2020 1st Cycle Direct Effect Quality of Life Grants

54 Grants Totaling $946,760

Access II Independent Living Center (CIL)

Gallatin, MO 64640

$25,000 – Fitness & Wellness

Access II Accessible Fitness Equipment

This Direct Effect grant supports the purchase of universally accessible fitness equipment for the first Health and Wellness Center designed for people with disabilities in the Gallatin, Missouri region. This equipment will be essential in assisting people living with paralysis in gaining or maintaining strength, alleviating chronic pain and reducing opioid use associated with a variety of causes, while also increasing independent living, inclusion and community integration. A minimum of 500 individuals with paralysis, their family members and caregivers will be served within the grant year. Funding represents 41% of the total project budget.

Adapt Ability Inc

Brooklyn, NY 11209

$25,000 – Adaptive Sports

Adapt Ability 4Ride

This Direct Effect grant supports the purchase of adapted bicycles and related equipment to be used for the Adapt Ability 4Ride program, which offers free bike rentals to New York families to experience the beauty of New York City parks without barriers. The addition of this equipment will allow children and adults with paralysis, some of whom are ethnic minorities, homeless, limited English proficiency, or survivors of violence to explore the park the way they want, while providing exercise and quality family time. Approximately 1,000 people with paralysis, their family members and caregivers will benefit from grant funding in 2020. Funding represents 33% of the total project budget.

AFAR d/b/a The Ability Center

Wautatosa, WI 53226

$24,500 – Accessible Beach/Dock/Pier

RampUp Bradford Beach

This Direct Effect grant supports the purchase of three beach accessible wheelchairs and Mobi Mat installations to increase accessibility to Milwaukee County’s Bradford Beach. The beach chairs, along with accessible seasonal mats installed to the water’s shores, will allow visitors with paralysis to access the beach with ease and enjoy their visit without barriers. The Milwaukee County Parks system serves approximately 950,000 individuals per year, some of whom are low-income, military service members, or newly injured or diagnosed with paralysis. Approximately 16,000 individuals with paralysis, their family members and caregivers will benefit from this accessible beach in 2020. Funding represents 19% of the total project budget.

All My Friends Inc.

Cedarburg, WI 53012

$5,000 – Accessible Playground

All My Friends Playground

This Direct Effect grant supports a project that will promote interaction and play between children and adults with and without disabilities, on a 100% accessible playground. Ozaukee County has a rapidly growing community of over 89,000 residents, with 4.9% of the community living with a disability. A minimum of 700 individuals with paralysis, their family members and caregivers will be served by this playground within the grant year. Funding represents 1% of the total project budget.

AMVETS

Germantown, MD 20874

$20,000 – Caregiving

HEAL Suicide Prevention Online Training Phase II

This Direct Effect grant supports a project that will increase user access to the online HEAL Ambassador Suicide Prevention Training program. The AMVETS HEAL program offers clinical intervention services and resource coordination to all veterans, including veterans living with paralysis, their family members, and caregivers. The expansion of this online program will offer a nationwide impact, reaching up to an estimated 500 veterans with paralysis in 2020. Funding represents 100% of the total project budget.

Beaman Memorial Public Library

West Boylston, MA 01583

$4,385 – Facility Accessibility Modifications

Beaman Memorial Public Library’s Newton Street Entrance Automatic Door Opener

This Direct Effect grant supports the purchase and installation of an automatic door opener to the main entrance of Beaman Memorial Public Library. The addition of this automatic door will provide increased access and independence to West Boylston residents living with disabilities. A minimum of 18 individuals with paralysis, their family members and caregivers will be served by this project in 2020. Funding represents 100% of the total project budget.

Blythedale Children’s Hospital

Valhalla, NY 10595

$25,0000 - Transportation

Blythedale Children’s Hospital Patient Transportation

This Direct Effect grant supports the Blythedale Children’s Hospital patient transportation program, which provides free transportation for medically complex children to reach their medical appointments throughout New York City. Transportation for people with disabilities in New York City – or lack thereof – can be a significant barrier to these children getting the treatments they need. Support of this program will help approximately 425 children with paralysis, their family members and caregivers reach their medical appointments in 2020-2021. Funding represents 4% of the total project budget.

Brain Injury Association of Georgia

Woodstock, GA 30188

$7,400 – Camp

Live Big: Camp BIAG

This Direct Effect grant supports a program that provides camp experiences to adults with traumatic brain injuries and their caregivers. The overnight camp, which is designed to provide social and recreational opportunities for adults living with brain injury, simultaneously runs a caregiver’s retreat, giving much needed respite, socialization and support through daily group sessions. Camp BIAG offers a critical opportunity for individuals with brain injuries and their caregivers to continue their rehabilitation process, practice life skills and gain self-confidence in themselves. Approximately 110 people will benefit from grant funding in this grant cycle, some of whom are ethnic minorities, rural residents or survivors of violence. Funding represents 26% of the total project budget.

Bridging Voice

Brooklyn, NY 11214

$25,000 – Assistive Technology

Bridging Voice Transitional Loaner Equipment Closet

This Direct Effect grant supports the purchase of transitional communication equipment for the Bridging Voice loan closet for people with Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS). Medical insurance does not allow for people with ALS to apply for paid coverage of eye tracking controlled speech generating devices until a client’s illness has advanced to loss of hand and voice function - which can leave clients without communication assistance for long stretches of time. By having a loaner equipment closet with transitional devices operational, Bridging Voice is not only preparing ALS clients for the next stage of their communication technology needs but offering clients crucial access to enhanced communication and computer access, ultimately improving a person’s quality of life. A minimum of 100 individuals living with ALS, their family members, and caregivers will be served by grant funding in the grant year. Funding represents 47% of the total project budget.

Canine Assistants

Milton, GA 30004

$20,500 – Service Animal Program

Service Dog Recipient Camp – General Mobility Placements

This Direct Effect grant supports an organization that provides free service dogs to children and adults with disabilities including paralysis and paralysis-causing conditions. During their two-week recipient camp at the Canine Assistants facility, individuals with paralysis will have the opportunity to be matched with their service dog and receive training for how their dog will assist them, including at restaurants, malls, and shops. 12 individuals living with paralysis will be served by this program in 2020. Funding represents 24% of the total project budget.

Canine Companions for Independence

Medford, NY 11763

$8,613 – Service Animal Program

Adaptable Community Space

This Direct Effect grant supports a program that provides free service dogs to children and adults with disabilities including paralysis and paralysis-causing conditions. To help create a more accessible training space for all service animal recipients, grant funds will support the purchase of hydraulic lift tables. Approximately 50 individuals with paralysis, their family members and caregivers will benefit from this equipment in the first year of the grant. Funding represents 38% of the total project budget.

Chesapeake Region Accessible Boating

Annapolis, MD 21401

$15,870 – Accessible Beach/Dock/Pier

Hoyer Lifts Increase Inclusion

This Direct Effect grant supports a project that will bring accessible boating to the Chesapeake Bay through the installation of four Hoyer Lifts. The addition of these lifts will allow individuals with paralysis to enjoy sailing and boating on the Chesapeake Bay with ease and independence. A minimum of 100 individuals with paralysis, their family members and caregivers will enjoy the waters and sail together in 2020. Funding represents 4% of the total project budget.

Cleveland Metroparks

Cleveland, OH 44144

$25,000 – Adaptive Sports

Adaptive Cycling for Cleveland Metroparks

This Direct Effect grant supports the expansion of a program that provides adaptive sports opportunities to individuals living with paralysis and other cross-disabilities. Since 2006, Cleveland Metroparks Outdoor Recreation has offered inclusive kayaking, hiking, camping, cooking, fishing, and adaptive handcycling programs. The purchase of new handcycles and related equipment will allow Cleveland Metroparks to replace outdated equipment and expand their fleet, increasing the number of individuals with paralysis served in Northeast Ohio. Approximately 15 people living with paralysis, some of whom are military service members, ethnic minorities, or newly injured or diagnosed will be served in 2020. Funding represents 62% of the total project budget.

Crotched Mountain Foundation

Greenfield, NH 03047

$24,575 – Adaptive Sports

Crotched Mountain Accessible Recreation & Sports Adaptive Sports Program

This Direct Effect grant supports a program that provide hope and empowerment for people with disabilities through education, care management, and adaptive sports. Grant funds will subsidize over 225 hours of adaptive cycling, kayaking, skiing and hiking for children and adults with disabilities. Approximately 40 individuals living with paralysis, their family members and caregivers will benefit from grant funding in 2020. Funding represents 100% of the total project budget.

Dallas SCI Recovery, Inc. (d.b.a. REACT)

Addison, TX 75001

$14,203 – Fitness & Wellness

Open Gym Equipment

This Direct Effect grant supports the purchase of adaptive exercise equipment to be used by individuals with paralysis at the REACT Open Gym facility. The equipment, which is specifically designed for wheelchair users, will allow users to exercise all parts of their bodies independently, increase joint and muscle movement, improve circulation, core development, coordination and balance. Grant funding will serve a minimum of 70 individuals with paralysis in 2020, many of whom are newly injured or diagnosed, rural residents or survivors of violence. Funding represents 100% of the total project budget.

Des Moines Rowing Club

Des Moines, IA 50321

$24,784 – Adaptive Sports

Adaptive Rowing Equipment and Program Expansion

This Direct Effect grant supports the expansion of a program that supports and trains competitive and recreational rowers with paralysis. The addition of a wakeless launch, transfer benches, inflatable life vests and other equipment will allow Des Moines Rowing Club to not only serve more individuals with paralysis, but also lifeguards to assist rowers safely. Thirty rowers with paralysis will benefit from the addition of this equipment in 2020, many of whom are first-time rowers and military service members or veterans. Funding represents 100% of the total project budget.

DREAM Adaptive Recreation

Whitefish, MT 59937

$23,830 – Adaptive Sports

Water Sports Project

This Direct Effect grant supports the expansion of the DREAM Adaptive Recreation summer kayaking and paddle boarding programs through the purchase of additional adaptive kayaking and transfer equipment. Over 30 individuals with paralysis, their family members and caregivers will benefit from this equipment in 2020, some of whom are from indigenous or tribal communities, military service members, rural residents, or newly diagnosed with paralysis. Funding represents 100% of the total project budget.

Extra Special People, Inc.

Watkinsville, GA 30601

$25,000 – Facility Accessibility Modifications

ESP Building Accessibility Modifications

This Direct Effect grant supports the purchase of eight doors and automatic door openers, to be installed throughout the Extra Special People, Inc. facility to increase accessibility to the activity building and fitness center. Approximately 50 individuals living with paralysis will benefit from grant funding in the first year. Funding represents 83% of the total project budget.

Florida International University Foundation Inc.

Miami, FL – 33199

$22,753 – Healthcare

Educating Medical Students on Examining and Caring for People Living with Paralysis

This Direct Effect grant will provide wheelchair accessible examination and transfer equipment to the Hebert Wertheim College of Medicine. Through this project, approximately 165 practitioners each year will gain a better understanding of how to interact with and examine patients with paralysis and be educated on the medical issues, health problems and challenges they face. The addition of this equipment will be instrumental in teaching future healthcare professionals and will provide accessible medical assessments to a minimum of 710 individuals with paralysis in the first year. Funding represents 71% of the total project budget.

Flynn Center for Performing Arts

Burlington, VT 05401

$9,204 – Facility Accessibility Modifications

Accessibility Upgrade Initiative for Performing and Visual Arts

This Direct Effect grant supports the purchase of automatic door openers to be installed to the main Flynn Center for Performing Arts Theater entrance in order to increase accessibility to the facility. Currently, the only automatic door openers are on the doors leading to the Main Stage. The addition of these new automatic door openers will provide access to the entire theatre and give individuals with paralysis the ability to participate fully in all activities and community events taking place in the theater. Approximately 250 individuals with paralysis and paralysis-causing conditions, their family members and caregivers will benefit from grant funding in its first year. Funding represents 100% of the total project budget.

Friends’ Health Connection

Freehold, NJ 07728

$5,000 - Education

A Series to Improve Quality of Life for Veterans

This Direct Effect grant supports a series of 10 web-based panel discussions providing information and support on top issues faced by veterans, especially those who face paralysis, limited mobility issues, TBI or related injuries as a result of their service. Each expert-led session will be joined by hospital and related association and nonprofit organization representatives, and social workers will be available for participants during and following each session. Approximately 350 veterans with paralysis will be affected by this programming. Funding represents 100% of the total project budget.

Gaylord Hospital

Wallingford, CT 06492

$23,900 – Fitness & Wellness

Gaylord EX4L (Exercise for Life)

This Direct Effect grant supports a fitness program that improves quality of life, promotes inclusion, and supports integration into the physical, social and cultural communities by addressing each participants’ strength, endurance, power and flexibility through high-intensity circuit training as well as specialty classes such as seated yoga, dance, functional mobility and Pilates. The EX4L program will help improve confidence in an individual’s ability to perform at higher levels of exercise and activity, and the group class atmosphere will allow participants to connect with others who are interested in taking their sports activities to the next level and be a part of a community that motivates and encourages personal fitness. Approximately 40 individuals living with paralysis, their family members and caregivers will benefit from this programming. Funding represents 69% of the total project budget.

Greater Providence YMCA – Newman Branch

Seekonk, MA 02771

$25,000 – Fitness & Wellness

Providing Members with Access to Functional Electrical Stimulation

This Direct Effect grant supports the purchase of a functional electrical stimulation (FES) bike to be used by YMCA clients with paralysis. FES technology uses safe, low-current electrical pulses to activate paralyzed or de-conditioned muscles for functional movement. The purchase will allow YMCA clients to work one-on-one with physical trainers to develop exercise goals and evaluate capacity. The facility’s current FES bike is aging and requires constant repairs, rendering the equipment useless to those who use it. The purchase of a new FES bike will remove equipment wait times and help Newman YMCA to serve an additional 20 clients with paralysis per year. Funding represents 77% of the total project budget.

Hands and Hearts for Horses

Thomasville, GA 31792

$7,980 – Therapeutic Horseback Riding

Therapeutic Scholarship for Hands and Hearts for Horses Clients with Paralysis

This Direct Effect grant supports a therapeutic horseback riding program that provides participants with a safe, educational experience with horses, while helping enhance their emotional, physical, social and cognitive well-being. Therapeutic Riding has been documented to help improve gross and fine motor skills, cognitive abilities and self-confidence of individuals living with paralysis and other mobility limitations. Hands and Hearts for Horses is the only therapeutic riding center within a 65-mile radius in Southern Georgia, with many participants travelling more than 40 miles to receive lessons. More than 60% of the current Hands and Hearts for Horses clients are from low income families in rural outlying areas, with almost 50% receiving either full or partial riding scholarship. Grant funds will support 8 rural, low-income clients for the 2020-2021 riding season. Funding represents 100% of the total project budget.

Heartland Equine Therapeutic Riding Academy (HETRA)

Gretna, NE 68028

$4,605 – Therapeutic Horseback Riding

Equicizer and Riding Helmets

This Direct Effect grant supports a program that provides physical, developmental, and emotional benefits to participants living with paralysis through equine therapy. The equicizer mechanical riding equipment serves as a tool used for new client evaluations, stretching and warm-up. The equicizer simulates the feel of riding a real hose, making it useful when determining a participant’s level of balance, the right program placement, and the amount of support that will be needed to ride. Now serving over 130 participants per week, the addition of a second equicizer will allow HETRA to expand services and increase their service threshold. A minimum of 50 individuals with paralysis will benefit from this equipment in 2020. Funding represents 100% of the total project budget.

Heartland Horse Heroes

Buckingham, VA 23921

$10,616 – Therapeutic Horseback Riding

Heartland Horse Heroes Wheelchair Mounting Lift

This Direct Effect grant supports a program that provides physical, developmental and emotional benefits to participants living with paralysis through equine therapy. Mounting lifts are used to assist wheelchair users mounting horses in a safe and dignified way, but the current mounting lift owned by Heartland Horse Heroes cannot support adult weight. The addition of an adult mounting lift will allow Heartland Horse Heroes to expand services to adults, Veterans, and high school students with paralysis. The addition of this equipment will benefit a minimum of 8 adults with paralysis, their family members and caregivers in 2020. Funding represents 100% of the total project budget.’

HOPE, Inc.

Moorhead, MN 56560

$15,000 – Adaptive Sports

HOPE, Inc. Adaptive Sports Program

This Direct Effect grant supports a program that increases physical fitness, communication skills, and helps children and adults form life-long friendships through adaptive sports. By providing sports wheelchairs for indoor soccer, softball and basketball as well as ice time for adult and children’s sled hockey, HOPE, Inc. will be able to serve additional athletes and provide regular scheduled activity to more than 160 individuals with paralysis. Funding represents 5% of the total project budget.

Jefferson County Historical Society

Brookville, PA 15825

$16,613 – Accessible Trail

JCHS Heritage Rocks Park ADA Accessible Native Plant and Pollinator Area

This Direct Effect grant supports a project that will bring an accessible native plant and pollinator area to the JCHS Heritage Rocks Park. This new trail and accessible area will allow individuals with disabilities including paralysis full access to enjoy participating in trailside programs or fully enjoy a nature experience with their friends and family. Approximately 50 individuals with paralysis, family members and caregivers will benefit from grant funding in its first year. Funding represents 68% of the total project budget.

Kids & Horses, Inc.

Minden, NV 89423

$17,373 – Therapeutic Horseback Riding

Riding with Paralysis

This Direct Effect supports therapeutic riding scholarships for ten low-income individuals aged 5 to 66 living with paralysis. This program will allow the individuals and their families to gain access to mounted equine drills and gym exercise to improve their quality of life. Thirty individuals with paralysis, their family members and caregivers will benefit from grant funding in 2020, many of whom are military service members, newly diagnosed or injured or rural residents. Funding represents 100% of the total project budget.

Mississippi State University – T.K. Martin Center for Technology & Disability

Mississippi State, MS 39762

$17,733 – Assistive Technology

Pressure Mapping for Quality of Life Improvement

This Direct Effect grant supports a project that will provide pressure mapping technology for wheelchair and recreational evaluations throughout the state of Mississippi. Pressure mapping systems allow clinicians, as well as individuals with paralysis and their families, to see the impact of changing positioning aids, cushions, and completing pressure relief strategies. The pressure systems will be used for wheelchair selection and education, but also mapping vehicles, recreational farm and heavy equipment. This project will impact approximately 60 Mississippians with paralysis, many of whom reside in rural communities without access to pressure mapping technology. Funding represents 100% of the total project budget.

NeuAbility

Denver, CO 80229

$25,000 – Fitness & Wellness

Outfitting Adaptive Fitness and Wellness

This Direct Effect grant supports the purchase of a variety of adapted exercise equipment to be used at the NeuAbility exercise facility. NeuAbility regularly provides one-on-one adaptive exercise sessions to adults living with paralysis, some of whom are low income, military service members, or ethnic minorities. The addition of this equipment will impact a minimum of 65 individuals living with paralysis in the grant year. Funding represents 99% of the total project budget.

Neuro Fitness Foundation

Euless, TX 76040

$25,000 – Fitness & Wellness

Neuro Fitness Foundation

This Direct Effect grant supports the purchase of automatic bathroom doors, accessible exercise machines, and the implementation of an adaptive yoga class for individuals living with paralysis. More than 70% of the Neuro Fitness Foundation clients have some form of paralysis, many of whom are ethnic minorities, survivors of violence, and LGBTQ+. The addition of these accessibility features, along with new exercise equipment and class offerings, will benefit more than 250 Neuro Fitness Foundation clients with paralysis in the grant year. Funding represents 100% of the total project budget.

New England Village

Pembroke, MA 02359

$24,262 – Adaptive Sports

Hydrotherapy Program

This Direct Effect grant supports the purchase of one hydraulic lift chair, 6 upright aqua bikes, 2 recumbent aqua bikes and 2 aqua treadmills to be used in residential and day programs for individuals with paralysis and other mobility limitations. This equipment will allow the New England Village clients to take full advantage of the benefits of a hydrotherapy program and to fully participate at a level that offers the greatest impact on their progress and provides the greatest health benefits. Grant funding will benefit 10 individuals with paralysis in 2020-2021. Funding represents 83% of the total project budget.

NextStep Raleigh

Raleigh, NC 27606

$20,530 – Fitness & Wellness

Whole Body Vibration Program and Adaptive Cycling

This Direct effect grant supports the purchase of varied adaptive exercise equipment to be used at the NextStep Raleigh fitness facility. NextStep Raleigh is rapidly expanding their service population, and with that comes an increased need for additional equipment. The addition of a Power Plate Pro 7, Easy Stand, recumbent bike and hand bike will allow NextStep Raleigh to serve an additional 10-15 new clients per year and help their clients increase strength, muscle tone, bone density and range of motion, and decrease spasticity in individuals living with paralysis. A minimum of 50 individuals living with paralysis, their family members and caregivers during the grant year. Funding represents 83% of the total project budget.

NextSteps Chicago

Willow Springs, IL 60480

$24,016 – Fitness & Wellness

Adaptive Group Exercise Class Expansion

This Direct Effect grant supports an adaptive group exercise program that will provide safe, accessible healthy lifestyle support and recreation and enhance socialization and community participation for improved independence by expanding exercise class variety, improving education and growing the team of community fitness and wellness group instructors. A minimum of 132 individuals with paralysis, their family members and caregivers will be served by grant funding in 2020-2021. Funding represents 38% of the total project budget.

Northern California Spinal Cord Injury Association (NorCal SCI)

$24,540 – Fitness & Wellness

Los Gatos, Ca 95030

A Healthier SCI Body

This Direct Effect grant supports a series of public workshops and demonstrations what will provide individuals with paralysis increased access to knowledge and resources to live a healthier, independent lifestyle. Silicon Valley, California is home to about 4,000 individuals living with paralysis resulting from spinal cord injury, with many of these residents having little access to experiences and/or affordable exercise therapies and activities that encourage healthy lifestyles. By providing free access to expert-led workshops and demonstrations, these individuals will acquire the knowledge and tools needed to lead a healthy lifestyle and avoid various secondary conditions that can arise from having a spinal cord injury. Approximately 2,000 individuals with paralysis, their family members and caregivers will benefit from these free services, some of whom are survivors of violence, military service members, or from indigenous or tribal communities. Funding represents 100% of the total project budget.

Northwest Colorado Center for Independence

Steamboat Springs, CO 80487

$25,000 – Transition from Institution to Home

Transition Coordination from Institution to Home in Northwest Colorado

This Direct Effect grant will expand Northwest Colorado Center for Independence’s staff capacity to increase the number of people who transition from institutional environments to independent living arrangements. Grant funds will support the transition or diversion of eight individuals with paralysis in the grant year. Funding represents 39% of the total project budget.

Northwest Suburban Special Education Organization

Mt. Prospect, IL 60056

$25,000 - Transportation

Northwest Suburban Special Education Organization Wheelchair Accessible Vehicle

This Direct Effect grant supports a program that will increase community educational and vocational training opportunities for students living with paralysis through the purchase of a wheelchair accessible vehicle. Educational and vocational opportunities for Northwest Suburban students living with paralysis require chartering accessible transportation, which is limited by availability and price. The purchase of an accessible vehicle will allow greater flexibility and reduce overall costs associated with student outings. A minimum of 44 students with paralysis and 200 caregivers and family members will benefit from grant funding in 2020-2021. Funding represents 50% of the total project budget.

Ohio Bird Sanctuary

Mansfield, OH 44903

$3,000 – Facility Accessibility Modifications

Ohio Bird Sanctuary’s ADA Ramp Connecting to a Barrier-Free Treehouse Classroom

This Direct Effect grant supports a project that will bring further accessibility to the Ohio Bird Sanctuary Treehouse Classroom. By connecting the existing boardwalk to the forest adventure bridge, children and adults with paralysis will be able to experience the entire treehouse, including the canopy. Approximately 200 children and adults with paralysis and paralysis-causing conditions will benefit from grant funding in the grant year. Funding represents 1% of the total project budget.

