2019 Expanded Impact Quality of Life Grants

7 Grants Totaling $663,946

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

Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis Association – Iowa Chapter

West Des Moines, IA 50266

$92,308 – Assistive Technology

Collaborative AAC & Assistive Technology Equipment Program

This Expanded Impact Quality of Life grant supports the expansion of a program that loans a variety of assistive technology devices and durable medical equipment to individuals living with ALS. Since its inception in 2014, the number of clients utilizing the program has increased 39%, the number of loaned equipment has increased 55%, and the program has quickly become the highest rated ALS Iowa offering. To expand this program, ALS Iowa will offer Augmentative/Alternative Communication (AAC) and Assistive Technology Learning Labs with both University of Iowa and Drake University, pilot a Multidisciplinary Student Home Visit Program with Allen College Masters OT Program and UNI Masters SLP Program, expand loan closet capacity to serve additional clients and provide access to AAC and assistive technology tools for those living with ALS. The ALS Iowa Chapter serves over 300 families annually, many of whom are low-income, military service members, newly diagnosed patients and their caregivers, and rural residents. The expansion of this program is expected to benefit upwards of 1,000 individuals living with ALS, their family members and caregivers.

Brooks Rehabilitation

Jacksonville, FL 32216

$99,053 – Adaptive Sports

Adaptive Sports Expanded Reach for Pediatrics and Disabled Veterans and Members of Armed Forces

This Expanded Impact Quality of Life grant supports the expansion of a program that provides adaptive sports opportunities to individuals living with paralysis and other cross-disabilities. To expand their programming, BASR will provide increased recreational and competitive opportunities for veterans and children living with paralysis in Northeast Florida, as well as expand pediatric aquatic service offerings into Volusia County and surrounding areas. BASR will also offer a 10-week summer skills introduction to wheelchair basketball, host a “Brooks on Ice” ice skating event, and provide a 15-week sled hockey skills training program for children with paralysis. BASR’s direct service area is home to several large military installations and is the only adaptive sport program within 130 miles of Jacksonville. The introduction of pediatric aquatics into Volusia county will be the first step to introducing pediatric adaptive sports and recreation opportunities to the Daytona, Florida and surrounding areas. A minimum of 300 individuals and veterans living with paralysis, their family members and caregivers will be served in 2019.

Elmwood Health Center

Buffalo, NY 14207

$100,000 – Durable Medical Equipment

Elmwood Health Center Medical Village Expansion

This Expanded Impact Quality of Life Grant supports the expansion of a community health center that provides affordable, quality, family-centered health care that meets the physical, emotional, and functional needs of those living with disabilities in the Western New York Community. Elmwood Health Center (EHC) is one of only two clinics in the Buffalo, NY area that provides healthcare tailored to patients with physical and developmental disabilities. Grant funds will support the purchase of a variety of durable medical equipment, including a pressure mapping system, wheelchair driver training system, ceiling track lift system and more, to be used at both EHC’s current and future facilities. The EHC, which serves 5,000 individuals with physical and developmental disabilities annually, is in in a designated Medically Underserved Area and Health Professional Shortage Area for primary care, dental health and mental health. 1,200 people are expected to benefit from grant funds in 2019, and upwards of 6,000 individuals will benefit throughout the useful life of the equipment purchased.

Medstar NRH

Washington, DC 20010

MedStar Adapted Sports & Fitness Expansion

$100,000 – Fitness & Wellness

MedStar Adapted Sports & Fitness Expansion

This Expanded Impact Quality of Life Grant supports the expansion of a program that offers opportunities for people with SCI to pursue healthy, active lifestyles through adaptive sports, fitness, and social supports. Since the program’s inception in 1990, the department has grown to offer 7 weekly sports with over 80 weekly participants, competitions, and a 2-week junior sports program, with participants ranging from recreational to elite Paralympic athletes. MNRH’s Adaptive Sports & Fitness program is open and free to anyone in the community with a physical disability, including persons newly injured/diagnosed with paralysis, and military members or veterans. MNRH currently serves 456 people, of whom 62% represent racial/ethnic minority groups. Within the District, 48% of participants live in HRSA-designated underserved areas where well over 40% live below the federal poverty level. About 90% of participants are diagnosed with SCI/D, TBI, stroke, cerebral palsy, multiple sclerosis or other neurological disorders causing paralysis. To help address current gaps in access to adaptive sports and fitness opportunities and wellness education, MNRH will expand their inventory of adaptive fitness equipment at 3 community-based sites, hire an additional adaptive fitness trainer, pilot an “Exercising with a Spinal Cord Injury” education class, provide accessible scales for the gym, facilitate an “Eat Right” wellness class, and purchase sport equipment for the equipment lending library to allow more children and adults to participate in sports clinics and camps. With the addition of these equipment items and trainers, MedStar anticipates serving up to 130-150 more individuals than previous years and reaching about 600 participants yearly, helping to increase fitness while supporting socialization and cultivating community.

