3 Handcycle, and one Force G Handcycle.

Sanford Medical Center

Sioux Falls, SD 57117

$7,308 – Fitness and Wellness

Sanford Accessible Wellness and Adaptive Sports

This Direct Effect grant will support Sandford’s adaptive sports program in the Sioux Falls, SD, community which provides community members with paralysis opportunities for healthy recreation and fitness. The program provides the adaptive equipment, venues, and assistance needed for individuals to safely participate in healthy recreation and sport opportunities. Sports offerings include archery, bocce ball, cycling, tennis, kayaking, and more. Funds will purchase 4 - Quickie All Court Sport Wheelchairs.

Seniors Independent Living Collaborative

Chicago, IL 60660-8733

$25,000 – Assistive Technology

Smart Home Automation Services for Independent Living

This Direct Effect grant will support a program to increase the independence, safety, security and comfort of 56 persons with paralysis by providing information about the benefits of smart devices and direct, and in-home assistance in their installation and use. SILC will deliver the guidance and assistance through the Smart Technologies for Independence Living (STIL) initiative. The initiative will support development of: a consumer guide for people with disabilities on the benefits and use of smart devices; a companion website; a directory of device installers trained to meet the specific needs of these consumers, and; the Smart Technology Mentors (STM) pilot project to assist consumers with the operation and trouble-shooting of smart devices in their homes. The pilot will empower 6 CILs to train students in their service areas, with and without disabilities, to provide assistance to the targeted consumers in need of these services.

Southampton Fresh Air Home

Southampton, NY 11968

$15,000 – Camp

Life Skill Lab Workshops for Physically Challenged Children and Young Adults

This Direct Effect grant will support SFAH in offering Life Skill Lab workshops at its summer camp to children aged 8-25 living with a range of physical disabilities such as muscular dystrophy, cerebral palsy, spina bifida, osteogenesis imperfecta, and spinal cord and head injuries. The workshops’ main focus is to assess and develop a physically challenged individual’s ability to function day-to-day at their highest level in daily activities at home, in school, out in public, and at work. The goal is to foster independence, productivity and self-care. The workshops enable participants to improve strength, dexterity, and coordination while performing tasks and include hygiene, bathing/showering, dressing, feeding, increased participation in self-care through use of adaptive equipment, financial management, health management and maintenance, home management and maintenance, first aid training, leisure exploration, social skills and more. Funds support programmatic costs including personnel, supplies and travel.

STRIDE Adaptive Sports

West Sand Lake, NY 12196-1819

$25,000 – Fitness and Wellness

Anti-Gravity Treadmill for Adaptive Fitness Center

This Direct Effect grant will be used by STRIDE to purchase an AlterG® anti-gravity treadmill™ for individuals living with paralysis and other disabilities in New York’s Capital Region (Albany and surrounding areas). The adaptive fitness gym at the STRIDE Health and Recreation Education (SHARE) Center, is the first-ever adaptive fitness community center in the Capital Region. The Center currently serves six athletes with paralysis from causes such as stroke, TBI, SCI, spina bifida, and cerebral palsy; funding will benefit STRIDE participants including children, adults, and veterans living with paralysis.

Swannanoa Valley Museum & History Center

Black Mountain, NC 28711+3408

$25,000 – Facility Accessibility Modifications

Museum 2nd Floor Accessibility Project

This Direct Effect grant will support the museum’s 2nd floor accessibility project through the purchase of a lift for this historic building allowing for accessiblity for people living with paralysis and other disabilities and inclusion in museum’s programs and events. The lift to the second floor gallery will provide accessibility to approximately 4,400 people in the county living with paralysis.

Telluride Adaptive Sports Program

Telluride, CO 81435

$9,000 – Camp

Expand Your Horizons Downhill Hand-cycle Camp

This Direct Effect grant will support the 2020 Expand Your Horizons Downhill Handcycle Camp hosted at the Telluride Ski Resort and on surrounding regional trails, July 26-30, 2020. TASP will host 8 participants with paralysis and 6 caregivers for the 4-day camp designed for beginner to intermediate riders who are looking to build upon their downhill and trail hand cycling skills, while sharing the experience with a caregiver or significant other..