Opportunities Inc.

Fort Atkinson, WI 53538

$20,101 - Transportation

Connections

This Direct Effect grant supports a program that provides independence and community inclusion to individuals with diverse disabilities including paralysis and paralysis-causing conditions. Opportunities Inc. provides transportation to community spaces such as the humane society, restaurants, grocery stores, food pantries, and other places clients go to volunteer or learn life skills. By replacing an older, unreliable vehicle in the organization’s fleet with a newer wheelchair-accessible van, Opportunities Inc. will be able to increase the various activities that provide social integration and the ability for their clients to be included in the community. Approximately 15 individuals with paralysis and paralysis-causing conditions will benefit from grant funding in 2020-2021. Funding represents 80% of the total project budget.

Portsmouth Police RI

Portsmouth, RI 02871

$5,530 – Facility Accessibility Modifications

Portsmouth Police Ri Paralysis Accessibility Project

This Direct Effect grant supports a project that will install ADA accessible doors to the entryway and interior of the Portsmouth Police Station. Currently the police station is not equipped with accessible doors, causing a massive barrier to wheelchair users including those with paralysis and the elderly. The addition of these doors will allow the Portsmouth Police to serve all who need their assistance. Approximately 1,391 Portsmouth residents with paralysis will benefit from grant funding. Funding represents 92% of the total project budget.

Semper Fi & America’s Fund

Oceanside, CA 92057

$25,000 - Caregiving

Retreats for Caregivers of Service Members with Paralysis

This Direct Effect grant supports an organization that provides a retreat setting that breaks the isolation and exhaustion of family caregiving – allowing rest, education and connection with other family caregivers and support networks in order to return home with skills and knowledge for caregivers to maintain their own health and well-being. Grant funds will support two paralysis-specific retreats for caregivers of service members and veterans, one on the east coast and one on the west coast. An estimated 50 caregivers and service members with paralysis will benefit from this program in 2020-2021. Funding represents 44% of the total project budget.

The Ability Center of Greater Toledo (CIL)

Sylvania, OH 43560

$6,058 – Assistive Technology

Youth Assistive Technology Lending Closet

This Direct Effect grant supports a children’s lending program that provides varied assistive technology to increase independence and quality of life for children living with disabilities. Youth impacted by paralysis face barriers to participation in play in leisure activities, which can be remedied by using assistive technology. The loan closet will provide a way for children and young adults aged 0-26 and their families to test different equipment in their homes, determine what is most effective for their lifestyle and budget, and make an informed purchase following the trial period. Grant funding will benefit approximately 9,000 individuals with paralysis, their family members and caregivers in the grant year, some of whom are low-income, ethnic minorities or rural residents. Funding represents 100% of the total project budget.

The Arizona Spinal Cord Injury Association

Phoenix, AZ 85034

$22,500 – Consumer Education

Living Healthy with SCI – Opioid Awareness Program

This Direct Effect grant supports a program that provides resources, awareness, education and support for the spinal cord injury (SCI) community who are experiencing opioid use disorder (OUD). The Living Healthy with SCI – Opioid Awareness Program’s purpose is to address gaps in current services for individuals with physical disabilities, their families, caregivers and professionals in the community. Participants’ increased knowledge will enable them to have greater confidence in their ability to live independently from opioids, learn alternative methods for pain management, and be productive members in the community. A minimum of 50 individuals living with paralysis, including ethnic minorities, indigenous or tribal communities, and survivors of violence will be served in 2020-2021. Funding represents 43% of the total project budget.

The Lockwood Foundation

Pueblo West, CO 81007

$8,225 – Accessible Trail

Funding a Second Trailrider Trail Wheelchair

This Direct Effect grant supports one of the only organizations in the United States dedicated to providing an accessible hiking experience to people living with paralysis. Except for some ADA approved trails, 99% of mountain trails are inaccessible to wheelchair users. The Trailrider power chair allows individuals with paralysis to have an authentic hiking experience and ascend difficult mountains with the help of their hiking team. The purchase of a second trailrider will allow The Lockwood Foundation to double their yearly service capacity and include two individuals with paralysis on each outing. Approximately 30 individuals with paralysis will benefit from grant funding in 2020. Funding represents 100% of the total project budget.

The Michigan State University Department of Kinesiology

East Lansing, MI 48824

$24,611 – Adaptive Sports

Competitive Wheelchair Sports at Michigan State University

This Direct Effect grant supports the purchase of sports wheelchairs to be used for the Michigan State University recreational adaptive sports program and Wheelchair Sports courses. The addition of these chairs will not only be accessible to students with paralysis who cannot afford to purchase their own sports wheelchair but would like to play competitive wheelchair tennis or football, but will also serve to positively diversify education for students with and without disabilities. Grant funding will serve approximately 120 college students experiencing paralysis in 2020-2021. Funding represents 100% of the total project budget.

The Montpelier Foundation

Orange, VA 22960

$25,000 – Facility Accessibility Modifications

Improving Access to James Madison’s Historic Home

This Direct Effect grant supports the design and installation of a wheelchair ramp at James and Dolley Madison’s historic home. James Madison’s Montpelier is a national landmark in the Virginia Piedmont, a cultural institution that promotes understanding of history, the Constitution, and how the past impacts the present. This project will promote inclusion for people living with paralysis and support their integration into cultural communities by ensuring they have equal access to Montpelier and are able to participate in tours and educational programs alongside their friends, family members, and classmates. This accessibility modification will serve more than 200 individuals throughout the grant year, and 4,000 with paralysis throughout the next 20 years. Funding represents 100% of the total project budget.

The Viscardi Center

Albertson, NY 11507

$10,656 – Facility Accessibility Modifications

Independent Living Home – Kitchen Modifications

This Direct Effect grant supports a program that helps children and young adults with disabilities including paralysis develop life skills that will enable them to live as independently as possible and become successful community members. With the purchase of accessible kitchen appliances for the Viscardi Center learning kitchen, students will be able to learn to prepare meals as if they were living independently in their own home. By practicing these living skills, students will become more confident in their abilities and acquire additional skills needed to live as independently as possible. Approximately 255 high school aged students with paralysis, their family members and caregivers will benefit from grant funding in 2020-2021. Funding represents 100% of the total project budget.

Three Rivers Land Trust

Alfred, Me 04002

$10,000 – Accessible Trail

ADA Compliance at Goat Hill Trail

This Direct Effect grant supports a project that will bring an ADA accessible trail to Goat Hill in Acton, Maine. ADA trails in the Acton area are rare, and an accessible trail to an elevated view can’t be found within 70 miles. This project will offer the shared experience of Goat Hill’s magnificent view and recreation space, as well as the opportunity to exercise in the outdoors on a route available to all. Approximately 800 individuals with paralysis, their family members and caregivers will benefit from the installation of this trail in 2020. Funding represents 12% of the total project budget.

Touro Infirmary Foundation

New Orleans, LA 70115

$20,202 - Transportation

Tour Your Hometown with Touro

This Direct Effect grant supports a program that creates community outings for individuals with paralysis to benefit their overall wellness and life outlook while promoting inclusion and acceptance within other community members. By replacing the outdated van lift and ramp, the Touro Infirmary Foundation will be able to provide an additional 40 community outings per year for patients with paralysis, to places like local museums, historic sites, movie theatres and more. Approximately 240 individuals living with paralysis will benefit from grant funding in the grant year. Funding represents 100% of the total project budget.

University of Alabama at Birmingham

Birmingham, AL 35294

$24,575 - Arts

AIM’s Writing for Healing: A Workshop for Individuals Living with Paralysis

This Direct Effect supports a 10-week writing program that will encourage expressive emotional writing and improve the quality of life for individuals living with paralysis. Writing about emotionally traumatic or challenging experiences has been shown to have a beneficial effect on reports of symptom reduction and health care use, as well as improvements in health status and well-bring in people with chronic conditions. This 10-week program will promote inclusion, support community integration and allow individuals with all levels of paralysis to participate, share their stories and revolve their grief through expression. 36 adults with paralysis will be served by this program, some of whom are ethnic minorities, survivors of violence, or rural residents. Funding represents 99% of the total project budget.

Washington State University

Pullman, WA 99164

$9,740 – Consumer Education

Steve Gleason Institute for Neuroscience at Washington State University

This Direct Effect grant supports a program that focuses on improving the lives of patients with motor neuron neurodegenerative diseases such as ALS, MS, Parkinson’s and Charcot-Matie Tooth, as well as supporting caregivers. The E. Sprague building provides a location for patients and their families to gain knowledge, insight and additional support with adaptive technologies and smart home configurations. Grant funds will support the purchase of accessible kitchen equipment that will allow patients and caregivers to learn about and try out a smart kitchen setup and learn how to remain as independent as possible in relation to food preparation. More than 200 individuals with paralysis and paralysis-causing conditions, their family members and caregivers will benefit from this grant in 2020-2021, some of whom are ethnic minorities, military service members or indigenous or tribal communities. Funding represents 16% of the total project budget.

Waterford Recreation and Parks

Waterford, CT 06385

$10,000 – Accessible Beach/Dock/Pier

Making Waterford Beach Park Accessible for All

This Direct Effect grant supports Mobi Mat installations to increase accessibility to the Waterford Beach Park. The accessible seasonal mats installed to the water’s shores will allow visitors with paralysis to access the beach with ease and enjoy their visit without barriers. Waterford Recreation and Parks system serves thousands of individuals per year, some of whom are low-income, military service members, or newly injured or diagnosed with paralysis. Approximately 500 adults and children with paralysis, their family members and caregivers will benefit from this accessible beach in 2020. Funding represents 80% of the total project budget.

Wings of Eagles Ranch

Concord, NC 28025

$8,777 – Facility Accessibility Modifications

Purchase of Accessible Picnic Tables and Playground Swing for Wheelchairs

This Direct Effect grant supports the purchase of six wheelchair accessible picnic tables and a wheelchair platform swing to be installed at the Wings of Eagles Ranch facility. Currently the Ranch pavilion lacks wheelchair accessible tables and swings. Due to the tables’ inaccessibility, children and adults with paralysis are forced to sit sideways at the end of the tables, placing them in an awkward position for programming and eating under the pavilion and leaving them feeling disconnected from their peers. The installation of accessible picnic tables will allow wheelchair users to sit and eat comfortably at the tables with their peers, and the wheelchair platform swing will allow children with paralysis the ability to enjoy the playground alongside their friends who use standard swings. A minimum of 67 individuals with paralysis will benefit from this equipment in 2020. Funding represents 98% of the total project budget.

Back to top of page

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)

Ability1st

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.

EP!C

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.

QUAD Inc.

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.

Back to top of page

2019 1st Cycle Direct Effect Quality of Life Grants

73 Grants Totaling $1,244,263

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

Adaptive Adventures

Lakewood, CO 80215

$13,275 – Accessible Beach/Dock/Pier

Beyond the Waters Beach Party – Accessible Beach Equipment

This Direct Effect Quality of Life grant provides adaptive beach equipment for barrier-free beach access for individuals with spinal cord injury. Grant funds will support the purchase of two Tiger Medical All Terrain Beach Wheelchairs and a Mobi-Mat RecPath to provide safe access to Adaptive Adventures Beyond Boundaries programming throughout the summer and its 11th annual Beyond the Waters Beach Party, which impacts over 300 people with disabilities, 150 of those living with paralysis. Funding represents 53% of the total project budget amount.

Adaptive Sports Foundation (ASF)

Windham, NY 12496

$22,740 – Fitness & Wellness

Outdoor Recreation Equipment

This Direct Effect Quality of Life grant supports an organization that provides adaptive sports opportunities to veterans and individuals with disabilities including paralysis. In order to better serve veteran programming as well as community events, grant funds will support the purchase of a SoloRider adaptive golf cart and two Monique-1 monoskis. ASF is in Greene County, NY which is a rural county designated as a Medically Underserved Population. Funding represents 100% of the total project budget and will serve a minimum of 75 veterans and individuals with paralysis.

Adventures Without Limits

Forest Grove, OR 97116

$25,000 - Camp

Campable Oregon: Building Community Among Individuals with SCI Through Outdoor Programming

This Direct Effect Quality of Life grant supports a 3-day, 2-night camping trips for individuals living with paralysis and their families. Grant funds will support programmatic expenses as well as adaptive kayaking and camping equipment. Approximately 70 individuals living with paralysis, their family members and caregivers will benefit from grant funding.

American DanceWheels Foundation (ADF)

Bala Cynwyd, PA 19004

$10,210 – Adaptive Sports

ADF’s Wheelchair Ballroom and Latin Dance Program

This Direct Effect Quality of Life grant supports a program that provides social, rehabilitative, and competitive benefits of Wheelchair Ballroom and Latin Dance to partnerships comprised of one seated and one standing dancer. Grant funds will support the purchase of 5 adaptive sports wheelchairs for students to use in ADF’s Wheelchair Ballroom and Latin Dance Program. Funding represents 95% of the cost of the wheelchairs and will benefit approximately 16 people with paralysis.

Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis Association – MO (ALSA St. Louis Regional Chapter)

St. Louis, MO 63146

$24,550 – Assistive Technology

Loan Closet Plus

This Direct Effect Quality of Life grant supports a project that will increase loan closet capacity by purchasing various advanced communication devices and pairing them with one-on-one sessions with a speech pathologist to train clients in the use of each device. Grant funds will support the purchase of communication devices and subsidize the cost for 3 sessions each to 23 people utilizing the loan closet. ALSA St. Louis serves several rural counties that have been designated as Medically Underserved. Funding represents 55% of the total project budget and approximately 50 patients with ALS, their family members and caregivers will benefit from this program.

Beltrami County Agricultural Association, Inc.

Bemidji, MN 56601

$6,832 – Facility Accessibility Modification

Operation Inclusive Accessibility Equipment 2019 – Picnic Tables

This Direct Effect Quality of Life grant supports a project that will bring additional accessibility to the Beltrami County Fairgrounds. To further increase accessibility for people living with disability and mobility issues, grant funds will support the purchase of 12 ADA compliant picnic tables. Funding represents 94% of the total project budget. Approximately 2,000 individuals with paralysis, family members and caregivers will benefit during the first year of installation.

Bethany Lutheran Church

LaPorte, IN 46350

$25,000 – Accessible Playground

LaPark Inclusive Multigenerational Playground & Splash Pad

This Direct Effect Quality of Life grant supports the installation of new playground equipment onto an accessible playground. Grant funds will support the purchase of multiple equipment pieces. This playground will be the first inclusive play space in the LaPorte, Indiana community and is expected to benefit more than 500 people with paralysis in its first year.

Bismarck Parks and Recreation District (BPRD)

Bismarck, ND 58504

$11,933 – Facility Accessibility Modification

A Place at the Table – Accessible Picnic Tables at 21 Park Shelters

This Direct Effect Quality of Life grant supports an accessibility project that will purchase 11 ADA-compliant picnic tables for 7 park picnic shelters. To increase access to their most visited parks, BPRD will prioritize the placement of the tables based on socio-economic housing types, giving priority to the low to middle-income locations. Approximately 3,865 individuals with paralysis, family members and caregivers will benefit from this project yearly.

Brandenburg Primary School

Brandenburg, KY 40108

$19,316 – Accessible Playground

BPS Playground

This Direct Effect Quality of Life grant supports a project that will redesign and renovate an existing school playground to provide school students and community members the first accessible playground in the Brandenburg, Kentucky community. Grant funds will support the purchase of an Alta-Glide and ramp. Brandenburg is a designated medically underserved, rural area with large portions of the community being ethnic minorities, homeless, and low-income. Grant funds will benefit approximately 30 students and community members living with paralysis.

Break the Barriers, Inc.

Fresno, CA 93720

$24,933 – Fitness & Wellness

Breaking Barriers with Accessibility

This Direct Effect Quality of Life grant supports a fitness program that serves individuals with spinal cord injuries including veterans who have experienced a traumatic injury. To help increase the number of individuals served yearly and improve HOPE Program offerings, grant funds will support the purchase of additional adaptive exercise equipment. Break the Barriers boasts a wide service area containing many underserved populations including ethnic minorities, homeless, low-income, survivors of violence and military service members. Grant funds will benefit more than 150 individuals living with spinal cord injury.

Camp Aldersgate

Little Rock, AR 72205

$3,661 – Assistive Technology

Assistive Equipment for Camp Aldersgate’s 2019 Summer Medical Camps Program

This Direct Effect Quality of Life grant supports the only nonprofit organization in Arkansas that is solely dedicated to serving children, youth and senior adults with special needs in an out-of-doors camp environment. In order to ensure that campers living with paralysis will have greater access to and become more independent while swimming, canoeing or participating in adapted archery activities, grant funds will support the purchase of various adaptive equipment. Funding represents 100% of the total project budget and will directly impact 50 children and youth with health conditions resulting in paralysis who will attend a one-week long summer camp session in 2019.

Camp Bullwheel

Ennis, MT 59729

$25,000 – Adaptive Sports

Wheelchair Accessible Raft and Drift Boat for Float Fishing Rivers

This Direct Effect Quality of Life Grant supports a program that provides adaptive fishing experiences to people living with spinal cord injury. Grant funds will support the purchase of two wheelchair accessible boats and necessary support gear. Funding represents 100% of the project’s total budget and will increase angler capacity by 50%.

Center for Medicare Advocacy

Washington, DC 20036

$19,517 - Advocacy

Medicare Home Health Outreach, Education and Advocacy Project

This Direct Effect Quality of Life grant supports an education project that focuses on Medicare home health coverage and access with an emphasis on Medicare coverage for home health aides. Grant funds will support the dissemination of CMA’s electronic and printed educational pamphlets and webinars, which will impact a minimum of 600 individuals living with paralysis, their advocates, family members and caregivers.

Central Valley Ballers

Fresno, CA 93703

$20,045 – Adaptive Sports

CVB Wheelchair Basketball Program

This Direct Effect Quality of Life grant supports a program dedicated to helping people living with paralysis get out into the community, exercise, recreate and socialize. In order to expand the team roster, grant funds will support the purchase of five basketball wheelchairs and a trailer. The CVB’s service area is a designated medically underserved area, medically underserved population, and health professional shortage area. Approximately 120 individuals with paralysis, their family members and caregivers will benefit throughout the useful life of the equipment.

CentraState Healthcare Foundation

Freehold, NJ 07728

$13,540 – Fitness & Wellness

CentraState MS Wellness Graduate Program

This Direct Effect Quality of Life grant supports a program that provides comprehensive health services, including instruction in how to safely get the most benefit out of exercise, such as best nutrition practices and temperature regulation, fitness training, etc., in the central New Jersey region. To help keep MS Wellness Graduate Program fitness and wellness classes free to all participants, grant funds representing 57% of the total project budget are expected to serve 32 individuals living with MS.

Charter Township of Canton

Canton, MI 48188

$10,831 – Fitness & Wellness

Aquatic Wheelchair and Swimming Aides for Canton

This Direct Effect Quality of Life grant supports a project that will bring additional fitness opportunities to swimmers with paralysis by improving access to the Charter Township of Canton’s recreation center pools, locker rooms and outdoor splash pad area. Grant funds will support the purchase of indoor and outdoor aqua wheelchairs, wet vests and additional equipment that will enhance user experiences. Funding represents 100% of the total budget amount and will serve approximately 20 individuals in 2019.

City of Jacksonville

Jacksonville, FL 32202

$25,000 – Accessible Beach/Dock/Pier

Bethesda Park Adaptive Kayak Launch

This Direct Effect Quality of Life grant supports an accessibility initiative to improve community accessibility at Bethesda Park located in Jacksonville, Florida and provide more outdoor adaptive opportunities. Grant funds will support the purchase of an adaptive kayak launch. Jacksonville is home to over 115,000 people living with disabilities, with a large portion of the community identified as minorities and living below the poverty line. The city is also home to three naval facilities and one of the largest veteran communities in the country. An estimated 17,600 individuals living with paralysis, their family members and caregivers will benefit from the installation of this launch.

City of Madison Heights

Madison Heights, MI 48071

$11,400 – Accessible Playground

Accessible Swings in Parks

This Direct Effect Quality of Life grant supports the installation of wheelchair accessible swings throughout parks in the City of Madison Heights, Michigan. Grant funds will support the purchase and installation of 7 accessible platform swings. These will be the first accessible swings in Madison Heights and surrounding communities and are anticipated to impact up to 2,500 people with paralysis, their family members and caregivers.

City of Memphis Parks and Neighborhoods Division

Memphis, TN 38112

$24,045 – Adaptive Sports

Rolling in Memphis: Health & Inclusion at Glenview Community Center

This Direct Effect Quality of Life grant supports a program that provides free recreational wheelchair basketball opportunities to community members living with paralysis. Grant funds will support the purchase of sport wheelchairs, parts, and other programmatic expenses. Glenview Community Center is in a medically underserved area, with many program participants being low-income and ethnic minorities. Funding represents 57% of the total project budget and will benefit 20 adults with paralysis in 2019.

City of Norwalk Park and Recreation Department

Norwalk, IA 50211

$25,000 – Accessible Playground

Wheels Off the Ground, Flight to Billy O. Phillips Park

This Direct Effect Quality of Life grant supports the installation of new playground equipment onto an accessible playground. To create an accessible surface for all, grant funds will support the installation of pour-in-place rubber surfacing. Approximately 100 community members living with paralysis, their family members and caregivers will benefit from this project in during the grant year.

Columbus Recreation and Parks – Therapeutic Recreation

Columbus, OH 43205

$16,146 – Fitness & Wellness

Columbus Recreation and Parks SCI Wellness Program

This Direct Effect Quality of Life grant supports a nine-month SCI Wellness Program for adults with paralysis and their families to come together in working on condition-specific exercise, focusing on cardiovascular and musculoskeletal systems, and introducing them to lifetime activities and sports. Columbus Recreation and Parks boasts a large service area, with many program participants identifying as ethnic minorities, low-income, military service members, rural residents and survivors of violence. Approximately 40 individuals with paralysis will benefit from grant funds in 2019.

Community Vision

Portland, OR 97221

$20,000 – Assistive Technology

Alternative-Access Loan Closet

This Direct Effect Quality of Life grant supports an organization that helps individuals move from Oregon’s state-run institution into their own homes post-injury, providing independence with an emphasis on self-determination. To decrease assistive device abandonment rates and improve AT outcomes in the region for those living with paralysis, grant funds will support the expansion of Community Vision’s Alternative-Access Loan Closet with the purchase of a variety of assistive devices including joysticks, alternative mice, keyboards, switches, eye gaze modules, software, arm mounts, trays and slant boards. Funding represents 100% of the total project budget and will directly benefit 40 individuals with paralysis in 2019.

Creasey Mahan Nature Preserve, Inc.

Goshen, KY 40026

$23,374 – Accessible Playground

Inclusive Glider for The Forest Friends Playground

This Direct Effect Quality of Life grant supports the installation of new playground equipment onto an accessible playground. To increase independence and provide a space for disabled and able-bodied children to play together, grant funds will support the installation of an Alta Glide Inclusive Glider and ramp and rubber surfacing. Creasey Mahan Nature Preserves hosts over 50,000 visitors yearly. Approximately 1,500 individuals with paralysis will benefit from the installation of the Alta Glide each year.

Desert Ability Center

La Quinta, CA 92253

$15,000 – Adaptive Sports

The Cycle Crew

This Direct Effect Quality of Life grant supports an organization that increases independence, encourages empowerment, improves health and supports human rights through adaptive sports and recreational rehabilitation. To provide indoor cycle training opportunities to individuals with paralysis, grant funds will support the purchase of three handcycles, five trainers, 3 GPS computers for monitoring distance and speed and programmatic costs. Funding represents 62% of the total project budget and will serve approximately 20 individuals with paralysis.