Shane’s Inspiration

Sherman Oaks, CA 91411

$100,000 - Education

Together, We Are Able

This Expanded Impact Quality of Life Grant supports the expansion of an organization that creates social inclusion for children with disabilities through the creation of inclusive playgrounds and programs that unite children of all abilities. Since 2000, Shane’s Inspiration has opened 70 inclusive playgrounds worldwide and continues to work in additional communities to create new inclusive playgrounds with another 52 playgrounds in development in 17 states and internationally. Shane’s Inspiration created “Together, We are Able,” a social inclusion education program that has impacted over 40,000 Los Angeles students in over 200 schools, and launched “My PlayClub,” a replicable community program that provides communities integrated family play dates 7 months each year. In addition to providing in-person trainings of these programs, previous Reeve Foundation funds supported the creation of “Together, We are Able” online curriculum resources, where educators have the opportunity to download the programming materials free of charge and implement the program in their classrooms and schools. Since the development of these online resources, Shane’s Inspiration has seen a 50% increase in the number of teachers self-delivering the program to their classrooms and have trained over 500 teachers and school staff to support social integration. To expand their national reach, Shane’s Inspiration plans to launch social inclusion programming at 5 expansion locations in Colorado, Northern California, Louisiana, Alaska and Connecticut, and continue ongoing support to ensure success and program sustainability. Expansion goals also include delivery of professional development workshops, live and via a professional development DVD, and online courses to over 500 educators and recreation staff. The project will serve approximately 10,400 individuals with paralysis, family members and their caregivers.

South Florida Institute on Aging

Wilton Manors, FL 33305

$97,585 – Respite/Caregiving


This Expanded Impact Quality of Life Grant supports the expansion of a program that addresses two critical community needs: social isolation and respite services to relieve caregivers. South Florida Institute on Aging (SoFIA) offers a wide array of senior companionship and volunteer programs. In Broward County, Florida, the need to provide companionship, supportive and respite services to older adults living with disabilities and their caregivers is tremendous. 22.5% of the population are 60 years of age or older, with significant growth in the population expected to occur beginning in 2020. To meet the dual demands of caregiving and loneliness, SoFIA will expand existing programs with a rapid response help desk and expand case management to provide more in-home assessments and partner referrals. An additional 20 stipended and 15 un-stipended volunteers will also be recruited to provide companionship, supportive and friendly visit services to 60 elderly and adults living with disabilities and respite services to 60 caregivers weekly to reduce their feelings of being lonely and isolated and for caregivers to have a break from the responsibility of 24 hour caregiving. SoFIA currently has a waiting list of 117 elderly and disabled adults in need of respite services, companionship and supportive services. With the expansion of services offered, as well as the addition of 35 new volunteers, SoFIA anticipates serving an additional 120 adults and seniors with paralysis and caregivers yearly, helping to severely decrease the number of individuals waiting to receive care.

VSA Texas

Austin, TX 78705

$75,000 - Arts

Veterans Helping Veterans

This Expanded Impact Quality of Life Grant supports the expansion of a program that provides engaging and inclusive arts opportunities for people with paralysis and other disabilities. Since 2001, VSA Texas has served over 80,000 Texans through professional development opportunities and cultural access services. In 2009, they launched their Veteran Arts Program, which develops specific projects and services for the over 400,000 veterans that reside in Texas including a re-integration creative writing and arts program for veterans with disabilities in Central Texas, which has since expanded to include active duty servicemen and women, as well as veterans and their spouses. In the past two years, VSA Texas has seen an artist roster increase to over 500 veterans, including writers, musicians, craftsmen, and visual artists. To accommodate for the increase in program participation, VSA Texas plans to expand programming by hosting a series of workshops, exhibits and performance by veterans with and without disabilities, expanding outreach to organizations that serve veterans and other individuals with spinal cord injuries, and establishing two satellite locations in 2020. The satellite locations will specifically focus on serving individuals with spinal cord injury and their family members, expanding VSA Texas’s reach beyond the veteran community. The program expects to serve a minimum of 350 veterans and individuals with paralysis, their family members and caregivers.

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.