The Ablegamers Charity

Kearneysville, WV 25430-4798

$25,000 – Peer Mentoring and Support

Peer Counselor

This Direct Effect grant will support a peer counselor program to bring inclusion and improved quality of life for people with disabilities through the power of video games and create opportunities that enable play, in order to combat social isolation, foster inclusive communities, and improve the quality of life for people with disabilities. Ablegamers’s headquarters is located in West Virginia and serves disabled clients all over the country. Approximately 90% of the disabled clients the Ablegamers serve are living with paralysis.

The Boston Home

Dorchester, MA 02124

$24,931 – Caregiving

B. Fit! Adaptive and Integrative Community Outings

This Direct Effect grant will support the Adaptive and Integrative Community Outings (AICO) initiative through the B. Fit! program to allow people who require an assistive device for mobility to participate for free in athletic, artistic, cultural outings that provide a social, safe, and positive environment with a PCA/caregiver, while providing their families respite. B. Fit! participants will engage in 12 off-site activities, exercise, and wellness experiences. Funds will provide for personnel cost, transportation, and admission for 30 participants, 30 caregivers, and two TBH staff members. Prior participants have shown a decreased sense of isolation, improved sense of inclusion, improved knowledge of adaptive athletics, the arts, culture, and environment, and an increased interest to participate in future adaptive and integrative outings.

The City of South Padre Island

South Padre Island, TX 78597

$7,400 – Accessible Beach/Dock/Pier

Paralysis Beach Access Wheelchairs

This Direct Effect grant will support The City’s efforts to ensure the South Padre Island Coastline is accessible to all demographics through the purchase of four sand ready transportation wheelchairs. These beach use wheelchairs can handle changing terrain and easily trek over South Padre Island’s ADA compliant beach access walkovers.

The Lazarus House: a center for wellness

Houston, TX 77004

$15,000 – Transportation

Accessible Transportation Neighborhood Buddy

This Direct Effect grant will support a center for wellness dedicated to decreasing and limiting the effects of disease related muscle loss, or ‘cachexia’, in chronic conditions and illnesses including spinal cord injury/disease, stroke, cancer, MS, Human Immunodeficiency Virus, muscular dystrophy, and other chronic conditions through a low or no cost Wellness Program. Funds will allow Lazarus House to purchase an Electric Neighborhood Buddy 6-Passenger Wheelchair Street Legal Golf Cart to valet clients in wheelchairs safely from offsite parking to the entrance of Lazarus House. The cart promotes a welcoming of all where ability levels are not a limitation, and everyone enjoys equal access to improving the well being of body, mind, and spirit through accessible fitness equipment, nutritional guidance, and peer support.

Torigian Family YMCA

Peabody, MA 01960

$24,500 – Fitness and Wellness

Partnership Program at the Torigian Family YMCA

This Direct Effect grant will support an adaptive fitness program that bridges the gap for people of all ability levels who want to pursue and maintain a healthy lifestyle. The program serves individuals that need specialized, adaptive exercise equipment and/or one-on-one assistance. Using a variety of specialized machines and equipment, combined with volunteer or family support, a Certified Inclusive Fitness Trainer works with individuals with different disabilities including spinal cord injuries, traumatic brain injuries, stroke and cardiac recovery, multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s disease, and more. Funds will be used to purchase accessible Cybex Equipment, a NuStep T5XRW Recumbent Trainer, and a Chair Lift for the pool.

Trinity Health - dba St. Joseph Mercy Ann Arbor

Ann Arbor, MI 48106-0995

$24,660 – Facility Accessibility Modifications

Refurbishing Accessible Hoop House and Supporting Programs

This Direct Effect grant will support the nation's first clinical accessible hoop house. The modular hoop house has three sections specifically designed for people who use wheelchairs. It has raised planting beds, unique rotating planters that can be easily turned from the angle of a wheelchair, vertical planters to allow wide aisles, and many other features. Originally intended for therapy, hoop house activities have expanded to clients developing microbusinesses and learning financial, marketing, inventory, sales, and other vocational skills when selling produce and crafts at the weekly SJMAA farmer's market. The hoop house is also used as an educational space where the more than 3,000 visitors each year learn about accessibility, adaptive gardening, and the contributions that everyone makes to farming, food, nutrition, and health. Clients are primarily individuals with traumatic brain injuries, spinal cord injuries, substance abuse concerns, and dual diagnoses.