Dream Catchers

Williamsburg, VA 23187

$4,305 – Therapeutic Horseback Riding

Lifting to Success

This Direct Effect Quality of Life grant supports an organization that improves the quality of life for individuals with physical, emotional and developmental needs by providing therapeutic equine assisted activities and advancing effective practices through professional education and research. To enable participants to safely and efficiently mount and dismount their hoses, grant funds will support the purchase of a replacement motor and necessary parts for a SureHands Lift System. 30 individuals with paralysis will benefit from grant funds this year.

Easter Seals - Colorado

Lakewood, CO 80226

$7,500 – Accessible Trail

Rocky Mountain Village – Boardwalk Expansion

This Direct Effect Quality of Life grant supports a project that will improve accessibility to the campgrounds and hiking trails at a residential, respite and recreational campground in the Rocky Mountains. Grant funds will support the expansion of the ADA-compliant boardwalk from the main camp area to the climbing wall, giving children and adults of all abilities the chance to participate in activities such as rock wall climbing and zip lining. Rocky Mountain Village is in a designated Medically Underserved Area, and the increase of accessibility is anticipated to benefit 250 individuals with paralysis in 2019.

Easter Seals – Massachusetts

Worcester, MA 01608

$5,000 – Assistive Technology

Puffin Purchase for Assistive Technology Loan Closet

This Direct Effect Quality of Life grant supports the expansion of an assistive technology loan closet. Grant funds will support the purchase of five Puffin assistive devices, which are maneuvered by the mouth and can be used to access computers and mobile devices that use mice, keyboards, touch screens and other conventional interfaces. The addition of these devices will improve independence for a minimum of 120 individuals with paralysis, many of whom are newly injured or diagnosed with paralysis, low-income and military service members.

Edgar May Health and Recreation Center

Springfield, VT 05156

$25,000 – Facility Accessibility Modification

Enhanced Access and Mobility

This Direct Effect Quality of Life grant supports a project that will improve accessibility to the Edgar May Health and Recreation Center. To give visitors with disabilities greater independence and provide further exercise opportunities for people with paralysis, grant funds will support the purchase and installation of three automatic door openers for the main entrance, a new ADA-compliant pool lift, and fitness equipment for the recreation center. Funding represents 100% of the total project budget and will serve approximately 100 individuals with paralysis during the grant year.

Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation

Scottsdale, AZ 85259

$25,000 – Facility Accessibility Modification

Taliesin West Facility Accessibility Project

This Direct Effect Quality of Life grant supports a project that will improve accessibility to a National Historic Landmark at Taliesin West, a functional site and residential community dedicated to educating and inspiring people of all ages through the legacy of Frank Lloyd Wright’s revolutionary design and innovative concepts. Grant funds will support the installation of accessible surfaces, ramps, and handrails, and the modification and addition of two wheelchair accessible restrooms. The accessibility initiative will remove barriers to participation in tours, educational classes, cultural events and more, benefitting over 2,000 visitors with disabilities each year.

GRACE Rides, Inc.

Defuniak Springs, FL 32435

$25,000 – Facility Accessibility Modification

Facility Accessibility Improvements to Enhance Provision of Equine-Assisted Activities and Therapies

This Direct Effect Quality of Life grant supports an organization that provides equine-assisted activities and therapies to veterans and individuals with physical, cognitive or emotional disabilities. To make GRACE Rides’ 40-acre site and facility fully accessible to riders with paralysis, grant funds will support the installation of ADA-compliant walkways. Walton County is a designated Medically Underserved Area, with many community members identifying as military service members, ethnic minorities, low-income, rural residents and newly injured or diagnosed with paralysis. Funding represents 97% of the total project budget and will benefit approximately 1,000 people with paralysis, their family members and caregivers throughout the grant year.

Greybull Needs a Pool, Inc.

Greybull, WY 82426

$7,909 – Facility Accessibility Modification

Community Pool ADA Equipment

This Direct Effect Quality of Life grant supports a project that will improve accessibility to Greybull Pool. Grant funds will support the purchase and installation of a pool lift and cover, as well as a pool wheelchair and walker. The Greybull and Basin area are considered medically underserved and designated under HSPA indicating a shortage of primary care and mental health care professionals. Funding represents 100% of the total project budget and the addition of this equipment is expected to benefit approximately 60 people with paralysis this summer season.

Hammerheads Sled Hockey Association, Inc.

Philadelphia, PA 19154

$17,450 – Adaptive Sports

Hammerheads Adaptive Hockey for Children and Youth with Disabilities

This Direct Effect Quality of Life grant supports an organization that promotes skill development, fitness, sportsmanship and personal improvement by providing children with paralysis barrier-free access to the competitive sport of sled hockey. To help expand their reach into adult leagues, grant funds will support programmatic expenses and ice time. Grant funds will benefit approximately 100 athletes with paralysis.

Home of the Innocents

Louisville, KY 40206

$25,000 – Fitness & Wellness

Soft Play Areas for Youth of Kosair Charities Pediatric Convalescent Center

This Direct Effect Quality of Life grant supports a pediatric convalescent center that serves children aged birth to 21 who have multiple complex disabilities. To best serve KCPCC residents, grant funds will update and modify an indoor playground designed for their enjoyment and capabilities. Grant funds will support 27% of the indoor play space and will affect approximately 200 children with paralysis, their family members and caregivers this year.

Hoofbeats with Heart

Higley, AZ 85236

$21,330 – Therapeutic Horseback Riding

Access to Equine Therapy for People with Paralysis

This Direct Effect Quality of Life grant supports East Valley Arizona’s only equine therapy center that offers all four types of equine assisted activities and therapy services recognized by the Professional Association of Therapeutic Horsemanship International. To expand access to therapeutic riding and focus on access for low-income individuals and families, grant funds will support the purchase and installation of a lift system as well as subsidize 8 weeks of sessions for approximately 35 individuals with paralysis. Funding represents 100% of the total project budget and will impact a minimum of 35 people with paralysis.

Hope Ranch Therapeutic Riding Center

Manhattan, KS 66503

$5,000 – Therapeutic Horseback Riding

Lift with SureHands at Hope Ranch

This Direct Effect Quality of Life grant supports an organization that provides equine-assisted programming designed for individuals with a wide range of physical, cognitive and emotional disabilities. To enable participants of varying ability levels to safely and efficiently mount and dismount their hoses, grant funds will support the purchase of a SureHands lift system. The installation of the lift system will directly benefit 20 riders with paralysis, some of whom identify as military service members, newly injured or diagnosed, low-income and limited English proficiency.

Horses Spirits Healing, Inc.

Billings, MT 59106

$8,000 – Therapeutic Horseback Riding

Equine Assisted Activities and Therapy Sessions for People with Disabilities

This Direct Effect Quality of Life grant supports a project that provides veterans, their children and caregivers with equine-assisted programming designed to promote independence and community integration following a service-related injury. Grant funds will be used to finance the direct costs of 100 sessions for Veterans living with paralysis.

Ignite Adaptive Sports

Boulder, CO 80308

$10,049 – Adaptive Sports

Ignite’s Adaptive Winter Sports Program

This Direct Effect Quality of Life grant supports a program that ignites personal growth, independence and confidence in people with disabilities by providing safe, fun and affordable adaptive winter snow sport opportunities. To ensure Ignite’s lessons are accessible to everyone who wants to participate, grant funds will support the purchase of a new mono-ski with tethers and outriggers for the fleet and complete much needed updates to Ignite’s accessible van. Funding represents 100% of the total project budget and will benefit approximately 730 individuals and veterans with paralysis during the 2019-2020 winter program.

IMPACT Personal Safety

Santa Fe, NM 87504

$10,000 – Fitness & Wellness

Violence Prevention for People with Disabilities

This Direct Effect Quality of Life grant supports a program that provides violence prevention programs for people living with paralysis and their caregivers. Grant funds will support programmatic costs. The dissemination of this programming throughout New Mexico is expected to benefit approximately 50 individuals with paralysis and their caregivers, many of whom identify as ethnic minorities, LGBTQ, low-income and survivors of violence.

Infinity Dance Theater Company Ltd.

New York, NY 10025

$15,000 - Arts

Year-Round Dance Training with Performance Opportunities for People Living with Paralysis

This Direct Effect Quality of Life grant supports a program that aims to inspire people with and without disabilities by encouraging and empowering them through the healing and transformational power of the arts. Grant funds will support programmatic expenses and provide Infinity students the opportunity to rehearse and perform in a fully produced, 2-night concert. Grant funds will benefit approximately 500 individuals living with paralysis.

Jack’s Helping Hand, Inc.

San Luis Obispo, CA 93401

$24,118 – Durable Medical Equipment

Beach Mobility for All

This Direct Effect Quality of Life grant supports a project that provides specialized manual and power beach wheelchairs to children and adults with all levels of paralysis, offering access to two popular San Luis Obispo beaches. Grant funds will support the purchase of manual wheelchairs that are equipped with hip guides, trunk and chest supports and headrests as well as a power made chair that can accommodate both children and adults and give independent mobility to those who use a joystick. Grant funds will serve thousands of residents with paralysis for years to come, with more than 3,000 benefitting in 2019 alone.

Joe DiMaggio Children’s Hospital Foundation

Hollywood, FL 33021

$22,500 – Adaptive Sports

Junior Sharks Wheelchair Basketball – Making “Swishes” Come True

This Direct Effect Quality of Life grant supports an adaptive sports program dedicated to helping children living with paralysis get out into the community, exercise, recreate and socialize. To expand roster size and accommodate the immediate needs of each athlete, grant funds will support the purchase of basketball wheelchairs and related equipment. Grant funds represent 56% of the total project budget and will benefit approximately 300 children with paralysis, their family members and caregivers throughout the useful life of the chairs.

Johnson County Parks and Recreation

Franklin, IN 46131

$24,438 – Accessible Playground

Independence Park Playground

This Direct Effect Quality of Life grant will support the replacement of existing playground equipment with new, accessible equipment. The playground will help revitalize the park and encourage play between children of all abilities in a safe, challenging and fun way. Upwards of 10,000 children and families living with paralysis will benefit from grant funds throughout the useful life of the playground equipment.

Kansas University Endowment Association

Lawrence, KS 66047

$25,000 - Caregiving

Navigating Progressed Multiple Sclerosis

This Direct Effect Quality of Life grant supports a program that helps individuals with MS and their caregivers navigate the complexities of MS by identifying appropriate resources, providing education and practice in self-care and offering in-person practical applications for life with paralysis. Grant funds will support programmatic costs to provide various fitness and wellness classes, in-person education and a professionally facilitated support group for caregivers and people with MS. Grant funds will benefit more than 200 individuals with MS and their caregivers, many of whom identify as low-income.

Kenny Rogers Children’s Center

Sikeston, MO 63801

$24,287 – Adaptive Sports

KRCC Adaptive Sports Program

This Direct Effect Quality of Life grant supports a program that introduces children, adolescents and young adults with physical disabilities to sports and fitness activities that promote physical fitness, self-confidence and a positive, team-building environment. Grant funds will support a variety of adaptive sports equipment to be used in wheelchair soccer and basketball leagues. As one of the only adaptive sports organizations in the area, KRCC serves a wide geographic area, with many participants identifying as low-income and rural residents. Funding will provide year-round recreational and competitive sports opportunities to more than 150 children with paralysis and other disabilities.

Manna’s Hana Riding Center

Cookeville, TN 38506

$8,104 – Therapeutic Horseback Riding

Accessible Therapeutic Horseback Riding

This Direct Effect Quality of Life grant supports an organization that provides recreational riding for individuals with disabilities by means of equine-assisted activities. To help riders of all ability levels safely mount and dismount their horses, grant funds will support the purchase of a lift system. The addition of the overhead lift will help children continue to ride as they grow larger and allow Manna’s Hana to expand services to accommodate military service veterans and adults with paralysis. This project will serve a minimum of 21 people in 2019.

Nancy’s House

Wyncote, PA 19095

$24,016 - Caregiving

2 Nancy’s House Respite Retreats for Family Caregivers: A Retreat for Men and a Retreat for Women

This Direct Effect Quality of Life grant supports an organization that provides a retreat setting that breaks the isolation and exhaustion of family caregiving – allowing rest, education and connection with other family caregivers and support networks in order to return home with skills and knowledge for caregivers to maintain their own health and well-being. Grant funds will support two respite retreats for single-sex groups – one for women and one for men - allowing for deeper and more honest and intimate conversations and discussions.

New England Youth Theatre

Brattleboro, VT 05301

$14,850 - Camp

NEYT’s Theatre Adventure Program – Disability Specialist

This Direct Effect Quality of Life grant supports an organization that educates the hearts, minds, bodies and voices of youth of all abilities through the dramatic arts. Grant funds will support the Disabilities Specialist staff position, which will coordinate projects designed to serve people with disabilities and ensure that the theatre program operates with the resources, capacity, adaptive expertise, and equipment needed to offer accessible programming. Funding will benefit approximately 80 individuals with paralysis and other mobility impairments in 2019.

Northeast Disabled Athletic Association

Burlington, VT 05408

$16,367 – Adaptive Sports

NDAA Adaptive Kayaking

This Direct Effect Quality of Life grant supports an organization that works to enhance opportunities and provide support for individuals with physical disabilities who wish to participate in recreational and competitive athletics. To help NDAA expand its Adaptive Kayaking program, grant funds will support kayak adaptations, safety equipment, and programmatic expenses. Approximately 150 veterans, youth and adults and with paralysis will benefit from the physical, social and emotional benefits of kayaking this summer season.

Oakbrook Terrace Park District

Villa Park, IL 60181

$20,876 – Facility Accessibility Modification

Stage Accessibility for Mario Parente Theater

This Direct Effect Quality of Life grant supports a project that will improve stage accessibility at Mario Parente Theater. Grant funds will support the purchase of a portable platform lift. With the availability of a platform lift, individuals with paralysis will now be able to access the stage without assistance and have the ability to participate fully in activities and community events taking place in the theater. Funding represents 91% of the total project budget and a minimum of 25 individuals with paralysis will directly benefit from this project during the grant year.

Options Center for Independent Living

Bourbonnais, IL 60901

$6,000 – Durable Medical Equipment

Options Center for Independent Living Loan Closet

This Direct Effect Quality of Life grant supports the expansion of the Options CIL Loan Closet Program. Grant funds will support the purchase of durable medical equipment such as bariatric and standard rollators, wheelchairs and quad and standard canes. Grant funds represent 60% of the total project budget and will benefit a minimum of 80 individuals with paralysis, their family members and caregivers during the grant year.

Paralyzed Veterans of America – Central Florida Chapter

Sanford, FL 32773

$20,000 – Adaptive Sports

PVACF Handcycle Program

This Direct Effect Quality of Life grant supports a program that will afford veterans and others with paralysis the opportunity to participate in hand cycling, in groups or independently, on trails throughout Central Florida. Grant funds will support the purchase of four different hand cycles and accessories such as helmets, heart monitors and GPS systems. Funding represents 86% of the total project budget. Approximately 50 veterans and community members with paralysis will benefit from this project, including ethnic minorities, low-income and rural residents.

Phoenix Alternatives, Inc.

White Bear Lake, MN 55110

$18,800 - Transportation

Community Access for People with Paralysis

This Direct Effect Quality of Life grant supports a program that will provide onsite support at community engagement opportunities. Grant funds will support the purchase of two wheelchair accessible vans, as well as outfit the vans’ interiors with a changing table, other necessary equipment and electric Hoyer lifts for each van. This project will significantly enhance both the number and quality of community engagement opportunities for community members with disabilities and is anticipated to benefit more than 70 individuals with paralysis in its first year.

Portland Wheelers

Portland, ME 04104

$5,000 – Fitness & Wellness

Additional Equipment – Getting More “Wheelers” Outside for Rides

This Direct Effect Quality of Life grant supports an organization that provides outdoor biking experiences to people with disabilities. To help double their program capacity, grant funds will support the purchase of a tricycle specifically designed to support wheelchair users. Portland Wheelers serves a large geographic area, with many riders identifying as low-income, military service members, and rural residents. Approximately 1,000 people with paralysis will benefit from grant funds throughout the grant year.

RISB Foundation

Santa Barbara, CA 93105

$10,500 - Camp

Junior Wheelchair Sports Camp 2019

This Direct Effect Quality of Life grant supports a camp for children and youth between the ages of 6 and 19 with a wide range of disabilities who use wheelchairs to participate in sports. To help keep the program free for participants, grant funds will subsidize travel costs for athletes with paralysis. Approximately 120 individuals with paralysis, their family members and caregivers will benefit from funding in 2019.

Rotary Club of College Station

College Station, TX 77842

$25,000 – Accessible Playground

Fun For All Playground

This Direct Effect Quality of Life grant supports the installation of new playground equipment onto an accessible playground. The Fun For All Playground will be the first accessible park within 100 miles of Brazos Valley, Texas, an area in which approximately 7,000 individuals live with paralysis. Grant funds will support 100% of the purchase of two Inclusive Whirl merry-go-rounds, which will promote play and inclusion between children with and without disabilities.

Sande School of Horsemanship

Warren, OR 97053

$5,000 – Facility Accessibility Modification

Sande School of Horsemanship’s ADA Inclusiveness Expansion

This Direct Effect Quality of Life grant supports an organization that provides accessible equine programs focusing on life-skill development for all individuals, including at-risk youth and people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. To create a fully inclusive, ADA accessible facility and reach more community members with a broader range of disabilities, grant funds will support bathroom accessibility modifications and the purchase of two portable wheelchair ramps and two grooming platforms. Sande School of Horsemanship has a large service area, with many riders being military service members, rural residents, and newly injured or diagnosed with paralysis. 120 people with paralysis are expected to benefit from grant funding in 2019.

Sled Stars

Pittsgrove, NJ 08318

$14,270 – Adaptive Sports

Equipment for Sled Hockey Team

This Direct Effect Quality of Life grant supports an organization that is dedicated to helping build a supportive community for people living with paralysis and their families by providing sled hockey opportunities in New Jersey. To increase their player roster and provide additional equipment for new participants and demo games, grant funds will support the purchase of adaptive hockey equipment including sleds, wheel kits, hockey sticks and goalie setup kits. Funding represents 100% of the total project budget and a minimum of 12 children with paralysis will benefit annually.

Spina Bifida Resource Network

Flemington, NJ 08822

$6,900 – Consumer Education

Adult Empowerment Retreat

This Direct Effect Quality of Life grant supports a unique, peer-led and interactive three-day conference designed to increase independence, socialization, self-esteem and overall growth of individuals with disabilities through the exploration of health and wellness, relationships and intimacy, disability justice and other important topics. Due to the steady increase in number of attendees and the consistent requests for more educational, interactive workshops led by their peers, grant funds will support programmatic expenses and scholarships for five low-income attendees. The Empowerment Retreat serves a vast group of people living with spina bifida, paralysis and other disabilities, with an average of 90% of event attendees living with paralysis. Funding represents 78% of the total project budget and will serve approximately 30 people with paralysis.

Spreading Smiles

Lakewood, NJ 08701

$25,000 – Assistive Technology

Spreading Smiles Family Center

This Direct Effect Quality of Life grant supports an organization that is dedicated to promoting inclusion, supporting community integration and lifting the spirits of children and adults who have paralysis or other physical disabilities. To enable children with paralysis to play and create alongside their friends and family members, grant funds will support the purchase of adaptive arcades, gaming equipment, musical equipment and craft supplies. Funding represent 85% of the total project budget and will serve over 500 children with paralysis and physical disabilities.

Starkville Parks and Recreation

Starkville, MS 39759

$25,000 – Facility Accessibility Modification

J.L. King Senior Memorial Park Inclusion

This Direct Effect Quality of Life grant supports a project that will improve accessibility at JL King Senior Memorial Park in Starkville, Mississippi. To improve greatly needed access to and inside the park, grant funds will support sidewalk and pathway reparations and the purchase of accessible picnic tables and benches. JL King Senior Memorial Park is in an at-risk, under served and low-income neighborhood with numerous housing units nearby. Starkville residents and visitors with paralysis and other mobility issues will greatly benefit from improved access to the park, which will allow for greater independence and community inclusion. Funding represents 100% of the total project budget and will benefit a minimum of 100 people living with paralysis.

Stirrups ‘n Strides Therapeutic Riding Center, Inc.

Citra, FL 32113

$15,418 – Therapeutic Horseback Riding

Sure Hand Lift for Paralyzed Riders, Wheelchair Accessible Ramp to Mount the Lift System To

This Direct Effect Quality of Life supports a program that works with children and adults with paralysis to help identify and build upon their strengths, abilities and possibilities in partnership with horses. To provide better services to more people living with paralysis, grant funds will support the purchase and installation of a Surehands Lift System and ramp. Marion County, Florida is designated as both a medically underserved area and medically underserved population. Stirrups ‘n Strides serves many community members that are low-income, military service members, newly injured persons with paralysis and rural residents. Funding represents 100% of the total project budget and will impact more than 20 people with paralysis during the grant year.

Summit Assistance Dogs

Anacortes, WA 98221

$12,500 – Service Animal Program

Prison Program Curriculum Project

This Direct Effect Quality of Life grant supports an organization that creates life-changing partnerships by training and providing highly skilled assistance dogs for people living with mobility disabilities, specifically spinal cord injuries and other paralysis-causing conditions. To accommodate for limited trainer time and training space for dogs in advanced training, grant funds will support an increase of capacity for Summit Assistance Dogs’ intermediate level prison training program. Funding represents the total proposed budget amount and will impact 12 individuals with paralysis during the grant year.

TEAMability, Inc.

San Antonio, TX 78201

$11,225 – Education

Active Learning-Access Equipment Acquisition

This Direct Effect Quality of Life grant supports an educational program that gives children with complex medical disabilities opportunities to achieve their potential and experience the joy of success. Grant funds support adaptive seating that will help improve postural control, allowing for greater upper body function and active participation in learning activities and daily tasks. TEAMability is the only organization in South Texas dedicated to exclusively serving children from birth-22 years with complex medical disabilities. 351 children will benefit from this grant annually.

The Audubon Society of New Hampshire

Concord, NH 03301

$22,479 – Facility Accessibility Modification

Improving Accessibility for Visitors of New Hampshire Audubon at Two Centers

This Direct Effect Quality of Life grant supports a program dedicated to providing environmental education as well as hands-on outdoor experiences for people living with paralysis and other disabilities. To reduce physical barriers to involvement in the self-directed and staff-led educational opportunities offered at both centers, grant funds will support the purchase and installation of push button automatic door openers and an accessible pathway. Grant funds represent 85% of the total project budget and will benefit 1,000 individuals with paralysis and other mobility issues each year.

The Family Place

Logan, UT 84341

$15,075 – Facility Accessibility Modification

Facility Accessibility for Individuals Living with Paralysis

This Direct Effect Quality of Life grant supports a project that will improve accessibility to facilities that are dedicated to serving children and families. To better serve their clients with mobility issues and paralysis, grant funds will support the installation of automatic doors and openers at multiple office locations. The Family Place’s main service areas are Rich and Cache counties, which are both designated medically underserved populations. Many of those receiving service are at-risk of incarceration, ethnic minorities, homeless, indigenous or tribal communities, LGBTQ, limited English proficiency, rural residents and survivors of violence. A minimum of 40 individuals will be impacted by this grant.

The Transverse Myelitis Association

Powell, OH 43065

$25,000 - Camp

TMA Quality of Life Family Camp

This Direct Effect Quality of Life grant supports a program that hosts a cost-free, five-day camp for children diagnosed with rare neuro-immune disorders and their families. Grant funds will allow TMA to host camp free-of-charge for participating families. Grant funds represent 38% of the total project budget and will serve approximately 60 children with Transverse Myelitis and other neuro-immune disorders, many of whom are newly diagnosed, and their family members.

The Village of Richwood

Richwood, OH 43344

$23,478 – Accessible Beach/Dock/Pier

The Richwood Lake Park Accessible Pedestrian Dock

This Direct Effect Quality of Life grant supports a project that will improve lake access to persons living with disabilities. Grant funds will purchase and install an ADA-compliant pedestrian dock. Funding represents 100% of the cost of the dock and will impact over 1,000 community members with paralysis, some of whom identify as low-income, military service members, and rural residents.

TR 4 Heart and Soul

Bismarck, ND 58504

$12,100 – Therapeutic Horseback Riding

Accessibility Improvement Through Adaptive Equine Driving

This Direct Effect Quality of Life grant supports an organization that seeks to improve the physical and emotional quality of life of adults and children with disabilities through the heart and soul of a horse. TR 4 Heart and Soul (TR 4 HAS) is the only certified therapeutic riding program to offer year-round programming to individuals with paralysis within a 200-mile radius. Grant funds will support a variety of adaptive equine driving equipment and subsidize the cost of lessons for groups of four to come over a 24-week program. TR 4 HAS serves a large geographical area with many rural residents. Approximately 3,000 people with paralysis will benefit throughout the useful life of the equipment.

United States Adaptive Recreation Center

Big Bear Lake, CA 92315

$25,000 – Adaptive Sports

Outdoor Therapeutic Recreation for Persons with Paralysis

This Direct Effect Quality of Life grant supports a program that provides access to outdoor recreation programming to individuals living with disabilities. To provide completely free programming to 400 people with paralysis in 2019, grant funds will subsidize 23% of the cost of each session. USARC is in San Bernadino County, which is classified as a medically underserved area. Of all participants, 29% are living with paralysis, 50% are children aged 18 and under, 37% are female, 54% are of a minority ethnic origin and 44% reside in households reporting low incomes.

University of Alabama

Tuscaloosa, AL 35401

$24,894 – Adaptive Sports

Increasing Opportunities & Integration for Individuals with Paralysis at the University of Alabama

This Direct Effect Quality of Life grant supports a program that provides sport, fitness, leisure and recreation opportunities for persons with paralysis through a variety of adapted sports including wheelchair basketball, tennis, power lifting and track and field. Grant funds will support loan closet expansion with the purchase of a variety of adaptive sports equipment. Grant funds represent 100% of the total project budget and will serve approximately 110 individuals living with paralysis during the grant year.

Virginia Beach Adaptive Watersports, Inc.

Virginia Beach, VA 23456

$23,231 – Adaptive Sports

Virginia Beach Adaptive Watersports 2019

This Direct Effect Quality of Life grant supports a program that provides an opportunity for persons living with paralysis to experience adaptive water sports such as skiing, tubing and kayaking at a 40-acre private lake in Virginia Beach. To improve their offerings and better serve individuals living with paralysis, grant funds will support the purchase of adaptive equipment and other programmatic equipment and costs. This project will serve 330 individuals with paralysis, some of whom are homeless, low-income, military service members, newly injured and rural residents.

Wheelchair Dancers Organization

San Diego, CA 92124

$4,946 - Arts

Inclusive Adaptive Ballroom, Latin and Contemporary Dance Program

This Direct Effect Quality of Life grant supports an organization that empowers the minds, bodies, and spirits of wheelchair through the power of ballroom, Latin, hip-hop and contemporary dance. Grant funds will support the cost of two 8-week sessions, each serving approximately 25 individuals with paralysis. As the only adaptive dance class offered in the region for individuals with paralysis, Wheelchair Dancers boasts a large service area with many dancers being ethnic minorities, LGBTQ, low-income and newly injured. Connections made with one another will cross boundaries and support integration not only into the dance community, but also promote friendship and inclusion outside of class.

Windwalkers Equine Assisted Learning and Therapy Center

Carbondale, CO 81623

$15,000 – Therapeutic Horseback Riding

Ride to Freedom at WindWalkers

This Direct Effect Quality of Life supports a program that works with children and adults with paralysis to help identify and build upon their strengths, abilities and possibilities in partnership with horses. Grant funds will support programmatic expenses, portable mounting ramp, harness and gait belt, and the subsidization of 75 hours of riding for children and adults with paralysis. Windwalkers has a large service area with many of their riders being low-income, military service members, newly injured, survivors of violence, and at-risk youth. Grant funds will benefit a minimum of 250 individuals living with paralysis throughout the grant year.

Back to top of page

2018 2nd Cycle Direct Effect Quality of Life Grants

32 Grants Totaling $523,879

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

Adaptive Design Association, Inc.
New York, NY 10018
$24,825 – Assistive Technology
Adaptive Design-Adaptations at Home
This Direct Effect Quality of Life grant supports a program that makes, teaches and engages community members in custom assistive technology solutions that promote academic performance, recreation, self-care, work readiness and play. Grant funds will support teams traveling to client homes for fittings, design of needed assistive technologies, and deliveries.

Assistance Dogs of the West

Santa Fe, NM 31027
$6,932 – Facility Accessibility Modifications
Facility Accessibility Modification: Automatic Door Installation
This Direct Effect Quality of Life grant supports a program that provides people with paralysis and mobility limitations highly trained assistance dogs and training programs. Grant funds will support the installation of automatic doors at their new facility, promoting independence and allowing real-life opportunities for dogs in-training in activating automatic doors.

Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis Association – Alabama Chapter
Birmingham, AL 35242
$15,000 – Caregiving

Care Services for People Living with ALS and Family Caregivers in Alabama
This Direct Effect Quality of Life grant supports a program that benefits people living with ALS and their family caregivers. Grant funds will support the increase of the chapter’s Durable Medical Equipment Loan Closet inventory’s most requested Loan Closet items, which include an electric patient lift and sling, batteries for power chairs and patients, lifts for ongoing maintenance, transport chairs, and rollators with baskets and seats.

Bridle Paths
McLean, VA 22101
$9,600 – Therapeutic Horseback Riding

Making the Connection: A Therapeutic Horsemanship Group for Survivors of Traumatic Brain Injury
This Direct Effect Quality of Life grant supports a program that works with brain injury survivors living with paralysis to help identify and build upon their strengths, abilities, and possibilities in partnership with horses. Herd animals such as horses are acutely attuned to nonverbal communication and offer safety and community, making them uniquely suited to helping survivors of traumatic brain injury address challenges related to their injury. Grant funds will support the funding of three series of eight-week equine-assisted learning programs. Participants will learn new skills that allow them to assume increasing independence and initiative to address the challenges related to their injuries.

CHI Health Immanuel Rehabilitation Institute
Omaha, NE 68154
$24,438 – Camp

Junior Wheelchair Sports and Recreation Camp
This Direct Effect Quality of Life grant supports a program that provides a five-day summer camp for children living with paralysis, with campers ranging from five years old to twelfth graders. The camp, that continues to be the only camp in the region for children using wheelchairs, enhances and improves the quality of life for children with disabilities and their families through a wide range of sports adapted to the needs of wheelchair users. Approximately 45 children with paralysis and 20 volunteer counselors with paralysis will enjoy softball, basketball, swimming, and other adapted sports as well as experience friendly competition, social interaction, and friendship with children in similar circumstances.

Church of the Guardian Angel
Baltimore, MD 21211
$25,000 – Facility Accessibility Modifications
This Direct Effect Quality of Life grant supports of a new access ramp onto the front of the Guardian Angel Sanctuary to provide access into the sanctuary for those living with paralysis, giving a new and improved opportunity for worship at the facility.

City of Clinton
Clinton, MO 64735
$25,000 – Accessible Playground

Clinton Inclusive Playground
This Direct Effect Quality of Life grant supports the installation of new playground equipment onto an accessible playground. The playground, serving children with physical, social-emotional, sensory, cognitive, and communicative disabilities, will allow all children to interact and play with able-bodied children. Programs are also offered that will allow individuals in wheelchairs and with other disabilities to partner with other children to help promote inclusive education. Grant funds will support a Sway Fun Glider with an accessible ramp.

Community Foundation of Orange County, Inc.
Monroe, NY 10950
$15,000 – Accessible Playground

CFOS Warwick Playground Dreams
This Direct Effect Quality of Life grant supports the installation of one wheelchair accessible Merry-Go-Round and wheelchair accessible ramps. This will allow for children and adult wheelchair users to navigate the park easily and fully enjoy what the park has to offer.

Connecticut Institute for the Blind d/a/a Oak Hill
Hartford, CT 06112
$15,471 – Fitness and Wellness
Oak Hill Sports & Fitness Crank Cycle Classes
This Direct Effect Quality of Life grant supports a program that provides services and solutions promoting independence, education, health and dignity to those experiencing paralysis as well as those with all types of disabilities. Grant funds are for five crank cycles, which are expected to be used by 250 people living with paralysis within the first year. The crank cycles will be used for classes led by certified inclusive fitness trainers and will be available for those living with paralysis and other disabilities outside of the classes.

Council for Court Excellence
Washington, DC 20005
$15,494 – Consumer Education
Improving Accessibility of Educational Resources on Legal Topics with People with Disabilities in DC
This Direct Effect Quality of Life grant supports a program that focuses on consumer education efforts targeted to individuals with disabilities in DC. Grant funds will support the creation of a new educational guide “Making Life Decisions, Managing Affairs, & Helping Loved Ones: A Non-Lawyer’s Guide to the Legal Tools for Assisting Adults in the District of Columbia.” The guide will provide legal information designed to make complex legal terms and situations understandable to those living with a disability in DC, as well as their families, caregivers, or others close to them. Funds will also support educational events designed to increase awareness about the guide’s many attributes.

Council for Developmental Disabilities, d.b.a. ABLE Community Based Services
Norman, OK 73069
$15,458 – Transportation
Vehicle Procurement for Vocational Transportation
This Direct Effect Quality of Life grant supports wheelchair accessible transportation. Grant funds will support the funding of a new wheelchair accessible vehicle, which will be used to provide transportation to residents and assist ABLE’s vocational programs. This vehicle will allow residents to enjoy group outings and social activities as well as participate in opportunities in the community, such as shopping and attending local events – activities that many residents would never otherwise have the opportunity to enjoy.

Cure SMA
Elk Grove Village, IL 60007
$14,535 – Durable Medical Equipment
Cure SMA Equipment Pool Program
This Direct Effect Quality of Life grant will support the expansion of a Loan Closet used by individuals affected by Spinal Muscular Atrophy and their families. Grant funds will support five new Panthera Manual Wheelchairs.

Disability Action Center of Georgia d.b.a. disABILITY LINK (CIL)
Tucker, GA 30084
$12,238 – Employment
Empowering Young Adults Locating Avenues Through Peer Support
This Direct Effect Quality of Life grant supports a program that assists young adults 18+ with transitioning from a high school or college setting into gainful employment. Grant funds will support an internship program and classes that provide opportunities for students to gain hands-on professional experience.

East Tennessee Technology Access Center
Knoxville, TN 37920
$20,000 – Assistive Technology
>Tech Assist
This Direct Effect Quality of Life grant supports a program that connects people living with disabilities to the adaptive technology, tools and services they need to live with maximum independence and dignity. The center creates low-cost alternative devices to solve the specific challenges faced by their clients.

Eskenazi Health Foundation
Indianapolis, IN 46202
$18,800 – Employment
Career Website for the Gregory S. Fehribach Center at Eskenazi Health
This Direct Effect Quality of Life grant supports a new interactive website designed as a community resource for the organization’s past and current interns. The website will allow for interns to search and apply for job opportunities, as well as enable businesses seeking to employ candidates from the program to identify and recruit from intern resumes. The website will promote full-time, sustainable employment of approximately 65 individuals with physical disabilities including paralysis in the active workforce.

Fairbanks North Star Borough Parks and Recreation Department
Fairbanks, AK 99701
$18,915 – Adaptive Sports
FNSB Parks & Recreation Adaptive Recreation Wheelchair Basketball Program
This Direct Effect Quality of Life grant supports a program dedicated to helping people experiencing physical and developmental disabilities to get out into the community and exercise, recreate and socialize. Due to the long winter in Alaska and the need to stay active, wheelchair basketball is offered to individuals within the community living with paralysis and other disabilities. Grant funds will support the purchase of 10 new sport wheelchairs, making them a permanent addition to the current wheelchair fleet on loan and allowing for the program to expand and further serve its community.

Madison Claire Foundation
Woodbury, MN 55129
$15,000 – Accessible Playground
Madison’s Place at Maplewood Mall
This Direct Effect Quality of Life grant supports an inclusive indoor playground designed specifically for individuals living with disabilities. The project will benefit approximately 15,000 individuals living with paralysis, their families, and children with other physical and developmental disabilities by providing a year-round accessible play space. Grant funds will support the purchase of wheelchair accessible ramps for the playground, allowing children affected by paralysis to reach every facet of the play structures.

Muscular Dystrophy Association
Omaha, NE 68137
$9,000 – Camp
MDA Omaha Summer Camp 2019- The Best Week of the Year
This Direct Effect Quality of Life grant supports a one-week no-cost summer camp designed specifically for children aged 8-17 who live with muscle debilitating diseases. Camp activities offer a chance for kids to take physical risks, challenge themselves and each other, and learn to navigate unfamiliar physical landscapes, all while being supported by round-the-clock medical staff and trained counselors. Grant funds will support attendance of approximately five campers.

Muscular Dystrophy Association – PA, Harrisburg
Harrisburg, PA 17110
$10,000 – Camp
2019 Summer Camp
This Direct Effect Quality of Life grant supports the purchase of new rolling shower chairs to be used at MDA Harrisburg’s annual summer camp. Due to the camp’s current lack of shower chairs, counselors are manually transporting campers from the pool to the showers. The rolling shower chairs will alleviate this issue.

National Spinal Cord Injury Association Houston (DBA United Spinal Association Houston)
Houston, TX 77004
$25,000 – Arts
Opening ARTS & Minds
This Direct Effect Quality of Life grant supports a program designed specifically to foster the inner artist and improve the quality of life of those affected by and living with spinal cord injury. Professional teaching artists trained to work with individuals with special needs and complex health issues will lead a series of art projects geared towards all abilities and work with each person to help them achieve their art making goals, with the projects culminating in an end of year exhibit open to the entire Houston community.

Owensboro Public Schools Foundation for Excellence
Owensboro, KY 42301
$22,870 – Accessible Playground
Foust Elementary School Inclusive Play Project
This Direct Effect Quality of Life grant supports the purchase of new, wheelchair accessible equipment for the school playground. Due to the current inaccessibility of the playground and need for students living with paralysis and other disabilities to have a place to play, grant funds will go towards the purchase of a 12” ramp and “Alta Glider.” The playground is open to the community, including neighboring public schools, to promote awareness of the opportunity for inclusive play.

Piers Park Sailing Center
East Boston, MA 02128
$5,173- Accessible Beach/Dock/Pier
Advancing Adaptive Sailing
This Direct Effect Quality of Life grant supports a program that is dedicated to empowering children of all levels of ability through sailing and marine science education. Due to the age and frequency of use, some of the equipment has become outdated and now desperately needs refurbishing and replacing. To allow for safe and comfortable sailing for 15 children and 26 adults living with paralysis and their families in the 2019 season alone, grant funds will support the purchase of upgraded equipment.

Removing the Barriers Initiative
Lake Wales, FL 33898
$10,022 – Assistive Technology
WIN- Wheels in Nature
This Direct Effect Quality of Life grant supports the purchase of a wheelchair accessible golf cart so individuals using wheelchairs may use it to become more active participants in outdoor events, camps and community events. The design, which features a spot for a person in a wheelchair at the front of the bus, will also allow for event leaders in wheelchairs to move from site to site quickly and function as a “rolling command center.” Grant funds will support the purchase of the golf cart, as well as an attached PA system for event leaders.

Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital Corporation
Boston, MA 02129
$9,870 – Adaptive Sports
Exercise for Persons with Disabilities (ExPD) Program
This Direct Effect Quality of Life grant supports a full-body exercise program for people living with paralysis using an intensive workout program that includes indoor assisted rowing and weight lifting.By using FES rowing machines, individuals are able to stimulate the nerves in paralyzed legs, helping to create a full body workout. Grant funds will support the purchase of five new adapted assisted rowing machines so Spaulding can increase their capacity and continue to provide high-quality FES rowing opportunities for people living with paralysis.

Special Kids Special Families
Colorado Springs, CO 80905
$25,000 – Transportation
Special Kids Special Families Wheelchair Accessible Van Purchase
This Direct Effect Quality of Life grant supports a program that provides services such as therapeutic foster care, adults with disabilities day programs, adult foster care and transportation for its clients throughout the Colorado Springs area. Grant funds will be used towards the purchase of a new wheelchair accessible passenger transport van.

Therapeutic Adventures, Inc.
Charlottesville, VA 22905
$18,678 – Adaptive Sports
Adaptive Snow Sports- Improving the Quality of Life for Persons Living with Paralysis
This Direct Effect Quality of Life grant supports a program that serves persons of all ages and abilities by providing a wide variety of year round adaptive outdoor adventures and sports. The Adaptive Snow Sports program provides an array of snow sports to participants living with paralysis from ages 4-76. Adaptive skiing allows individuals to complement their therapy goals such as strengthening, dynamic balance and range of motion and experience many social, emotional, and positive changes in their adjustment to disability. To effectively serve their client base, grant funds will support the purchase of 3 new bi-skis (adult and youth) and a snow slider for stand-up skiers with paralysis.

Triangle, Inc.
Malden, MA 01428
$13,620 – Adaptive Sports
Safe Access: Preventing Abuse in Adaptive Sports
This Direct Effect Quality of Life grant supports Safe Access, a replicable five-session sexual abuse prevention curriculum for leaders, staff, and volunteers of adaptive sports organizations. Developing and disseminating a curriculum that helps to prevent sexual abuse of people with disabilities is critical. Grant funds will support the training of 15 leaders of adaptive sports programs and national dissemination of their abuse prevention curriculum.

University of Nevada, Las Vegas Foundation, High Rollers Wheelchair Rugby Student Organization
Las Vegas, NV 89154
$22,820 – Adaptive Sports
High Rollers Wheelchair Rugby Team
This Direct Effect Quality of Life grant supports a student organization dedicated to building a supportive community for people with paralysis and their families by promoting and expanding adaptive sports opportunities in Las Vegas. Available to UNLV students and the surrounding Las Vegas community, this wheelchair Rugby team offers a chance for people living with paralysis to experience the comradery of team sports and have a support network to share their challenges and triumphs. Grant funds will support the purchase of 4 new sport wheelchairs, gloves, and a storage shed for the team’s equipment.

Virginia Commonwealth University Foundation
Richmond, VA 23284
$13,000 – Facility Accessibility Modifications
Providing Environmental Education Facilities for Individuals with Paralysis
This Direct Effect Quality of Life grant supports a program dedicated to providing environmental education as well as hands-on outdoor experiences for people living with paralysis and other disabilities. Activities offered through this program, including wetland kayaking, both connect individuals to the natural world and allow for them to grow personally through discovery and by challenging their own natural limitations. Grant funds will support the purchase of one new kayak, paddles, and transfer board to be used at the facility’s newly renovated, wheelchair accessible boardwalk and floating dock.

Wheelchair Help.org, Inc.
Elkhart, IN 46516
$10,000 – Durable Medical Equipment
Wheelchair Restoration
This Direct Effect Quality of Life Grant supports a Loan Closet program that refurbishes and disseminates durable medical equipment to individuals that cannot afford or access what they need. Due to the size of their client base and differing degrees of use of the donated items, many chairs need critical repair before they can be put to use again. Grant funds will go towards the refurbishment of the current wheelchair fleet, which features hundreds of wide and specialized chairs.

Wilson Workforce and Rehabilitation Center Foundation
Fishersville, VA 22939
$25,000 – Transportation
WWRCF#!
This Direct Effect Quality of Life grant supports a program that strives to help disabled individuals including those living with paralysis gain independence by evaluating their ability to drive and provide comprehensive driver training services. Grant funds will support the purchase of a new minivan and one lowered floor conversion package for the vehicle.

World T.E.A.M. Sports
Holbrook, NY 11741
$12,120 – Adaptive Sports
Empowering Face of America Adaptive Military Veterans

This Direct Effect Quality of Life grant supports a program that brings adaptive and able-bodied athletes together by empowering, enabling and engaging individuals through inclusive athletic events. Grant funds will support the purchase of two new hand cycles and v-crank upgrades, which will allow the organization to expand and provide more veterans with the opportunity to participate in their annual Face of America cycling challenges.

Back to top of page

2018 1st Cycle Direct Effect Quality of Life Grants

48 Grants Totaling $551,061

Grants are funded through a cooperative agreement with the Administration for Community Living (ACL) (Cooperative Agreement Number 90PR3002)

A Chance for Therapy
Key Biscayne, FL 33149
$10,000 – Physical/Occupational Therapy
Therapy Grant Program
This Direct Effect Quality of Life grant supports a program that provides essential therapies for children with paralysis. The project serves families with little or no insurance.

American Stroke Foundation
Overland Park, KS 66202
$12,000 - Transition from Institution to Home
Stroke Survivor Navigation Program
This Direct Effect Quality of Life grant supports individuals that have had a stroke and their caregivers to help them learn to perform normal tasks in their homes with altered body function, reintegrate into their family and community, navigate the complexity of the health care system, negotiate difficult financial conditions caused by the stroke and locate needed resources. Grant funds will support the expansion of the program to include the Missouri side of the metropolitan area.

ARISE Child and Family Service, Inc.
Syracuse, NY 13203
$10,000 - Assistive Technology Initiative
ARISE Adaptive Design Pop-up Builds
This Direct Effect Quality of Life grant supports an innovative program that will expand the reach of Adaptive Design services that create highly customized equipment for very young children with paralysis. Sophisticated software and simple materials like rigid cardboard, wood, and plastic make it easy to adjust and/or redesign equipment as children grow and/or their needs change. Adaptations are not intended to replace medical, sport, or mobility equipment, but offer quick, simple solutions aimed at improving one’s quality of life, and items produced are made available at no cost to families. This project will make Adapted Design services available at various "pop-up" locations in the community so that families that cannot otherwise travel to the CIL can access services.

Baptist Health Foundation
Little Rock, AR 72205
$12,500 - Facility Accessibility Modifications
Ceiling Lift for Wheelchair and Seating Clinic
This Direct Effect Quality of Life grant supports the purchase and installation of a ceiling lift for the Wheelchair and Seating Clinic, which serves approximately 150 individuals per year, many of whom require total lift assistance for transfers in the Clinic for skin inspection and pressure mapping. The ceiling lift will make the transfers safer, more comfortable, and more time-efficient for patients and health care workers, and will result in more thorough assessments of patient needs, better decisions about which cushions and wheelchair features will promote healthy skin, and allow a greater volume of patients to be seen.

Camp For All Foundation
Houston, TX 77092
$7,500 - Adaptive Sports
Camp For All Hand Cycles
This Direct Effect Quality of Life grant supports a project to add more hand cycles to the fleet of cycles at this totally accessible camp for people of all ages. Biking is a camper favorite, and the project will enable more campers with paralysis to enjoy it with their friends.

Camp PossAbility, Inc.
Fort Wayne, IN 46845-6120
$15,000 – Camp
Camp PossAbility Camper Scholarships
This Direct Effect Quality of Life grant supports a one-week summer camp designed specifically for young adults ages 18-to-35 years old who live with physical disabilities and who use a wheelchair for mobility, and who have received their high school diploma or equivalent. The camp’s main goal is to provide social enrichment that will encourage our young adults with disabilities to seek their full potential.

Camp Twin Lakes
Atlanta, GA 30309
$15,000 – Camp
Camp Twin Lakes Camper Scholarship Program for children with paralysis-focused diagnoses
This Direct Effect Quality of Life grant supports scholarships that will enable 27 children with paralysis-causing conditions to attend camp based on their unique needs. Campers of all ability levels will enjoy the full array of traditional camp activities (playgrounds, biking, archery, horseback riding, swimming, fishing, trails, zip line, rock wall, and zero-entry pool) and other exceptional components.