University of Colorado Foundation

Denver, CO 80203

$20,630 – Fitness and Wellness

Hybl Center Equipment Support: Center for Athletes & Active Individuals with Physical Disabilities (CAID)

This Direct Effect grant will support CAID to holistically support physical and metabolic assessment as well as cardiovascular and musculoskeletal training for athletes and active individuals with physical disabilities, including those living with paralysis. Funding will be used to purchase a Wheelers’ Paramill and two (2) Upper Body Ergometers. This equipment will enable active individuals living with paralysis training in CAID to achieve their fitness goals using their own wheelchair for the benefit of cardiovascular exercise and performance training.

Veterans Education and Research Association of Northern New England, Inc.

White River Junction, VT 05001

$12,505 – Adaptive Sports

Disabled Veterans Adaptive Water Sports

This Direct Effect grant will support an adaptive water sports program for veterans with paralysis to be given the opportunity to gain knowledge and access to adaptive sports opportunities to increase their independence, overall well being, sense of accomplishment and to create a social network within the local community. Funding provides adaptive kyaks and BeachTrax systems which increase accessibility in a rural area to lakes, beaches and outdoor venues. This system takes uneven, soft surfaces and turns them into a wheelchair/mobility accessible area.

Wahlbangers Drum Circle Organization

North Hollywood, CA 91601

$11,602 – Fitness and Wellness

Resilient Rhythms Program, VA Long Beach SCI/D Project

This Direct Effect grant will support a fitness and wellness group drumming program for Veterans with Spinal Cord Injury and other neurological conditions in the Long Beach VA, Spinal Cord Injury and Disorders Center. The Wahlbangers Resilient Rhythms group drumming program is designed to build strength and improve fine and gross motor-skills; increase focus and critical thinking; promote neuroplasticity; foster self-expression and self-confidence; reduce anxiety and stress through mindfulness practice and; reduce feelings of isolation and loneliness through socialization, fellowship, and peer to peer support.

Western DuPage Special Recreation Association Foundation

Carol Stream, IL 60188

$25,000 – Adaptive Sports

Adaptive wheelchair purchase for use in WDSRA Synergy Adaptive Sports programming

This Direct Effect grant will support the purchase of 11 adaptive sport wheelchairs for use in Synergy Adaptive Sports programs. Success in outreach efforts has helped expand the Synergy program and grow the number of athletes that benefit from adaptive sports programming but most participants do not own their own sports wheelchairs and rely on WDSRA to provide the chairs in order to participate. Funding the purchase of new wheelchairs will assure availability of a wheelchair for anyone who would like to participate and continue providing ability awareness programming to community members.

Wichita Adapive Sports Inc.

Wichita, KS 67203

$25,000 – Adaptive Sports

Wichita Wildfire Wheelchair Basketball - a Division of Wichita Adaptive Sports

This Direct Effect grant will support a wheelchair basketball team of 10 athletes with Spina Bifida, 2 athletes with Cerebral Palsy, 1 athlete/Coach with a spinal cord injury, and 2 with other disabilities through the purchase of multi-court basketball wheelchairs. For the 2019-2020 season, the Wildfire’s Junior Varsity team has joined the National Wheelchair Basketball Association (NWBA). The chairs will have an immediate impact on the team and will serve them for many years. Multi court chairs will allow adjustment for younger players and new players as their first exposure to the game.

YMCA of Cass and Clay Counties

Fargo, ND 58103

$21,500 – Facility Accessibility Modifications

Automatic Door Opener Additions to Increase Accessibility

This Direct Effect grant will support the purchase of seven automatic door openers to be installed throughout the YMCA fitness facility in order to increase accessibility of their locker rooms and pool for individuals with paralysis and their caregivers.

YMCA of Greater Monmouth County

Shrewsbury, NJ 07702

$11,268 – Facility Accessibility Modifications

Adaptive Aquatics with Pool Lifts

This Direct Effect grant will support the purchase of three pool lifts; two pool lifts at their Red Bank Family YMCA and one at Camp Zehnder. The pool lifts will enable the “Y” to offer more aquatic programming for people living with paralysis and limited-mobility individuals and communicate this renewed commitment to providing accessible swim programs to area families.

This project was supported, in part, by grant number 90PRRC0002, from the U.S. Administration for Community Living, Department of Health and Human Services, Washington, D.C. 20201. Grantees undertaking projects under government sponsorship are encouraged to express freely their findings and conclusions. Points of view or opinions do not, therefore, necessarily represent official Administration for Community Living policy.