Challenge Aspen
Snowmass Village, CO 81615
$15,000 – Adaptive Sports
Offering Hope: Providing Outdoor Therapeutic Experiences to People with Paralysis
This Direct Effect Quality of Life grant supports a series of four weekend retreats -- one per month for four months -- for five Craig Hospital patients or alumni along with their caregivers and three Craig Hospital physical therapists. The group will share a rented house in the Snowmass Village area with the intention of building community and creating friendships by sharing personal experiences of rehabilitation and disability while learning to ski together.

Cheshire Home
Florham Park, NJ 07932
$7,361 - Facility Accessibility Modification
Installation of Automatic Electronic Doors for Access to the Residents' Terrace
This Direct Effect Quality of Life grant will support the installation of automatic electronic doors to the residents' terrace, which will enable the residents to open and close the doors without assistance so that they can enjoy the terrace independently. This increases independence, self-direction, and satisfaction for the residents.

Community Rowing, Inc.
Brighton, MA 02135
$7,500 – Adaptive Sports
Military and Para Rowing Program
This Direct Effect Quality of Life grant will support the costs of coaching the various Para and Military programs offered and the design, building, testing, and modifying of specialized equipment, including custom-built seats, pontoons, and hand grips and other modifications that people with disabilities and paralysis-causing conditions need in order to row. The Para and Military programs take place year round, and benefit people with paralysis as well as people with other disabilities and include military personnel and veterans.

Determined2heal, Inc.
Potomac, MD 20854
$12,635 – Adaptive Sports
2018-2019 Moving Forward with Adventurous Wheels
This Direct Effect Quality of Life grant will support a serious of therapeutic outreach group events for individuals with spinal cord injury and their families, including activities such as adaptive rock climbing, hunting or shooting, kayaking, motorcycle sidecar, paddle boarding, parasailing, dune buggy, sit waterskiing, camping, rafting, tubing, fishing, gliding, indoor skydiving, miniature golf, paintballing, sailing, scuba diving, sit snow skiing, slingshot golf, surfing, and bowling, as well as a multi-day adventure in Virginia Beach which will include surfing, indoor skydiving, parasailing, sit waterskiing, camping, tubing and fishing.

Equinoterapia Puerto Rico, Inc.
San Juan, PR 00926
$10,000 - Therapeutic Horseback Riding
Equinoterapia Puerto Rico, Inc. Horse Healing Power Project
This Quality of Life grant will support a project that partners with the VA Caribbean Healthcare System to plan, develop, manage, and implement a therapeutic riding program for disabled veterans and disabled members of the armed forces with spinal cord injury and paralysis. It will provide instruction and participation in equine-assisted activities that will improve and enrich bio-psycho-social function. Leaders of the equine therapeutic activities, adaptive sports therapists and mental health professionals will work together to provide a unique program for the veterans and service members with paralysis in Puerto Rico.

Frank V Bergman PTO
Manhattan, KS 66503
$13,290 – Accessible Community Spaces
Bergman "Fitness For All" Project
This Direct Effect Quality of Life grant will support a community accessible fitness trail that will connect two levels of greenspace, ball fields and an accessible playground for outside play and activities, and will include accessible fitness stations.

Freedom Service Dogs of America
Englewood, CO 80112
$15,000 – Service Animal Program
Service Dogs for Paralysis Clients & Ongoing Support
This Direct Effect Quality of Life grant will support the initial client training program and ongoing support for three individual clients with paralysis. Grant funds will support special equipment for the dogs in training, travel costs for ongoing support services, trainer costs, and supplies.

Friends of Hamlin Recreation, Inc.
Hamlin, NY 14464
$15,000 – Adaptive Sports
Increased Accessibility to Recreation Programs Project
This Quality of Life grant will support the purchase of 6-8 athletic wheelchairs of different sizes for use by children in the afterschool programs and summer recreation programs, as well as by other members of the community, to enjoy adaptive activities such as tennis, archery, basketball, volleyball, and pickleball.

Girl Scouts Heart of the Hudson, Inc.
Pleasantville, NY 10570
$15,000 - Facility Accessibility Modifications
Operation Access - New Rochelle Program Center
This Direct Effect Quality of Life grant will support an initiative to increase accessibility at the New Rochelle Program Center. The grant funds will be used to install accessibility ramps at the front and back entrances of the building so that Girl Scouts that have mobility issues can easily enter and leave the building to participate in volunteer opportunities and other activities.

Highcroft Ridge Elementary School
Chesterfield, MO 63017
$15,000 - Accessible Community Spaces
Let's ALL Play at Highcroft
This Direct Effect Quality of Life grant will help to fund the purchase of an accessible glider for an accessible community playground at Highcroft Ridge Elementary School. The project was started by the students of the second grade, who felt that it was unfair that their friends that use wheelchairs can't play with them on the playground, and who raised money for the playground through a series of lemonade stand sales and other fund raisers.

Impossible Dream
New York, NY 10036
$15,000 – Adaptive Sports
Impossible Dream's New Generator
This Direct Effect Quality of Life grant will support the purchase and installation of a new generator for this barrier-free sailboat to ensure that sailors with spinal cord injury will be comfortable and safe from heat exhaustion. The generator powers the air conditioning unit as well as all of the electrical outlets on the vessel.

K2 Adventures Foundation
Scottsdale, AZ 85255
$7,500 – Camp
H.O.R.S.E. Camp: Health, Opportunity, Recreation, Support, Education for Children with Paralysis
This Direct Effect Quality of Life grant will support K2’s H.O.R.S.E. Camp, designed for children with paralysis ages 5-to-16 years old and their families and caregivers. H.O.R.S.E. Camp will accommodate 28 individuals: 7 disabled children and 21 family members or caregivers. Whispering Hope Ranch staff plans and implements all activities which are designed to accommodate each individual’s special needs. K2 provides funding, program coordination and volunteers to assist during Camp. H.O.R.S.E. Camp 2018 will be held Friday, August 31 through Monday, September 3.

Kenadi Jean Weis Foundation
Spearfish, SD 57783
$11,000 - Facility Accessibility Modifications
Shade for Accessible Play Area
This Direct Effect Quality of Life grant will support the installation of a shade structure at a community universally accessible playground. Many individuals with spinal cord injury and other complex conditions have difficulty regulating temperature. The shade will provide critical protection from the sun for all visitors to the playground.

Marty Turcios Therapeutic Golf
Augusta, GA 30909-2754
$15,000 – Adaptive Sports
Marty Turcios Therapeutic Golf
This Direct Effect Quality of Life grant will support the purchase of a Paramobile, a rugged joystick-controlled all-terrain wheelchair that traverses grass and sand, up and down hills, over small curbs and makes much of the outdoors accessible to people with paralysis, and enables them to stand up when they reach the ball.

Milly's Wings
Norris, TN 37828
$13,000 - Fitness and Wellness
South Clinton Inclusive Playground
This Direct Effect Quality of Life grant will support first fully inclusive playground in Anderson County, Tennessee. Specifically, the Reeve Foundation grant will be used to purchase an accessible glider and an access ramp for the South Clinton Park. This initiative seeks to provide recreational equality to children, parents, and grandparents with a variety of disabilities. Currently there are no inclusive playgrounds in Clinton or the surrounding counties, and the South Clinton Park will be an asset to the entire region.

Milwaukee Ballet
Milwaukee, WI 53204
$10,000 – Arts Program
Milwaukee Ballet's Tour de Force
This Direct Effect Quality of Life grant will support an adaptive ballet program that combines professional ballet teachers, Milwaukee Ballet Company dancers, physical therapists and doctors with children ages 5-15 years old who have varying physical disabilities and paralysis. In 2018, the program will serve 24 children, in four classes, including a new level for children that incorporates wheelchairs into their movement. Other classes are conducted out of the child’s wheelchair with the use of floor mats, wedges, benches or bolsters. Every child is partnered with his/her own Milwaukee Ballet Company Dancer and physical therapist and a ballet teacher leads the class through basic ballet movement that incorporates key therapy goals such as enhancing posture and balance and facilitating motor control.

Nationwide Children's Hospital Foundation
Columbus, OH 43215
$5,000 – Caregiving
Caring for Caregivers: A Nationwide Children's Comprehensive Cerebral Palsy Program Initiative
This Direct Effect Quality of Life grant will support a caregiver support initiative that focuses on caring for the caregiver for families with cerebral palsy. The program will be offered throughout the year at various health and well-being outings and activities at community locations including parks, spas, YMCAs, local businesses for artistic outlets, and mindfulness classes such as yoga and reiki. Caregiver participants will be given "Health Bags" containing gift cards, essential oils and books that promote an ongoing focus on mindfulness and self-care.

Paralyzed Veterans of America - National HQ
Washington, DC 20006
$7,000 – Adaptive Sports
Scholarships for Veterans with SCI/D to Attend the 38th Annual National Veterans Wheelchair Games
This Direct Effect Quality of Life grant will support a scholarship program that will enable veterans that have spinal cord injury or disease to attend the 38th Annual National Veterans Wheelchair Games in Orlando, Florida. Grant funds will enable 14 paralyzed veterans participate that would not otherwise be able to due to financial constraints of travel costs.

Partners for Youth with Disabilities, Inc.
Boston, MA 02116
$15,000 – Arts Program
Access to Theatre - A Program of Partners for Youth with Disabilities
This Direct Effect Quality of Life grant will support Access To Theatre programming that will serve approximately 60 participants ages 13-24 years old in the Greater Boston area in 2019 in afterschool sessions an in the summer. By providing opportunities for artistic expression as well as positive role models, youth are inspired by seeing first-hand that their futures are full of potential.

Providence Little Company of Mary
San Pedro, CA 90732
$13,070 - Durable Medical Equipment
Providence Little Company of Mary Rehabcentre
This Direct Effect Quality of Life grant will broaden the choices in durable medical equipment available to help clients with paralysis choose a wheelchair that works best for their lifestyle. The Peromobilus Aero-Z wheelchair allows taller patients to adjust the seat height, while also folding side-to-side, minimizing the width of the chair and maximizing transportation. The AirWheel H3 Auto Folder Chair provides electronic folding with the touch of a button, and yet is still lightweight and easy to transport, offering further functionality. Grant funds will also support the purchase of the Hausmann Electric Standing Table, which allows clinicians to work on functional activities while the patient gets used to being in a standing position. Standing a patient with spinal cord injury/paralysis is critical in managing blood pressure, preventing osteoporosis, and maintaining overall health.

Reeves-Reed Arboretum
Summit, NJ 07901
$5,000 - Facility Accessibility Modifications
Support for Phase 2 Accessibility Initiative
This Direct Effect Quality of Life grant will help to support the professional architectural and construction plans for the second phase of the accessibility initiative of this beautiful outdoor community center. The accessibility initiative will expand the accessibility provided in phase one, which consisted of creating an ADA-compliant spacious drop-off area and open classroom, to include full access to the open lawn areas, multiple historical horticultural gardens and the Daffodil Bowl. The project will include installation of gentle ADA-compliant ramps with handrails.

Rockland Rowing
Nyack, NY 10960
$11,755 – Adaptive Sports
Rockland Adaptive Rowing Program (RARP)
This Direct Effect Quality of Life grant will help to support the purchase of a dedicated single boat shell, adaptive rigging, fixed seat, pontoons, and two sets of adaptive oars. This will open up more time on the water to enjoy the outdoors, compete, and grow as a team.

Santa Clara Valley Medical Center
San Jose, CA 95128
$15,000 – Fitness and Wellness
Weight Management in Spinal Cord Injury – Intervention and Monitoring via Tele-Nutrition
This Direct Effect Quality of Life grant will help to support an innovative initiative to provide continued nutritional counseling and monitoring via tele-nutrition by a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist that can help offset both sort-term and moderate-term health complications attributed to unhealthy weight for persons with spinal cord injury. The goal for each participant is to remain at a healthy weigh or attain closer-to-ideal body weight.

Shepherd Center
Atlanta, GA 30309
$15,000 - Assistive Technology Initiative
Assistive Technology to Improve the Lives of Spinal Cord Injury Patients
This Direct Effect Quality of Life grant supports the Assistive Technology Access Lab, a highly successful initiative that empowers clients with spinal cord injury to return to work, finish school, and connect with family and friends via computers, smartphones, tablets and environmental control units. Grant funds will support the purchase of needed software and hardware in order to equip the Lab with cutting-edge technology solutions.

Shining Hope Farms
Mt. Holly, NC 28120
$7,500 - Facility Accessibility Modifications
Lift System for Shining Hope Farms' Therapeutic Riding and Hippotherapy Programs
This Direct Effect Quality of Life grant will support the purchase and installation of a hydraulic lift system that will provide safe and dignified transfer from wheelchair to horseback and back to wheelchair for riders with paralysis. The lift will enable the expansion of therapeutic riding and hippotherapy programs for larger riders, and will enable younger riders to continue to participate in programming as they grow.

Sisu, Integrated Early Learning
Gainesville, GA 30504
$15,000 - Physical/Occupational Therapy
Therapy Equipment for Sisu
This Direct Effect Quality of Life grant will help to support the purchase of updated therapeutic and adaptive equipment to serve the children ages birth - 12 years old with paralysis. This equipment includes therapeutic seating chairs, feeder seats and accessories, and a therapeutic treadmill.

Smoky Mountain Service Dogs
Loudon, TN 37774
$12,500 – Service Animal Program
Funds to support training expenses for four dogs for four disabled veterans
This Direct Effect Quality of Life grant will help to support canine training costs for four dogs that will be carefully screened and carefully matched for compatibility with individuals that are Veterans with paralysis seeking a service dog.

Southern Tier Alternative Therapies (STAT)
Ligonier, PA 15658
$15,000 - Accessible Community Spaces
Bridging Barriers - Acquisition of TrackChair for Veterans
This Direct Effect Quality of Life grant will help to support the acquisition of two Action TrackChairs for use at no charge by veterans visiting or participating in programming at the 137 acre property. TrackChairs enable individuals with paralysis to traverse rough terrain to enjoy outdoor activities such as hiking, hunting, family picnics, camping, skeet shooting, fishing and more.

Spalding University
Louisville, KY 40203
$2,800 - Assistive Technology Initiative
Helping Children Access Core Curricula - Enabling Technologies of Kentuckiana (enTECH)
This Direct Effect Quality of Life grant will help to support the purchase of assistive technology software available for children with significant disabilities, including paralysis, to enhance their participation in educational and social activities. The software will help children access core curricula provided by school districts and will increase participation in non-instructional areas so that children living with paralysis can engage more fully in activities during the school day, which will help reinforce learning objectives and healthy childhood development.

Spina Bifida Association of Western Pennsylvania
Wexford, PA 15090
$8,000 – Camp
FireFly Camps and Retreats
This Direct Effect Quality of Life grant will help to support a year-round program of camp and retreat opportunities for youth, teens, and young adults with spina bifida to come to together for skill development, mutual support, friendship, and physical activities in an environment of complete acceptance. The FireFly program focuses on helping youth, teens and young adults overcome the challenges they face in being healthy and physically active.

SportAbility of Iowa
Prairie City, IA 50228
$13,530 – Adaptive Sports
SportAbility Rolling Panthers
This Direct Effect Quality of Life grant will help to support the launch of the Rolling Panthers Varsity team, along with continuing the Prep team in National Wheelchair Basketball. Grant funds will support the purchase of basketballs and other sports equipment and sports wheelchairs of various sizes for basketball, tennis, softball and any other sport where sports chairs can be used.

The Lakes Health Center, Inc.
Iron River, WI 54847-4690
$15,000 – Healthcare
Facilitating Dental Access in Rural Northern Wisconsin
This Direct Effect Quality of Life grant will support an initiative to increase accessibility of dental care for individuals with spinal cord injury that reside in rural northern Wisconsin. As a Federally Qualified Health Center, the Clinic provides a safety net for the most vulnerable people in this rural area and serves all patients, regardless of their ability to pay, and offers sliding-fee discounts and payment plan options.

The Sterling Thomas Push Push Pray Foundation
Tulsa, OK 74133
$5,000 – Consumer Education
The Sterling Thomas Push Push Pray Foundation
This Direct Effect Quality of Life grant will support an integrative health and wellness fair to be held in Tulsa in April 2019. This initiative will focus on improving the lives of individuals living with paralysis and provide helpful informational resources to them and their caregivers, health care professionals, supporters and the general public.

The University of Texas Foundation
El Paso, TX 79968-0697
$12,990 – Adaptive Sports
El Paso Recreational Adaptive Sports (EPRAS)
This Direct Effect Quality of Life grant will help to support the expansion of the El Paso Recreational Adaptive Sports to include programming for children with paralysis living on the border dividing the United States and Mexico. The intent for this project is to help facilitate physical activity for children with paralysis, many of whom do not speak English, who have no other way of getting access to a sports wheelchair.

The WaterFront Center
Oyster Bay, NY 11771
$9,755 – Adaptive Sports
ZigZag Adaptive Sailing
This Direct Effect Quality of Life grant will help to support an initiative to expand accessibility of the fleet of four 23-foot Sonar sailboats that are used for recreational and competitive sport. Specifically, the adaptive equipment that will be installed in the four sailboats include movable seats, handrails, benches and sip-and-puff and joystick control systems. Further, each boat will be equipped with a beach wheelchair, allowing participants to access the shoreline and participate in the marine education programs. This program serves individuals living with paralysis and their families, and has special programming for veterans and their families.

Therapeutic Riding of Tucson
Tucson, AZ 85749
$15,000 - Therapeutic Horseback Riding
Heroes on Horses
This Direct Effect Quality of Life grant will help to support the Heroes on Horses programs, which encompass therapeutic horseback riding, equine-facilitated psychotherapy, and Cantina--a weekly gathering of veterans, their spouses or significant family members, and TROT veteran volunteers. Cantina is intentionally designed to address feelings of isolation, and offers opportunities for community with other veterans, social interaction and support.

Vermont Adaptive Ski and Sports
Killington, VT 05751
$15,000 – Adaptive Sports
Vermont Adaptive Ski and Sports Veterans Venture Program
This Direct Effect Quality of Life grant will help to support the Veterans Venture Program, which provides year-round adaptive sports opportunities and unique, specialized equipment to people with disabilities throughout Vermont to enjoy paddling, cycling, climbing, skiing, fishing, snowboarding, sailing, hiking, archery, bowling, sled hockey and more. Grant funds support the coordinator for the Veterans program, travel stipends for participants, and fees for outside activities not covered by the Program.

William Way LGBT Community Center
Philadelphia, PA 19107
$5,875 - Facility Accessibility Modifications
Community Center Access
This Direct Effect Quality of Life grant will help to support an initiative to increase accessibility to the William Way LGBT Community Center of Philadelphia by funding a ramp and other modifications to the building's north entrance. The doors of the Center are open 365 days per year, serving over 2,000 visitors monthly, and these improvements in safe accessibility will ensure that no one is unable to enter the building to take part in free programs and community services.

Women's Studio Workshop
Rosendale, NY 12472
$7,000 – Arts Program
Paved ramp for artistic programming and public access
This Direct Effect Quality of Life grant will help to support increased access for artistic programming and public access. Specifically, funding will support installation of an exterior paved ramp from the parking lot to the front door of the building. Increased access will dramatically improve the experience of both artists-in-residence that live with paralysis as well as members of the public living with paralysis and their families that visit the Center.

Wright State University Foundation
Dayton, OH 45435
$15,000 - Assistive Technology Initiative
Wright State University: Eating with Robotic Elegance
This Direct Effect Quality of Life grant will help to support the purchase of three Obi Robotic Dining Companions to help maximize independence for students with paralysis that have limited-to-no upper extremity function. The device offers dignity and freedom by automating the dining experience for individuals that need assistance to feed themselves. The user controls Obi, without assistance from other people, by conveniently located buttons or switches or by blinking their eyes. The devices will be set up, cleaned and maintained by the University's food service operations.

Wyoming Disabled Hunters
Cody, WY 82414
$10,000 – Adaptive Sports
Adaptive Equipment for Hunters with Disabilities
This Direct Effect Quality of Life grant will support the purchase of an Action TrackChair to be used by hunters with paralysis. This equipment enables improved access to Wyoming's rough and rugged outdoor terrain, and provides hunters with disabilities, many of whom are veterans, with unparalleled independence and freedom.

Back to top of page

2017 1st Cycle A - C Direct Effect Quality of Life Grants

Active Disabled Americans

Key Largo, Florida 33037
$17,000 – Adapted Sports - Actively Achieving
This Quality of Life grant will help to underwrite the purchase of a pontoon boat that is specially made for use in salt water, and that can accommodate six guests that use wheelchairs and an additional ten individuals on excursions in the waters of the Florida Keys to enjoy swimming, snorkeling, fishing and other activities. This is the only program of its kind in the area, and it provides unparalleled opportunities for individuals living with paralysis to reconnect with nature in ways they may not have thought possible, particularly if their paralysis was caused by spinal cord injury or other trauma. It is expected that at least 192 individuals living with paralysis and their families will be impacted by this project.

Adaptive Sports Center of Crested Butte, Inc.
Crested Butte, Colorado 81224
$10,000 – Facility Accessibility Modifications - Bridging Barriers
This Quality of Life grant will help to provide exceptional accessibility at the organization's recently acquired Gothic Lodge by supporting the installation of a new elevator. In addition to the enjoying the many benefits of participating in exciting outdoor sports and recreation, guests that live with paralysis will be able to access all levels of the Lodge to enjoy all of the activities and benefits of inclusive participation in social interaction, preparing and sharing meals, and peer interaction with other participants and family members. The ability to provide accessible lodging for all participants greatly enhances the experience of adapted sports and recreation because it fosters important social interactions and shared learning opportunities beyond the participation in recreational activities. It is expected that at least 75 participants living with paralysis and their families will be impacted by this project.

Akron Children's Hospital
Akron, Ohio 44308
$10,000 – Arts – Actively Achieving
This Quality of Life grant will support Dance Unlimited, a dance program for children with special needs, including cerebral palsy, spina bifida, spinal cord injury, autism, Downs syndrome, and pulmonary problems. Offered three times per year in 12-week sessions, the program offers children the opportunity to learn various styles of dance, all of which are adapted to fit any ability level. Participants range in age from very young children to adults, with the majority of the dancers being between the ages of 4 and 16 years old. A variety of dance styles, including ballet, contemporary, jazz and hip hop are held once per week with a recital at the end of each session. In addition, the Dance Unlimited troupe performs at various hospital events. Dance Unlimited replaces typical physical therapy sessions with the physical goals of improved strength, flexibility, balance, coordination, proprioception, posture and alignment in sitting or standing, endurance, walking pattern, and functional skills. Older patients are also included in the program as either dancers or assistant instructors, depending upon their interests. Grant funds will support the purchase of 3 sports wheelchairs, mouthsticks, 3 sets of adapted foam grips, costumes, facility rental, and t-shirts. It is expected that 75 individuals living with paralysis and their families will be impacted by this project.

Angelica Patient Assistance Program
New York, New York 10022
$$8,495 – Arts Program – Actively Achieving
This Quality of Life grant will support creativity workshops for young men that have become spinal cord injured as a result of gun violence, to enable them to frame, develop and share their experiences, identify personal goals and needs, and ultimately, reintegrate into the community. In addition to teaching participants to effectively tell their stories, the project aims to provide each and every participant with personalized digital training across the most current and relevant platforms in the industry, equipping each man with valuable publishing skills. Angelica's mission is to improve the lives of approximately 800 individuals that receive rehabilitative and long-term medical care at Coler Hospital on Roosevelt Island and Carter Hospital in Harlem, most of whom are persons of color who are economically disadvantaged. Funds will be used to pay for an arts ethnographer to work with 48 participants who live with paralysis and equipment to capture their stories in twelve podcasts. It is expected that 48 individuals that live with paralysis caused by spinal cord injury will be impacted by this project.

Association of Programs for Rural Independent Living
Little Rock, Arkansas 72212
$15,500
This Quality of Life grant will support the Youth Conference component of the Annual APRIL Conference that enables youth with disabilities to have a place to build their community, share their experiences, and learn skills for overcoming barriers and issues faced by young people with disabilities that live in rural areas. The APRIL Youth conference provides an opportunity for young people from across the country, especially (but not limited to) those in rural areas, to learn independent living skills, gain peer support and a sense of community, and learn advocacy and leadership skills to take back to their communities. Many have an opportunity to travel away from home for the first time and gain confidence in their abilities to take control of their lives. The day-long youth conference teaches sessions on standing up for yourself, how to make change in your community, what your rights are as a person with a disability, disability history, culture, identity, and current topics that affect their lives. The conference is planned and executed by a committee of volunteer youth with disabilities that have attended in prior years. There is also a youth track throughout the entire conference with workshops that vary in topics from lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (lgbtq+), healthy relationships, writing letters to officials, etc. There are also many activities and opportunities for peer support and building a strong community, including a dance and mixer settings to meet other professionals and grow their soft skills and network. The young people in attendance range from age 15-30 and have both physical and invisible disabilities. The goal is to have a total of 120 youth with disabilities from across the country attend the conference in Spokane, Washington in October 2017, and it expected that approximately 60 participants living with paralysis. These young people typically have gone through a state leadership program or are affiliated with a Center for Independent Living as a volunteer or consumer of services. Grant funds will help to support fifteen scholarships for youth that live with paralysis to attend the 2017 APRIL Conference.

BACKBONES
Prospect Heights, Illinois 60070
$3,600 – Fitness and Wellness – Actively Achieving
This Quality of Life grant will help to support Discover Yoga Workshops for individuals with spinal cord injury. These workshops invite both instructors interested in adapting their practice to meet the needs of students of all abilities, and students with disabilities to explore the possibilities yoga practice can bring to one's well-being. Both instructors and students come into the workshop with a spirit of trial and error and open dialogue. The needs of students with disabilities are addressed, as well as questions and misconceptions. Ideally, each workshop will consist of 5-10 student participants with spinal cord injury or similar disability; 5-10 teacher participants; and 2-3 volunteers. Caregivers and family members are encouraged to attend so they may gain knowledge and skills in assisting someone with SCI/D at home in their personal yoga and meditation practice. Students are provided with a take-home guide to help them practice at home. Instructors leave the workshop with tools and skills to create an inclusive yoga experience in their community. The model for this workshop is effective because it creates a space for conversations among student and instructor promoting better understanding and addressing possible barriers or fears. BACKBONES plans to host yoga workshops for people with spinal cord injuries or other disabilities (class is open to people of all abilities) in Arizona, New York in Florida. Grant funds will support honorariums for yoga instructors, honorariums for meditation practitioners, and yoga kits for participants. It is expected that 45 individuals living with paralysis will be impacted by this project.

Camp Millhouse
South Bend, Indiana 46614
$6,140 – Facility Accessibility Modifications – Bridging Barriers
This Quality of Life grant will help to support the aquatic program at Camp Millhouse, which provides camping experiences in a natural and wooded environment to individuals of all ages and varying abilities. Programs include an outdoor swimming pool, music programs, arts and crafts, gardening, nature programs and nature trail walks, indoor and outdoor sports, an outdoor low ropes challenge course, singing around the campfire, and more. The pool lift will greatly enhance the pool experience for campers and staff, as more campers will be able to get in and out of the pool faster, more easily and with increased safety and dignity. This means that campers can spend more time enjoying the water. The loungers are extremely well-suited for campers with low mobility. The lounger float provides a more fixed, stable, and secure seat in the pool for campers with difficulty supporting their own weight, making them feel more comfortable and providing a more relaxed experience while enjoying the pool. Grant funds will support the installation of the lift and the purchase of six pool loungers. It is expected that 300 individuals with paralysis and their families will be impacted by this project.

Canine Companions for Independence
Medford, New York 11763
$6,140 – Service Animal Program – Actively Achieving
This Quality of Life grant will help to improve the client training experience for Canine Companions. The Canine Companions for Independence Northeast Regional Training Facility is located in Medford, New York and serves 13 states from Maine to Virginia. The training facility is fully wheelchair accessible and outfitted with 13 dorm rooms, laundry room, training rooms and dining area. Clients come and stay at the training facility during their 2-weeks of training with their new assistance dog. Due to the large area the Northeast covers, rooms are provided for our clients. Staying at the facility allows clients all the comforts of home so they can focus on their training. Grant funds will help to underwrite the purchase and installation of a new commercial ice machine to replace one that broke last year. Grant funds will also support the purchase of 11 lift chairs to be placed in the wheelchair accessible dorm rooms, providing clients with comfort and ease of getting out of the chair with little or no assistance. It will also allow clients who have difficulty sleeping to sleep upright and also help to elevate the legs to help with circulation. The commercial ice machine helps clients stay hydrated and is also used for icing to help reduce inflammation for many clients.

Central California Adaptive Sports Center
Shaver Lake, California 93664
$7,030 – Adapted Sports – Actively Achieving
This Quality of Life grant will support Outdoor Adaptive Sports Adventures for Persons with Disabilities in Central California. Specifically, grant funds will support the purchase of a semi prone-position, hand-cranked mountain bike. This bike enables a high degree of independence in the sport of adaptive cross-country mountain biking, and is considered state-of-the art in the sport. It will expand the availability of adapted bicycles and enable more people to be able to participate. It is expected that 112 individuals that live with paralysis and their families will be impacted by this project.

Central Kentucky Riding for Hope
Lexington, Kentucky 40583
$2,700 – Therapeutic Horseback Riding – Actively Achieving
This Quality of Life grant will help to support a range of therapeutic riding activities for adult riders that live with paralysis. Participation in therapeutic horseback riding has been shown to improve physical activity, socialization, overall physical and mental health, and communication and relationship skills; to decrease depression and anxiety; and to help participants achieve their individualized goals developed by the collaborating therapist, i.e. physical, occupational, speech and mental health. Grant funds will support the costs of the lead instructor. It is expected that this project will impact 12 individuals living with paralysis and their families.

Changing Gaits Inc.
Brook Park, Minnesota 55007
$5,000 – Therapeutic Horseback Riding – Actively Achieving
This Quality of Life grant will support the expansion of healing therapeutic horseback riding programs to children living with paralysis caused by spina bifida, multiple sclerosis, and cerebral palsy. The program is designed to work with children with movement disabilities and help them to improve their range of movement, balance, and coordination. These improvements help riders to be more self-sufficient and that gives them a greater sense of self confidence. Grant funds will support riding scholarships for 100 individuals.

Charleston County Park & Recreation Commission
Charleston, South Carolina 29412
$16,791 – Facility Accessibility Modifications – Bridging Barriers
This Quality of Life grant supports the Folly Beach County Park Adaptive Beach Access project which consists of purchasing and installing 71 4'x6' durable plastic mats to be used to improve access to the guarded beach area. The mats will be joined using the 6' sides of the mat, creating a 6' wide path. Once the mats are placed, fasteners will be added to secure the mats creating a more permanent access solution. Maintenance staff will blow sand off of the mats every morning to keep the pathways clear of obstructions. The mats will stay in place during the beach season, March to October. They will be taken up during the off season and stored. These mats will provide a hard, stable surface for people with mobility limitations to have access to the beach. It is expected that at least 190 individuals living with paralysis and their families will be impacted by this project.

Chase Your Dreams Foundation
Mandeville, Louisiana 70470
$5,000 – Assistive Technology Initiative – Bridging Barriers
This Quality of Life grant will support an innovative program that will provide Independence Packs to 10 individuals that live with new spinal cord injuries in the New Orleans area. The Independence Packs are filled with a variety of low-tech items that have been proven to be very helpful for increasing independence after the onset of paralysis. Each Independence Pack will contain: NITE IZE Figure 9 Carabiner – Large; Upgraded Zipper Pulls; Evaporative cooling towel; Good Grips Button Hook; Super Big Fat Pen (5 Pack); NuMuv Gripping Aide; KEY-BAK SUPER48 Xtreme Duty Retractable Key Ring; Zubits Magnetic Shoeslace closures; Flipside wallet; Dining with dignity utensils (Fork and Spoon); EaZyHold (Therapy pack); Harness Push Gloves; Osprey spin 32 backpack; as well as the Reeve Foundation Paralysis Resource Guide and other Paralysis Resource Center materials. Recipients of the Independence Packs will also be contacted to receive follow up outreach.

Child Development and Rehabilitation Center
Eugene, Oregon 97403
$3,658 – Camp – Actively Achieving
This Quality of Life grant will support the Go Baby Go project, which provides a means by which young children with disabilities can move around on their own. Specifically, toy ride-on trucks are modified with joysticks so that children can steer in the direction they want to go and more easily play with their peers. Go Baby Go was founded by Professor Cole Galloway as part of a research project at the University of Delaware, and the program has expanded to more than 40 communities where volunteers are trained to modify the vehicles so more children have access to them. The trucks for this project will use modifications that are different from the original Go Baby Go cars that have buttons, in that they have easy steering, a zero-turn radius, adjustable speed and acceleration, and a joystick holder that can be positioned to suit a particular child. The physical therapists at the CDRC work with children with a variety of paralysis causing conditions including cerebral palsy, myotonic dystrophy, muscular dystrophy, stroke, and brain tumors. A large percentage of clients seen at the CDRC are living below the poverty line. Furthermore, the high cost of a power wheel chair for a young child is prohibitive for most families. Therefore, the children that would benefit from this proposed project are underserved and have no alternative for getting around other than being carried or wheeled by another person. These modified ride-on trucks would enable a group of children between the ages of two and eight to be able to navigate on their own for the first time in their lives. The trucks would be provided at no cost to the families, and will be modified by middle school students that are members of the robotics team. Grant funds will support tools and supplies to modify 8 ride-on trucks and facility rental of space for the two-day workshops, as well as set up and clean up, supervision of students, publicity, registration services, and consultation about working with middle school students. Eight children that live with paralysis and their families will directly benefit from this project.

Children's Healthcare of Atlanta
Atlanta, Georgia 30329
$3,500 – Camp – Actively Achieving
This Quality of Life grant will help to support Camp Krazy Legs, an overnight camp for children and teens with spina bifida (ages 7-18). This camp has grown exponentially from 44 campers in 2014 to a projected 65 campers in 2017. Camp Krazy Legs has had a waitlist every year and strives to expand its capacity to accommodate every child who wants to attend. A wide variety of activities are offered to children, as well as high quality of medical care available during camp and a mentoring system for campers at every level. At the end of camp, campers have made new friends, learned new strategies to navigate daily life with paralysis and created memories that will last a lifetime. Grant funds will help to support camper scholarships for 65 children and teens that live with spina bifida.

City of Mondovi
Mondovi, Wisconsin 54755
$1,000 – Accessible Playground – Bridging Barriers
This Quality of Life grant will support an initiative to upgrade the accessibility at Mirror Lake Park Playground, which will be the only accessible public playground in a 16-mile radius. This is a small rural community of about 2,770 people that has 5 city parks. The existing playground equipment was installed over 20 years ago, and is not setup to accommodate people with special needs. The park already has an accessible fishing pier. Grant funds will support the purchase and installation of a wheelchair accessible picnic table. It is expected that at least 18 individuals living with paralysis and their families will be impacted by this project.

Community Sailing of Colorado
Denver, Colorado 80250
$6,900 – Facility Accessibility Modifications
This Quality of Life grant will help to support the installation of an ADA-approved dock at the Community Sailing of Colorado's flagship location at The Marina at Cherry Creek State Park, out of which is has operated for over 15 years. The goal is to provide a safe platform for participants to rig boats, launch and return safely back to shore. This includes assisted transfers to and from boats along with accommodating access to docks. The new dock will also be home to the mobile lift that has enabled the program to support more inclusive sailing to those with limited mobility or wheelchair users. The accessible dock will make the entire waterfront accessible, and greatly expands the program's capacity because it will accommodate four boats at once. It is expected that this project will impact 2,500 individuals living with paralysis and their families.

Compassions Training and Awareness Center
Cleveland, Ohio 44112
$3,000 – Caregiving – Caring and Coping
This Quality of Life grant will help to support the Specialized Spinal Cord Injury Caregiver Job Training and Placement Program. Compassions was founded in 2008 by a woman that has over twenty-seven years of first-hand experience and understanding the special needs of individuals living with spinal cord paralysis. She was punched through a second story window during a domestic dispute, and broke her neck and now lives with paralysis due to her spinal cord injury and dependent on home care workers for her daily living needs. She and countless others have suffered some form of abuse at the hands of poorly trained and uneducated home care workers. This program provides a positive impact while assisting in improving the lives of people living with spinal cord paralysis and other limiting disabilities, while providing job opportunities for individuals from our low-income communities. Currently there is no other organization or business in or around Cleveland or beyond that offers such a program or provides such a service. Compassions strives to initiate, improve and enhance the current standards and curriculum of the home care/health care training service industry, while initiating a contemporary and specialized job training and placement program. The state of Ohio currently does not require any kind of certification for home health aides. Home health agencies require a simple application for employment, and rarely perform any background checks or training. The lack of professional requirements for home health aides is especially galling given the intimacy of the relationship between home health aide and client, and the client's dependence on home health aides for meals, personal hygiene and housework. Grant funds will help to support the purchase of uniforms and supplies. It is expected that grant funds will impact 1,000 individuals living with paralysis and their families.

Crater Regional Workforce Development Board/Learn To Earn, Inc. (CRWDB/LTE)
Petersburg, Virginia 23803
$6,000 – Employment Program – Actively Achieving
This Quality of Life grant will help to support a project that will develop and distribute information packets introducing the Social Security Administration's (SSA) Ticket to Work (TtW) program to school-based transition services for students with disabilities. The information packets will be distributed to administrators and special education staff within the 8 school districts served. The packets will include a request for the program and service-related information to be shared with transitioning students (ages 17-21) and their families and caregivers, as well as a request for CRWDB/LTE and school staff to meet and discuss partnership opportunities. Grant funds will support the project coordinator and service provider to develop all project materials, host informational sessions, and travel to and from 8 participating area schools. It is expected that 100 individuals living with paralysis and their families will be impacted by this project.

Back to top of page

2017 1st Cycle D - I Direct Effect Quality of Life Grants

Destination Rehab Bend

Oregon 97701
$6,520 – Camp – Actively Achieving
This Quality of Life grant will help to support Adventure Rehab Camp, a five day, rehab adventure vacation for underserved individuals with paralysis and a family member or caregiver, with a total of 16 participants. Participants are recruited from throughout the rural communities of Central and Eastern Oregon which are some most underserved populations in the state. The program targets individuals with paralysis caused by stroke, spinal cord injury, multiple sclerosis, spina bifida, brain injury and cerebral palsy. Once a cohort is identified, they will participate in education sessions and remote meetings leading up to their camp experience. Connections are made with potential resources in each participant's home town, allowing for follow up and additional resourcing post-camp. Participants will travel to Bend, Oregon and will spend five days and four nights in accessible dorm housing at Central Oregon Community College, and they will be assigned a physical therapist for the duration of the camp. Each person will have an initial evaluation and goal setting session with their physical therapist to set short and long term goals relating to wellness, quality of life and participation. Throughout the five days, participants will be involved in a variety of outings and classes, including adaptive sports, fitness classes, educational sessions, skills training and local outings. Oregon Adaptive Sports will provide the equipment, training, fitting and staffing for adaptive sport outings such as rock climbing, cycling and kayaking. Fitness classes will include strengthening sessions, Pilates and Yoga, with appropriate adaptations taught to each individual. Family and caregivers will be included in many of the activities, but they will also have separate programming and education sessions, to allow them to address their unique needs. Participants and their support team will visit local sites such as the Natural History Museum, restaurants and historic theater. They will practice functional skills and address limitations while learning to navigate in a new environment. At the end of the camp, each participant will be given a summary of their goal status, and they will write up an action plan for utilizing what they have learned as they return to home. Grant funds will support personnel costs for the program director, a licensed physical therapist who is responsible for planning, coordination, marketing and supervision of Adventure Rehab Camp; Oregon Adaptive Sports, to provide equipment, training and staffing for adaptive sport outings including cycling, kayaking and rock climbing; Pilates instructor and adaptive Pilates instructor; accessible van rental; accommodations for participants and volunteers; and travel for recruitment efforts. This project will impact 16 individuals, including 8 people living with paralysis and their respective family caregivers that accompany them.

Disability Resources, Inc.
Sparks, Nevada 89431
$16,830 – Employment Program – Actively Achieving
This Quality of Life grant support the New2U Computers Employment Development Program, which offers several unique services to the community, including opportunities for individuals with disabilities to gain the knowledge, skills, and work experience in a warehouse, electronic recycling and information technology field. The Employment Development Program provides paid on-the-job training to individuals living with a disability to achieve permanent and meaningful employment, and assists individual participants with all stages of employment seeking, placement and retention. The program targets the career path of employment in warehouse, recycling and technology fields. These positions play an integral role in the success of a company's bottom line and consumer satisfaction, and without experience, most individuals are unable to secure employment in this field. Used computers are donated by local businesses and individuals, and the program trains individuals how to refurbish the equipment, which is then provided at no or very low cost to low-income families that may not be able to afford a computer. All donated computers are re-built or recycled with the help of individuals in the Employment Development Program. Anything that is no longer serviceable is recycled through certified R2 recyclers. These companies are regulated to ensure all materials are recycled green while keeping toxic waste out of landfills. This helps to reduce the amount of resources used to produce new electronic items, while creating new jobs in our community. Grant funds will support programmatic equipment, Bullard Sentinel2 Ratchet Headgear; Bullard Sentinel2 Clear Face Shield Visors; Classic Pro Tech Toolkits; 26-Bit Driver Kits; Regal Seating Bucket Seat Stools; Antifog Ice Wraparounds Safety Glasses; Square Edge Adjustable Height 2-person Workbench with Panel Legs, Outlet Panel, Electronic Riser; Garner HD-2 Hard Drive & Tape Degausser; 110-120VAC and Commercial Door Opener Pro Model; plus shipping and handling for above items. This project is expected to impact at least 15 individuals living with paralysis that participate in the Employment Development Program.

Eagle Mount Billings
Billings, Montana 59102
$6,000 – Adaptive Sports – Actively Achieving
This Quality of Life grant will help to support Adaptive Ski Training and Transition, the Eagle Mount Billings Ski program education and training for staff and core volunteers. The last formal national training for ski staff and volunteer group took place in 2011. The knowledge base and equipment of adaptive skiing is ever changing and the importance of education and training is imperative to providing a safe and high-quality program. The core training team consists of a total of 16 individuals that comprising staff and volunteers. Grant funds will support a large portion of training expenses for eight individuals who attended a week-long national adaptive ski and snowboard training and the training expenses for the remaining eight in the core team in addition to 70 volunteers prior to the start of ski season. Continuing education clinics focused on all aspects of adaptive skiing and snowboarding for a wide array of abilities cannot be found anywhere else. The clinics focus on mono-skis, bi-skis, prosthetics, 3-track amputees, 4-track, HI/VI teaching, movement analysis, tethering techniques, outrigger usage, skiing assessment, etc. Current education and training for staff and volunteers ensures that each skier will be paired with a qualified and knowledgeable trainer that will teach them current instruction models and reinforce the national standards of safety protocols for of adaptive skiing. It is expected that this program will impact at least 15 individuals living with paralysis.

Easter Seals Southwest Human Development
Phoenix, Arizona 85008
$5,000 – Assistive Technology Initiative – Bridging Barriers
This Quality of Life grant will help to support the ADAPT Shop Parent-Toddler Playtime Groups, which are play-based, strength-based, and parent directed. Each session will be designed to meet the special needs and interests of the children and families who attend. A fun and encouraging atmosphere will be provided to help children become engaged and motivated to use their full range of skills and abilities during activities and interactions with other children. Parents and caregivers will be offered support, guidance and information to help support successful group experiences for their child and themselves. The proposed Parent-Toddler Playtime Group will have four sessions during the grant awarded year. Each session will consist of six weekly group meetings which would run for 90 minutes. The Parent-Toddler Playtime Groups will be an enriched educational and therapeutic setting facilitated by two members of the ADAPT Shop staff, which include pediatric occupational, speech, and physical therapist as well as developmental special instructors. Playtime Group topics and activities will be designed to support successful social interactions with peers, finding effective communication strategies, using equipment such as custom seating, slant boards, light tables, and adapted books to play and learn, and developing independent mobility with the use of mobile scooters, walkers, and gait trainers. Each Playtime group session will involve sharing information, modeling and consultation with parents and caregivers on the various techniques that can encourage interaction between children.

Eastern Adaptive Sports
Ashland, New Hampshire 03217
$17,004 – Adaptive Sports – Actively Achieving
This Quality of Life grant will help to support Adaptive Sports Cycling Program Expansion, which will serve all levels of cyclists, from beginners to competitive road warriors. This can be accomplished by providing participants with the proper equipment and individualized instruction, enabling more children and adults to participate. Grant funds will help to support the acquisition of two recumbent Green Speed handcycles, one Force RX handcycle, and one 5' x10' cargo trailer. The trailer will be used to transport the cycles to events with partner organizations on the weekends, helping to foster a more cohesive cycling community comprising athletes of all abilities. It is expected that 160 individuals of all ages that live with paralysis and their families will be impacted by this project.

Elkhart Lake-Glenbeulah School District (ELGSD)
Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin 53020
$5,000 – Accessible Playground/Ballfield – Actively Achieving
This Quality of Life grant will help to support the renovating the elementary and middle school playground into an inclusive playground and therapy extension center to better serve the increased number of students and community members that live with disabilities including paralysis. The ELGSD consists of two villages: Elkhart Lake and Glenbeulah, and areas of 5 townships. There are two school buildings located on the ELGSD campus. Students in 4-year old kindergarten through grade 8 attend the elementary/middle school (which also houses an on-site daycare for 3 to 12 year olds) and students in grades 9-12 attend the high school. A playground area and football field separate the buildings, which makes it very easy for students and staff to commute between the two buildings to teach and or attend classes and activities at either. The total student population is approximately 500 students, and the day care provides services to approximately 120 children. Elkhart Lake and Glenbeulah are both small rural communities, and the school district is the "heart" of the community, and the facilities are used by many community groups and organizations. An inclusive playground will benefit the entire school population as well as all the people in the community, including year-round residents and the many summer residents. The accessible playground will also enable parents, grandparents and others who have a disability to now have the ability and opportunity to go to a playground and interact and enjoy with their children/grandchildren. Grant funds will support accessible playground equipment. This project is expected to impact at least 25 individuals living with paralysis and their families.

Empower Spinal Cord Injury
Boston, Massachusetts 02114
$18,140 – Camp – Actively Achieving
This Quality of Life grant will help to support Empower Spinal Cord Injury, Broadening Impact: Mastering Wheelchair Skills and Expanding West, a project that will add a West Coast Residential Summer Program, and expand the Outreach Day Clinic programs to teach wheelchair skills to students, therapists and wheelchair-users. Shorter length of stays as well as a host of complicating factors during inpatient rehabilitation can negatively impact an individual's traditional inpatient rehabilitation experience. At Empower SCI, individuals are at least 1-year post injury, and come to the program with personal, concrete goals that they set themselves. Participants are ready to expand their knowledge and seek out ways to overcome barriers to living a happy, meaningful life. One-on-one therapy sessions focus on personalized goals, while group rehabilitation counseling, peer mentoring and recreation opportunities offer emotional support and effective coping strategies. The educational series empowers participants to take control of their own lives, with class topics including sexuality, return to work, return to travel, and caregiver management. By traveling away from their traditional caregivers, participants have the opportunity to reevaluate their routines. The residential nature of the program allows participants to work toward their goals 24 hours per day, by establishing more independent routines during individual therapy sessions, and then carrying them out with residential aides throughout the rest of the day. Empower SCI camp is fully volunteer-staffed, with over 60 volunteers working together with a shared focus of helping each participant achieve their self-identified goals. Although the program is only 2 weeks in length, Empower SCI participants report long-lasting impacts due to the intensive rehabilitation model that addresses both physical and emotional well-being. With focus on real-world function, round-the-clock interventions, exploring new passions, and learning from peers, clients leave the Empower SCI program with new skills, greater independence, and a better understanding of their potential. In addition to the summer program, Empower SCI also offers Wheelchair Skills Courses to individuals through their Outreach Day Clinics. Wheelchair-users, clinicians and students in healthcare professions have the opportunity to attend these courses. The courses provide education about appropriate wheelchair set-up, techniques for efficient propulsion, and working towards navigating community terrain, including wheelies, curbs, and even stairs. Grant funds will support personnel costs to conduct expansion of outreach for the Empower SCI and Wheelchair Skills Training programs, both in Boston and on the West Coast, as well as travel expenses related to both programs. It is expected that at least 31 individuals with spinal cord injury and their families will be impacted by this project.

Free Wheelchair Mission
Irvine, California 92618
$24,000 – Durable Medical Equipment – Bridging Barriers
This Quality of Life grant will help to support COMMUTER Wheelchairs to Promote Self-Sufficiency and Independence. In the developing world, an estimated 100 million people need wheelchairs due to paraplegia, but are unable to obtain them. A sedentary lifestyle increases the risk of coronary artery disease, obesity and diabetes but physical disability also places a financial hardship on families due to additional expenses and a reduction in potential family income. A wheelchair which enables people with disabilities to propel themselves longer distances to school or work helps minimize the financial risk to families in the developing world when one person is not able to contribute to the family income and increases the health of the person with paraplegia. The COM was designed specifically for people with physical disabilities and paralysis of the lower limbs, but who have sufficient upper body strength to propel themselves. These people can be self-sufficient with the proper wheelchair or assistive device. The COM wheelchair is a user driven innovation. Free Wheelchair Mission users asked for a hand-powered or cycled trike with a low center of gravity to prevent unplanned dismounts and tip overs. Wheelchair users in the developing world also face the physical barriers of inaccessibility without ramps, curb cutouts and paved roads. The COM is maneuverable, stable, and suitable for use in harsh outdoor conditions with unpaved terrain on the high slope elevations found in rural and mountainous areas. The COM enables an entire subgroup of healthy, strong people with mobility issues to be contributing members of society as students, employees, entrepreneurs, consumers, producers, taxpayers, beneficiaries and citizens. The COM was designed to help users avoid falling from the wheelchair when going over bumps or obstacles, to prevent repetitive strain injuries from wheelchair overuse including tendinitis, carpal tunnel, and muscle strain, and provide cargo carrying capabilities for street vending. Grant funds will support half of the expenses for phase two of the COM field tests in Vietnam, Mexico and China, including manufacturing new prototypes with the modifications to the COM from data found in phase one of the field tests, and additional training for distribution partners and the follow up visits to COM users with ongoing communication and data collection during field trials. Grant funds will support personnel expenses for the medical programs trainer to plan and prepare the curriculum and provide in-field training, and 132 132 COM Wheelchair Hand-pedal trikes. It is expected that 132 individuals living with paraplegia will be impacted by this project.

Girls on the Run of Lancaster
Lancaster, Pennsylvania 17601
$7,146 – Fitness and Wellness – Actively Achieving
This Quality of Life grant will help to support Girls On The Run Empowered – An Adapted Program to be Accessible to Girls of All Abilities. The current GOTR curriculum is a powerful research based program that considers the whole girl - body, brain, heart, spirit and social connection - in a positive, structured space where girls can learn about themselves, explore new ideas, cultivate empathy and strengthen connections. Through well-structured easy to administer lessons, it teaches life skills including treating others with care, practicing gratitude and managing emotions. Physical activity is woven into the program to inspire an appreciation for fitness and healthy habits. The Girls on the Run Empowered team coaches have modified the games and physical activity components to allow girls with physical and/or cognitive disabilities to experience the life lessons and participate in the exercises that best suit their particular individual needs. They also enjoy the benefits of integration with those participating in the original curriculum. Leveraging the expertise of these coaches GOTR, Lancaster is seeking to expand the accessibility of the program beyond this team to provide training and guidance to coaches of teams that include those with a wide range of physical disabilities and orthopedic impairment including Cerebral Palsy, amputations, congenital abnormalities, and Spinal Cord Injury and to better support coaches who may be addressing other milder physical and cognitive disabilities on their teams. This project will focus on developing a model that is a more individualized set of practices and program modifications to allow girls to access and actively participate in the program. To support this model, GOTR of Lancaster will develop a PE Closet that includes essential tools and equipment for the adapted model. Access to this equipment will facilitate inclusion to girls of all levels of disabilities from mild, moderate and severe.

The project will include a training component. Each season there is a comprehensive training schedule for new and returning coaches to the program to ensure the quality of the program is maintained. For the Fall Season 2017, an additional coaches training session will be dedicated to guidance on program administration for girls with disabilities. Grant funds will support fitness equipment including Therabands, scooters, scooter storage cart, adapted bicycles, and fitness balls. It is expected that this project will impact at least 70 girls living with paralysis and their families.

Global Mobility
Van Nuys, California 91405
$13.650 – Durable Medical Equipment – Bridging Barriers
This Quality of Life Grant will help to support The Vietnam Wheelchair Seating Clinic project, which will take place over approximately 7-10 days in November 2017. Using a Global Mobility's in-country partner, Da Nang Orthopedic and Rehabilitation Hospital, will use Global Mobility's wheelchair request form to identify 180 people with disabilities, including 80 with paralysis, and provide Global Mobility with each client's age, diagnosis if known, and measurements. After gathering the appropriate wheelchairs, Global Mobility will ship them in a 40-foot ocean container that will also contain additional ambulatory aids such as walkers and canes. Da Nang Orthopedic and Rehabilitation Hospital will receive the container and facilitate in-country customs clearance as well as transportation of the equipment to the hospital, where the clinic will be held. Global Mobility staff and seating specialists will work with the hospital staff, including several PTs and OTs, to properly seat each client in a wheelchair that is custom-fit to meet his or her needs. An important part of this project is increasing the knowledge of local medical professionals, including hospital staff at the Da Nang Orthopedic and Rehabilitation Hospital, in proper wheelchair seating and repair. This will provide a local, ongoing resource for any repairs and adjustments that the wheelchair recipients might need on their wheelchairs after the clinic. The healthcare professionals trained through this project will be able to properly seat new clients, providing more people with disabilities in Vietnam with the wheelchairs they need to stay healthy and break free of the limits that a life without mobility can cause. In addition, caregivers will be trained on proper positioning to ensure that the wheelchair is safe and comfortable for the user. They will also be taught basic maintenance and repair techniques so that minor wear-and-tear issues can be addressed in the home as appropriate. Grant funds will support the rehab technicians and 60 wheelchairs. It is expected that at least 80 individuals living with paralysis will be impacted by this project.

Grand Traverse Regional Land Conservancy
Traverse City, Michigan 49684
$10,000 – Fitness and Wellness – Actively Achieving
This Quality of Life grant will help to support Universal Access for The Overlook Trail at Arcadia Dunes: The C.S. Mott Nature Preserve. The new universally accessible dune trail will be a firm path that empowers people of all ages and physical abilities to move through the forest to a platform overlooking Lake Michigan. Over 3,000 acres of land in Benzie and Manistee counties has been permanently protected in the Arcadia Dunes: C.S. Mott Nature Preserve. These lands contain more than three miles of Lake Michigan shoreline, towering scenic bluffs, state-designated “critical dunes,” high quality forests and agricultural parcels. Today, Arcadia Dunes is one of the most used Conservancy-owned preserves with 15 miles of trails used by hikers, bikers, naturalists and birdwatchers from all over the region. The existing trail system winds through challenging hiking terrain of hilly sand dunes leading to spectacular views of Lake Michigan. The trails are difficult for anyone other than able-bodied persons to navigate, limiting access and enjoyment of the natural and scenic beauty found there. The Overlook Trail is relatively flat, six feet wide and one-half mile long, utilizing a series of switchbacks to keep the gradient manageable for wheelchairs and other mobility devices. The pathway winds through coastal dunes leading to breathtaking views from high bluffs overlooking Lake Michigan and the Herring Lakes. The boardwalk offers a unique experience of meandering through a heavily wooded area of the coastal back dune which has a fantastic array of spring wildflowers and large older trees. The boardwalk is strategically placed to provide visitors with a visual, tactile and olfactory experience of the forest. Grant funds will be used to support the accessible boardwalk. It is expected that 11,100 individuals living with paralysis will be impacted by this project.

Hesperian Health Guides
Berkeley, California 94704
$12,202 – Media Development – Caring & Coping
This Quality of Life grant will help to support a project to adapt A Health Handbook for Women with Disabilities into French for use in Burkina Faso; and once completed Hesperian will support the broad distribution in West Africa. Hesperian will partner with l'Union nationale des associations de femmes handicapées du Burkina Faso (UNAFEHB), a coalition of organizations by and for women with disabilities, in creating the adaptation of A Health Handbook for Women with Disabilities, and will lay the groundwork for their organizing campaign, support the development of campaign specific materials, and facilitate outreach and engagement of women with disabilities throughout Burkina Faso. Hesperian will draw on more than 40 years of experience creating easy-to-understand health information, in particular on women's health and community integration for people with disabilities, as well as working with translation and adaptation partners. Both the development process and the distribution of the final resource (in both print and digital formats) will provide empowering information to improve the quality of life for women living with paralysis and other disabilities in Burkina Faso, and throughout West Africa and other French-speaking areas around the world. The French language adaptation of A Health Handbook for Women with Disabilities will become an important resource for women and girls with disabilities and their allies; providing accessible information and tested strategies to inspire advocacy for access to respectful and appropriate healthcare, for equal rights and to promote leadership for girls and women with disabilities. Grant funds will support the Publications Designer to create and adapt book, the consultant fee for French translations, and required indirect costs. It is expected that this project will impact 300,000 individuals living with paralysis.

Independent Living Center of Kern County
Troy, New York 12180
$13,000 – Durable Medical Equipment – Bridging Barriers
This Quality of Life grant will help to support the Repair and Re-Use Project, which accepts donated power wheelchairs from individuals or businesses, cleans and refurbishes them, and gives them to people with disabilities. Power wheelchairs in need of minor repairs such as tires, batteries, arm rest and controllers will be repaired with assistance from a local durable medical equipment shop and a local battery shop. These repaired power wheelchairs will be used to assist those individuals with mobility impairments; and give the independence and ability to take care of their daily needs such as going to the store, doctor, work, social events, etc. Grant funds will support personnel costs for the special projects coordinator, electric wheelchair batteries, battery chargers, wheelchair tires, miscellaneous wheelchair parts for repair, and joysticks. It is expected that 25 individuals living with paralysis will be impacted by this project.

Independent Living Center of the Hudson Valley
Troy, New York 12180
$5,000 – Accessible Transportation – Bridging Barriers
This Quality of Life grant will support Enhancing Wheelchair Accessible Transportation. This grant helps to provide a required match for funding awarded by the New York State Department of Transportation for the purchase of two wheelchair accessible vans to address the transportation barriers that exist for individual that use wheelchairs. The two new vans are state of the art, smaller (seating four people, space for a wheelchair user to remain in his/her chair, and space for someone to transfer to a seat and the wheelchair to accompany the individual), which is consistent with consumer needs to travel to ILCHV, or to appointments, often times with an aide and or a family member, or sometimes alone. The two new vans get higher gas mileage and will need fewer repairs. These wheelchair accessible vans provide accessible transportation for consumers that do not have access to any public transportation nor the resources to use private taxis, and are part of the short-term support consumers many need towards independence. It is expected that 50 individuals living with paralysis will be impacted by this project.

Back to top of page

2017 1st Cycle J - M Direct Effect Quality of Life Grants

Kentucky-Indiana Paralyzed Veterans of America

Floyds Knobs, Indiana 47119
$6,349 – Fitness and Wellness
This Quality of Life grant will help to support Spinal Cord Community Health & Wellness, a project that will enable individuals with spinal cord injury to work out to increase their fitness level and well-being. In direct contrast to a physical therapy atmosphere, this project aims to provide participants with an authentic work out experience. Personal trainers will assist with individualized exercise programs and progress tracking. Participants will receive motivational health and wellness education specific to the needs of individuals with spinal cord injuries and diseases, such as nutrition, skincare, autonomic dysreflexia, adaptive sports equipment, weight management, and more. The project will increase the confidence of participants to encourage the continued pursuit of fitness through adaptive sports participation. Grant funds will support the purchase of the following adaptive exercise equipment for placement at space provided by Louisville Metro Parks at the Berrytown Adaptive & Inclusive Recreation Facility: Challenge Circuit 7000 (accessible weight equipment that provides an upper body workout with little or no assistance required); Saratoga Cycle (a hand-cycle mounted on a specially equipped table so that a wheelchair user can roll up to the table and get a cardio workout); Adaptive Nordic Skiing Machine (effective, roll up, cardio machine); and a set of dumbbells. It is expected that 50 individuals living with paralysis will be impacted by this project.

Lady Wheelchair Mavericks Dallas VA Basketball Association
Arlington, Texas 76006
$7,404 – Adaptive Sports – Actively Achieving
This Quality of Life grant will help to support the Lady Wheelchair Mavericks Basketball Team, a nonprofit organization committed to improving the health and well-being of physically disabled women and girls. Participation in active and competitive wheelchair sports promotes both independence and self-confidence; it also encourages development of life-long skills which in turn supports the maintenance of a healthy life style. The program emphasizes skills training and leadership development, while also challenging each player to actively give back through volunteer work in the community and schools. The Lady Mavericks has been providing opportunities for women and girls since 1990. To educate communities about adaptive sports, disabilities, and empower others with physical disabilities to get involved in sports, the Lady Mavericks go out and do exhibitions, reach out to organizations that have individuals with physical disabilities, and visit hospitals of newly injured individuals with spinal cord injuries to mentor them and help to show them the way of life in sport and life with a disability. Further, the Lady Mavericks put on a 3-day women's wheelchair basketball camp just for girls and women with physical disabilities. Attendees get to be physically active, to travel independently, and have the responsibility of daily tasks like showering, getting dressed, getting from one play to another on time, but have the support of other women. Attendees have an increase in self-esteem, confidence, empowerment and a new understanding of how they can manage everyday life and have luggage, plane travel, etc. It is the only women's wheelchair basketball camp in the country. Grant funds will support the purchase of 5 MOLTEN Basketballs, 1 Per4max Thunder basketball wheelchair, and 10 Registrations for girls/women to attend the women's basketball development camp. It is expected that this project will impact 50 individuals living with paralysis.

Leaps Of Faith Disabled Waterskiers Club
Sandy Hook, Connecticut 06482
$6,810 – Adaptive Sports – Actively Achieving
This Quality of Life grant will help to support Summer 2017 Wheels to Water Skis. Leaps of Faith Disabled Waterskiers Club (LOF) will host six adaptive water ski events for rehabilitation hospitals in the tri-state area and throughout the East coast (e.g., Kessler, Burke, Helen Hayes, Mount Sinai, Magee) that serve individuals living with or newly diagnosed with paralysis due to injury or illness including but not limited to spinal cord injury, stroke, brain injury, and multiple sclerosis. Many times after new injury or illness, individuals can benefit from mentoring, support, and education about resources within their communities and area and exposure to specific activities that can promote self-efficacy., LOF is able to provide unique and positive opportunities to participants, who experience physical and emotional empowerment, recreation, quality of life, engagement in lifelong activities, friendships and supports, exposure to new experiences, maintenance and promotion of physical wellness, improved athletic abilities and stamina, and fun for our participants. Grant funds will support the purchase of: a Training Boom, 12 sit ski tow ropes, 6 life vests, boat safety quick release, 2 sit skis, 2 sit ski cages; marine gas, tent rental, accessible port-o-john, award medal, and event liability insurance. It is expected that 150 individuals living with paralysis and their families will be impacted by this project, which is provided to them free of charge.

Lowden Aquatic Park Project
Weaverville, California 96093
$7,000 – Facility Accessibility Modifications – Bridging Barriers
This Quality of Life grant will help to support the installation of a commercial grade, ADA-compliant pool chair lift to replace the one that broke at this community swimming pool. This will continue to enable people of all ages and abilities living with paralysis and related mobility impairments and their families and caregivers to enjoy the use of the pool for exercise, to cool off in the very hot summers, and to socialize with other members of the community. Grant funds will support the purchase and installation of the pool chair lift. It is expected that 40 individuals living with paralysis and their families will be impacted by this project.

M.D. Wright Academic Center
Thibodaux, Louisiana 70302
$12,495 – Facility Accessibility Modifications – Bridging Barriers
This Quality of Life grant will help to support accessibility modifications at an after-school academic facility created by a young man, Myron Wright, who became paralyzed after a spinal cord injury sustained in a high school football game, and who went on to graduate from high school and college and have an active career. The goal of M.D. Wright Academic Center is to enable at-risk youth with the ability to improve their literacy, math, and overall learning skills to the point where they can succeed in school and develop the educational skills that will prepare them for college along with decreasing high school dropout rates and crime rates among youth locally. Students will be offered homework help, tutoring, SAT/ACT prep, and college admission consulting. The Center will be located in an area where at-risk youth live, with low income, poverty, high crime rate, and drug infestation. M.D. Wright Academic Center will provide students with the ability to generate positive academic outcomes in conjunction with helping them realize their full potential as responsible citizens and leaders. Grant funds will support the installation of a wheelchair ramp. It is expected that at least 5 individuals living with paralysis will be impacted by this project.

Mason's Mission Foundation, Inc.
Lockport, New York 14094
$5,000 – Accessible Playground/Ballfield
This Quality of Life grant will help to support Mason's Mission Park @ Pendleton, an accessible playground in rural western New York. The playground will be a place for children and parents of all abilities play. Play for a disabled child is one of the most important aspects of therapy. Interaction with others and a way to engage with the environment around them is crucial to their development and quality of life. This will be the only inclusive accessible playground within 50 miles that will accommodate special needs children, and this gap affected many families in western New York. Further, after completion of the playground, families will be provided with resources and assistance. Grant funds will help to support the purchase and installation of the wheelchair accessible Merry-Go-Round. It is expected that 1,500 individuals living with paralysis and their families will be impacted by this project.

McKenna Farms Therapy Services
Dallas, Georgia 30157
$7,146 – Therapeutic Horseback Riding – Bridging Barriers
This Quality of Life grant will support improved accessibility for innovative therapeutic programs for children with special needs and their families that come from throughout northwest Georgia and metro Atlanta because there is such a great need for services that are offered in a child-friendly, home-like setting. Therapists work as a team through comprehensive interdisciplinary services to help children with special needs achieve their fullest potential. Physical, occupational, and speech therapies are provided in various settings including clinical, aquatic, and through the use of equine movement in hippotherapy and therapeutic riding. By offering all of these services (except for aquatic therapy) in one location, it is convenient for families, and also allows the provision of the highest level of care, as therapists can collaborate for the best interest of the children. Currently, hippotherapy is offered to children with paralysis, but without a lift, services can only accommodate riders up to a certain size and/or age. Grant funds will support the purchase and installation of a lift, which will enable the program to expand to increase the number of children served, as well as the ability to offer services to adults. The lift system will provide improved safety for riders, volunteers, therapists and staff; improve the experience for riders as it will provide a smoother, more dignified transfer; and will expand the number of individuals who are able to participate. The lift will also enable the full launch of the new Horses Helping Heroes program to include therapeutic riding for military veterans along with the group meetings, volunteer opportunities and horsemanship lessons currently offered to veterans. It is expected that this project will impact 30 individuals living with paralysis and their families.

Missouri Governor's Council on Disability (Paraquad-fiscal agent)
St. Louis, Missouri 63110
$6,250 – Advocacy – Bridging Barriers
This Quality of Life grant will help to support The Missouri Youth Leadership Forum (YLF), a collaborative project coordinated by the Governor's Council on Disability (GCD). The YLF is a unique career leadership training program for high school students with disabilities, ages 16 – 21 years, selected from their local communities, to cultivate leadership, citizenship, social, and career development skills at this summer program. Missouri has offered this program for fourteen years and has developed nearly three hundred youth leaders. The Youth Leadership Forum is offered at no cost to the participants (delegates and alumni). Each year, at least ten mentors with a disability travel across the state to convene with the incoming YLF delegates. YLF helps participants develop leadership skills to ensure that all youth with disabilities will realize their full potential; develop career strategies that increase their potential for employment; promote inclusion of people with disabilities in all aspects of society; and participate in advocacy efforts that affect young people with disabilities. These learning opportunities are presented through a peer mentor relationship, and all of the mentors are someone that experiences a disability and the majority are graduates of the YLF. The Youth Leadership Forum is a five, consecutive day program conducted at the University of Missouri, Columbia campus, scheduled on July 17 – 22, 2017. Grant funds will support lodging, travel costs for alumni attending the Forum. It is expected that 40 individuals living with paralysis and their families will be impacted by this project.

MTM-CNM Family Connection
Methuen, Massachusetts 01844
$3,033 – Assistive Technology Initiative – Bridging Barriers
This Quality of Life grant will help to support Empowering Through Play: Creating Switch-Adapted Toys for Kids with MTM & CNM, a workshop at the 2017 MTM-CNM Family Conference. MTM-CNM Family Connection is an all-volunteer nonprofit committed to connecting patients and families living with Myotubular Myopathy (MTM) and Centronuclear Myopathy (CNM) with important resources, the most up to date research, and life-enhancing relationships. MTM/CNM is a group of rare neuromuscular conditions (estimated 1 in 50,000 male births) that significantly impact every aspect of muscle strength and endurance. Therefore, individuals affected by MTM/CNM may need to use back braces; a manual or power wheelchair; an adaptive arm lift to provide support and allow movement to interact with power chair controls and communication devices; a gastrostomy tube and feeding pump; and the assistance of a tracheostomy and ventilator as well as a cough assist machine (and suction machines) to clear lung secretions in order to prevent infection and pneumonia. Often premade switch accessible toys are incredibly expensive and marked up from the off-the-shelf version of a toy. Families that participate in this workshop will learn about what kind of toys are readily adaptable and will be inspired to try it at home after having an opportunity to try the process at the conference. The hands-on workshop for families will demonstrate how to adapt simple age-appropriate battery-operated toys switch activation. It will be led by members of the MTM-CNM community; parents who have experience in electronics and adapting toys for their own children. Parents, grandparents, and caregivers will have the opportunity to learn the basics of adapting a toy for switch access by practicing with the provided devices under the guidance of the workshop facilitators. And, children and teens will receive a new device to enjoy with their peers at the conference, which will help facilitate formation of friendships, and then can take it home with them after the conference. There will also be discussion and sharing of various topics related to switch access and assistive technology in general. Grant funds will support stipends for the workshop leaders, compact switches, a variety of age-appropriate toys and devices, wiring supplies, and costs to ship materials to the conference. It is anticipated that 150 individuals living with paralysis and their families will be impacted by this project.

Back to top of page

2017 1st Cycle N - R Direct Effect Quality of Life Grants

Nevada Paralyzed Veterans of America

Las Vegas, Nevada 89107
$5,450 – Adaptive Sports – Actively Achieving
This Quality of Life grant will help to support the expansion of Nevada PVA's Adaptive Sports Program in Nevada. The program provides veterans and non-veterans living with spinal cord injury or disease opportunities to participate in recreational sports to empower participants to achieve independent, active lifestyles. Nevada PVA's program is currently conducted in Las Vegas and will be expanded to serve participants in Reno and will add Boccia Ball to the activities offered. This sport is widely known and with assistive devices, can be played by those athletes with severe locomotor disabilities of a cerebral or non-cerebral origin, including individuals with cerebral palsy, stroke, traumatic brain injury, high-level spinal cord injuries, muscular dystrophy, multiple sclerosis, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and arthrogryposis. Assistive devices (ramps, arm or mouth aids) are used to propel the ball. Caregivers or family members can also participate in the sport and assist as needed. Boccia Ball will be offered through clinics and it is anticipated that there will also be an annual tournament. Grant funds will support the purchase and shipping costs of 12 sets of Boccia Ball supplies and materials, 3 Boccia Ball Officials kits, and one-time travel expenses for the Executive Director to establish the program in Reno. It is expected that this project will impact 100 individuals living with paralysis and their families.

NextStep Kansas City
Overland Park, Kansas 66211
$6,277 – Fitness and Wellness – Actively Achieving
This Quality of Life grant will help to support the purchase and installation of a SCI-FIT Total Body arm and leg machine at the Kansas City region's first dedicated spinal cord injury recovery center, which provides state-of-the-art recovery methods, motivation, and education in a supportive environment to individuals with spinal cord injury paralysis and other paralysis-causing conditions. The addition of the SCI-FIT Pro2 Inclusive Fitness Total Body Exerciser will provide full body integration that facilitates a strong mind connection with activities participants are trying to accomplish, with the opportunity to do those tasks with as little external help as possible. Furthermore, this piece of equipment will give clients that visit us from other cities, and states, something to do outside of their scheduled therapy sessions without needing much assistance from other people. This equipment will provide a more accessible means of independent exercise that promotes better overall health for clients, and improves their cardiovascular, muscular, and nervous systems, as well as their mental state. It is expected that this project will impact 75 individuals living with paralysis and their families.

NextStep Orlando
Longwood, Florida 32750
$3,809 – Fitness and Wellness – Actively Achieving
This Quality of Life grant will help to support NeuroRecovery Network training to trainers at NextStep Orlando. Intense physical exercise-based activities can contribute to regained function for individuals living with spinal cord injury, which can improve their independence and overall quality of life. NextStep Orlando serves hundreds of individuals with spinal cord injuries and other neurological disorders including, but not limited to: stroke, cerebral palsy, traumatic brain injury, and multiple sclerosis. Training courses from the NeuroRecovery Training Institute will better equip trainers to implement locomotor training in 2017. The NeuroRecovery Network (NRN) is "a network of rehabilitation centers charged with developing and providing therapies that promote functional recovery and improve the health of people living with paralysis. Locomotor Training is the principal therapy offered by the NRN to retrain the spinal cord to 'remember' the pattern of walking." In addition, NextStep Orlando will purchase a M130 Medical Treadmill Harness to utilize at the NextStep facility, retraining participants to stand and walk again as they did prior to injury. This medical treadmill harness is the brand used at the NRN Locomotor Training courses and provides the correct postural alignment for a gait pattern. Grant funds will support NRN training for three trainers and the purchase and installation of the M130 Medical Treadmill Harness. It is expected that 150 individuals living with paralysis will benefit from this project.

North Broward Hospital District
Fort Lauderdale, Florida 33309
$8,440 – (Transition from Institution to Home) Caregiving – Caring and Community
This Quality of Life grant will help to support the Broward Health North Inpatient Rehabilitation Spinal Cord Injury Program for patients with paralysis and related mobility impairments. This project will improve the program through the purchase of current technology and equipment to be used to educate and train patients' families and caregivers in the safe and proper usage of the equipment once the patient moves from the hospital to home, improving the patients' quality of life. Most patients do not receive their durable medical equipment prior to discharge and do not feel comfortable going home without knowing how to use the equipment. Caregivers are very uncomfortable going home without being able to practice using the equipment they will be using every day to assist their family member/patient. This equipment will provide the patient and family caregiver the opportunity to practice using the equipment with the rehab staff assisting to ensure the equipment is used safely and correctly. Patients and family caregivers will feel less anxious and more confident in the transition to home because they have experience working together with the actual equipment that will be used at home. Grant funds will support the purchase of the following durable medical equipment: 1 tilt-in-space Power Wheelchair with joy stick; 2 Roho Wheelchair Cushions with Incontinent Resistant Covers; 1 Oversized Drop Arm Commode; 1 Tilt in Space Shower Chair; 1 set (2) of Knee-Ankle-Foot Orthotics; 1 Beasy Trans Transfer System; 1 Veezee C5 Reacher; 1 PVI Singlefold Ramp; and the following supplies: 1 Sammons Preston Wheelchair Catheter Bag; 1 Wheelchair Cup Holder; 1 set of Rolyan Boot Pillows; 1 Sammons Preseton Transfer Disc (Base and Turntable); and 1 Sammons Preston Oxygen Tank Holder. It is expected that this project will impact 52 individuals living with paralysis and their families.

Oak Island Parks and Recreation Department
Oak Island, North Carolina 28465
$7,340 – Durable Medical Equipment – Bridging Barriers
This Quality of Life grant will help to support the purchase of 3 sand beach wheelchairs to augment the current inventory of 3 sand beach wheelchairs available for loan free-of-charge to community members and visitors. Oak Island is a top vacation destination spot and has a reputation as being a family-friendly vacation site, and has provided sand beach wheelchairs for over 20 years. Visitors come from all over the United States, and during Easter until Labor Day, the population swells weekly by 40,000 to almost 48,500 with residents and visitors. These visitors enjoy the 68 public beach access sites on 13 miles of oceanfront beaches and use the Town's parks and recreation facilities. Oak Island has the largest year round populated beach municipality in the state of North Carolina. The addition of 3 sand beach wheelchairs will reduce the wait time and enable more individuals to utilize the equipment and enjoy the beaches with their families. It is expected that 20,000 individuals living with paralysis and other mobility challenges and their families will be impacted by this project.

Operation Homefront, Inc.
San Antonio, Texas 78232
$4,000 – Caregiving – Caring and Community
This Quality of Life grant will help to support Hearts of Valor, an established, ongoing program that provides direct care and support to the spouses and family caregivers of severely injured or ill veterans, wounded or traumatized post-9/11, including caregivers of service members with spinal cord injuries, paralysis, and traumatic brain injury. The holistic approach focuses on improving caregivers' physical, emotional and behavioral health and well-being, and building friendships among caregivers facing similar challenges and who “walk in their shoes.” Hearts of Valor facilitates caregiver retreats, peer support groups, and online/phone counseling services to equip military caregivers to successfully embrace their critical role over the long haul and not give up. Currently, there are more than 3,200 caregivers in the Hearts of Valor network nationwide, and a total of 70 in-person peer support groups nationally. In many areas where Hearts of Valor operates, caregivers have no access to peer support or group respite opportunities other than those provided by Hearts of Valor, so these services are unduplicated. Grant funds will support wellness events for caregivers, including yoga and other stress relieving activities, painting, and books and materials for support groups. It is expected that 100 family caregivers of severely wounded or ill service members will be impacted by this project.

Peace of Adventure
Colorado Springs, Colorado 80901
$12,000 – Adaptive Sports – Actively Achieving
This Quality of Life grant will support the Bike Farm Pisgah Program: Hand Cycle Equipment. Peace of Adventure's (POA) mission is to empower veterans to serve civilians with disabilities through outdoor recreation. By increasing opportunities for outdoor activities, Peace of Adventure aims to facilitate healing and warrior transition for veterans while also enabling civilians with disabilities to live active and healthy lives. Through a variety of outdoor activities from skiing and mountain biking to river rafting and mountaineering, POA's programs push individuals with disabilities beyond what is thought possible in an effort to break social and personal barriers, unite populations, work as a team to create an inclusive environment. Peace of Adventure fosters continued accountability of participants' goals and personal growth long after they complete their outdoor program and come home. In partnership with the Bike Farm Pisgah, Peace of Adventure hosts two types of mountain bike programs throughout the year that empower veterans to serve as mentors for individuals with disabilities in various levels of recovery, healing or wellness: Introductory Off-Road Hand Cycle Clinics and Recovery Rides. The purpose of these week-long programs are to provide POA participants with accessibility opportunities and the skills to navigate the outdoor spaces they would otherwise not have. Through the bike clinic's skills training, community building, access to bike trails, and professional facilitation, the programs are designed to give all participants a sense of purpose and self-confidence as well as employ veteran empowerment and leadership roles for the individuals with disabilities after they leave the event. Grant funds will support the purchase of two new adaptive hand cycles from ReActive Adaptations which will enable POA to create a foundational fleet of equipment for all mountain bike programming, eradicate rental costs for participants, ensure safety, and provide individuals with disabilities the freedom and confidence to navigate trails in innovative ways. The two state-of-the-art bikes include: ReActive Adaptations Bomber Off Road Hand cycle: The Bomber RS has been built to withstand even the toughest tests on the trail, in the backcountry and yet stay lightweight and agile. Rear suspension provides improved ride quality, downhill speed control and improved traction uphill. This off road hand cycle is designed for a rider in the prone body position with spinal cord injuries. This allows the rider to see the terrain ahead more easily, and have the advantage of body weight over the crank set for added power, giving the rider the real mountain bike feel; and ReActive Adaptations Nuke Off road Recumbent Hand cycle: The NUKE Off Road Recumbent hand cycle is a unique, capable, rear wheel drive recumbent hand cycle with rear suspension. The Nuke was developed for riders not able to or not interested in riding in the prone position (kneeling, face down), the recumbent position is preferred by some riders with spinal cord injuries. Rear suspension provides improved ride quality, downhill speed control and improved traction uphill. The 24” wheels provide increased ground clearance, improved traction, increased speed, and a smoother ride for reliability out on the trail. It is expected that this project will impact 21 individuals living with paralysis and their families.

Piers Park Sailing Center
East Boston, Massachusetts 02128
$2,500 – Adaptive Sports – Actively Achieving
This Quality of Life grant will help to support the purchase a sip-and-puff device for the adaptive sailing program. The primary goal of this assistive technology is to offer people who live with quadriplegia and who are dependent on ventilators the thrill of sailing a boat and experiencing the exhilaration and freedom that comes with sailing. Piers Park Sailing Center (PPSC) is a not-for-profit community sailing center providing free, fully inclusive educational programs for youth who under-served and fully accessible sailing facilities for people living with disabilities. The PPSC strives to empower sailors living with disabilities to realize their recreational goals using adapted teaching methods and a full array of adapted equipment. Piers Park Sailing Center remains one of the only public-access waterfronts in Boston. It is expected that this project will impact 20 individuals living with paralysis and their families.

Pikes Peak Therapeutic Riding Center (PPTRC)
Elbert, Colorado 80106
$3,000 – Therapeutic Horseback Riding – Actively Achieving
This Quality of Life grant will help to support the Hippotherapy Program. PPTRC and one other therapeutic riding center serve the Pikes Peak Region including Colorado Springs, CO and surrounding areas. PPTRC is unique in being the area's largest and oldest therapeutic riding center, the only center serving adults addressing physical disabilities, and the only center in the region holding Premier Accredited Center status with the Professional Association of Therapeutic Horsemanship International (PATH). PATH is an internationally recognized certification and accreditation organization for the equine-assisted activities and therapy (EAAT) industry. This accreditation, the highest available and maintained by PPTRC since 2001, ensures only the highest level of safety and efficiency are provided to program participants and is preferred by several local agency partners. All PPTRC therapeutic riding instructors are also PATH certified and take part in required on-going training. Without PPTRC's services, area residents would be forced to travel 3.5 hours roundtrip to reach the next closest therapeutic riding center providing the same level and quality of services that PPTRC's Premier Accredited Center status ensures. In addition, no local Hippotherapy option would be available to adults addressing physical disabilities. Grant funds will support costs for two PATH certified PPTRC therapeutic riding instructors. It is expected that 58 individuals living with paralysis and their families will be impacted by this project.

Preston's Playground
Newark, Delaware 19711
$3,500 – Accessible Playgrounds/Ball Fields
This Quality of Life grant will support Preston's Playground, a safe, shaded space with a total of 8,400 square feet of rubberized surface and three enter/exit ramps to allow easy access to and from the play area. It will include slides, rock walls, tunnels and steering wheels and telescopes for imaginative play. Equipment is being selected to be inclusive and accessible, including a Rock 'N Wave boat that is wheelchair accessible and ADA-accessible swings, belted swings and standard swings, as well as a fully accessible ADA-compliant restroom at the playground that will include family-style bathrooms that will be open all year. This space will be a destination for families living in Delaware, parts of Maryland, New Jersey and Pennsylvania. Grant funds will support the purchase and installation of the Rock ‘N Wave boat. It is expected that 1,000 individuals living with paralysis and their families will be impacted by this project.

Raeford United Methodist Church
Raeford, North Carolina 28376
$3,920 – Facility Accessibility Modifications
This Quality of Life grant will help to support Project Access, and initiative to expand accessibility for individuals living with paralysis and other mobility challenges that require them to use wheelchairs and other mobility devices. In addition to church activities, the building is used by three scout troops, AA, NA, a preschool, food pantry, and on occasion job fairs, VFW recognitions, weight watchers, retired teachers association, and autism parent group. The church does not charge any group for use of its facility. Currently four individuals who use the building need motorized wheelchair access. The overall initiative includes a three-increment plan: renovate exterior and interior second floor access points; renovate and construct handicapped accessible restrooms; and install an elevator which accesses the three floors of the building's rear. Each step creates a discrete accessible part of the building. Grant funds will support consultant costs of the architect to draw plans for the facility accessibility modifications. It is expected that at least 10 individuals living with paralysis and their family members will be impacted by this project.

Ramp Access Made Possible by Students (RAMPS)
Richmond, Virginia 23114
$10,000 – Home Accessibility Modifications – Bridging Barriers
This Quality of Life grant will support a nonprofit community service organization based in Richmond and dedicated to aiding those in the community who cannot help themselves. RAMPS develops compassionate young adults through an innovative program that works with high school students. These volunteers donate their time to build modular wheelchair ramps for disabled and elderly people in the community who use a wheelchair or walker for mobility, but cannot afford a ramp to get them safely in and out of their homes. The target population for RAMPS is low-income, and either elderly or disabled (of any age). Since being founded in 2005 by three Richmond-area high school students, over 900 student volunteers from 23 different high schools and colleges have donated over 8,500 hours to improve the lives of these individuals by providing access to the outside world via 328 wheelchair ramps. As a direct result of this service to the community, these students have enabled individuals that use wheelchairs to return to the homes that they could not safely access without a ramp. In six cases, caregivers no longer need to call the local rescue squad to move individuals in and out of their homes. This benefits the community at large as the rescue units are not “off-line” helping these disabled individuals. The organization continues to provide a much-needed service to residents in the Greater Richmond Area. RAMPS is the "go-to" organization for the Virginia Commonwealth University HealthSystem's Spinal Cord Injury and Neuroscience units. Depending upon the length and complexity of the ramp, the cost of a modular ramp averages $3,000. Each student team raises a portion of the funds for the ramp they plan to install. In addition, RAMPS has secured quantity discounts from the ramp manufacturer. The balance of the wheelchair ramp cost is paid for by RAMPS. Grant funds will support AMRAMP Material (hardened modular steel pieces). This project will impact goal at least 40 individuals in this school year, including 15 individuals with paralysis.

Reach Your Potential USA, Inc.
New Brunswick, New Jersey 08901
$2,400 – Employment Program – Actively Achieving
This Quality of Life grant will help to support the Disability Employment Empowerment Program. In an effort to eliminate the widespread unemployment and workplace bias that exists among the disability community, Reach Your Potential USA has developed a concept to create employment opportunities for individuals of all abilities. Rather than taking the approach of most organizations, this project will not approach businesses that already have a strong record of hiring individuals with disabilities. Instead, the project will target and educate business owners and HR professionals who lack experience in hiring individuals with disabilities. The will be provided with training to eliminate their pre-conceived notions about disabilities and help them to develop strategies for hiring and accommodating individuals with all types of disabilities, including paralysis. This approach will have two main components: a one-day introductory conference followed by on-site customized training. The conference will feature workshops on various topics related to disabilities, the Americans with Disabilities Act, and strategies for accommodating individuals with disabilities. It will also feature a job fair for individuals with disabilities. The conference will be held on an annual basis and the job fair will grow as more businesses complete the training program. The second component of the project will consist of customized workplace inclusion training in which volunteers will provide onsite training to staff at businesses that would like to become more inclusive. This onsite training will include background information about common disabilities, disability simulations, and an evaluation of workplace barriers with cost-effective suggestions for barrier removal. Grant funds will support consultants and supplies. It is expected that this grant will impact 10 individuals living with paralysis and their families.

Rehabilitation Hospital Of The Pacific Foundation
Honolulu, Hawaii 96817
$18,000 – Physical/Occupational Therapy – Actively Achieving
This Quality of Life grant will help to support the purchase of RT300 FES Cycle system, an upper and lower extremity Functional Electrical Stimulation (FES) cycle ergometer, which is proven to be a safe and effective tool for management and prevention of secondary health conditions for individuals with paralysis caused by spinal cord injury. These conditions include a decrease in muscle mass, muscle atrophy, increase in whole body fat, decreased muscle endurance, decreased lower extremity bone density, spasticity, limited joint range of motion and compromised circulation. Physical and metabolic changes can lead to further complications such as skin breakdown (decubitus ulcers), thromboembolic disease, diabetes, and recurrent urinary tract infections, as well as increased risk of fractures and early cardiovascular disease. These complications often result in frequent and lengthy hospitalizations, expensive medical cost and need for greater care for individuals with spinal cord injury. As the only acute-care rehabilitation hospital in Hawaii serving the Pacific, REHAB treats patients experiencing all levels of paralysis resulting from trauma, disease, or illness in an inpatient setting, with three complimentary outpatient clinics throughout the community. Based on the level and nature of injury, experience indicates patients benefit from a continued program of upper lower extremity movement utilizing a rehabilitation system in the acute rehabilitation setting. Since the RT300 FES Cycle system utilizes functional electrical stimulation with exercise, therapy sessions would be more effective and intense than just exercise or electrical stimulation used alone. With electrical stimulation, patients would achieve strong, coordinated muscle contractions in the shoulders and arms as well as in legs and gluteal muscles. It is expected that 3,867 individuals living with paralysis will be impacted by this project.

Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
Troy, New York 12180
$3,596 – Arts Program – Actively Achieving
This Quality of Life grant will help to support Expanding a Self-Supporting Network for Assistive Technology for the Arts to School Band Activities. Artists with quadriplegic paralysis have a long tradition in painting. Music and other time-based art forms pose different challenges to people with impaired mobility and are therefore less widely spread. The goal of this project is to enable and promote the experience of companionship and artistic expression in music group performances for people across a wide range of abilities. Fortunately, new head-controlled interfaces provide excellent opportunities for artists with quadriplegic paralysis to engage in music making and other forms of time-based arts. In conjunction with video-conferencing systems these, systems can be used to interconnect participants from home, providing a new form of mobility. Although, the basic technology exists, the knowledge of how to access and best utilize it is not widely spread, and open social networks that help to connect interested participants still have to be formed as well. Most current systems, such as iChat and Skype have been designed for the back-and-forth nature of speech. To avoid audible feedbacks, their echo-cancellation systems temporarily mute the channel for the non-speaking partner. Unfortunately, for the case of two or more people making music together, this means that someone will be cut off. The group of applicants has substantial experience in telecommunication systems that are specially designed for music activities, including systems for the consumer market. The proposed project will bring together expert teams from the Upstate New York Area to discuss the optimal integration of various technologies to improve their accessibility to musicians with paralysis. Grant funds will support Award funds must support Adaptive Music Support personnel; the purchase of 4 Jamboxxes and 16 mouthpieces; posters and flyers for the conference; digital prints of works by of artists living with paralysis, and small supplies. It is expected that this project will impact 50 individuals living with paralysis and their families.

REquipment Durable Medical Equipment & Assistive Technology Reuse Program, Inc.
Methuen, Massachusetts 01844
$9,043 – Durable Medical Equipment – Bridging Barriers
This Quality of Life grant will help to support Durable Medical Equipment Donation Drives. The REquipment Durable Medical Equipment & Assistive Technology Reuse Program, Inc. (REquipment, Inc.) provides information about refurbished durable medical equipment in Massachusetts, promote reuse and reuse programs, collaborate with other organizations and government agencies concerned with the provision of durable medical equipment and assistive technology. REquipment, Inc.is the only entity coordinating DME reuse on a statewide basis. It is the only program that has an online inventory with equipment descriptions, photos and ability to donate or request online. It works with its 4 Reuse Partners, two regionally based reuse programs with equipment for children with disabilities run by parents, 20 loaner programs through Councils on Aging and local city/town Recycling Committees to find and get gently used refurbished DME to people with disabilities and elders. The greatest need for donations however is in the western part of the state in the rural counties of Hampshire, Hampden, Franklin and Berkshire counties. This project will host Equipment Donation Drives between in the following areas: the Southeast region, Boston/Cambridge area, Springfield area and in Berkshire County. In addition to reaching out to organizations serving racially and ethnically diverse groups within these communities this project will also reach out to the city/town recycling programs within these targeted areas to ascertain their interest and level of involvement in the equipment donation drives. Grant funds will support 3 Equipment Donation Drives including translation of materials for into Portuguese and Khmer, rental of storage unit for 3 months post drives, rental of lift equipped vehicle to transport donations, purchase of pop-up tent, folding table, 2 chairs, 6 parking cones and signage materials, and promotional materials. It is expected that this project will impact 175 individuals living with paralysis and their families.

Ride On St. Louis
Kimmswick, Missouri 63053
$3,800 – Therapeutic Horseback Riding – Actively Achieving
This Quality of Life grant will help to support the Equine Training Program, an initiative to train two new horses for therapeutic riding. Working with individuals that often have profound disabilities may be challenging for the average horse. As a prey animal, horses must be encouraged to ignore instincts to bolt from noises, movements, smells or other animals, taught to stand still for periods of time, taught to respect different handlers on a daily basis, taught to be at peace with groups of people along their sides and face and they must be taught to tolerate and ignore spastic or involuntary muscle reactions of riders, as well as tolerate riders with uneven weight distribution. In addition to the mental challenges, carrying weight, especially uneven distribution or the weight of those with poor tone, may cause discomfort and chronic injury to the average horse. The Ride On St. Louis therapy horses undergo regular and perpetual exercise designed to develop core and back strength as well as overall fitness and endurance. These therapy horses are athletes that require specific training and health management to support their activities. Maintaining physical health supports the overall condition of the horse and allows a horse to perform in the best way so that balanced movements may translate into benefits for riders. Grant funds will support personnel for equine training and equine caretaking. It is expected that 66 individuals living with paralysis and their families will be impacted by this project.

Roanoke River Rails to Trails Inc. as Kids = Play
Lawrenceville, Virginia 23868
$15,000 – Accessible Playgrounds/Ball Fields
This Quality of Life will help to support Kids = Play, an inclusive accessible playground in rural South Hill, Virginia. Kids = Play was founded by three high school girls with a passion to make a change. They decided that they wanted to raise awareness about the importance of all-inclusion in their community by raising funds to install a handicapped-accessible playground in their town. So far this organization has celebrated many successes, with tremendous community support and engagement. Grant funds will support the purchase and installation of the glider swing, which enables an individual that uses a wheelchair and someone that does not to swing together. It is expected that 30,000 individuals living with paralysis and their families will be impacted by this project.

Rocky Mountain MS Center
Westminster, Colorado
$7,000 – Physical/Occupational Therapy – Actively Achieving
This Quality of Life grant will help to support the Hydrotherapy Program, which helps adults and seniors living with MS become stronger and more flexible in body and mind. The program offers individuals of all ability levels a variety of exercise opportunities, including adapted swimming, deep and shallow water aerobic exercise, and activities that improve balance and flexibility. Hydrotherapy classes are offered in both individual and small group settings, with six classes available throughout Denver each week. Classes include a variety of techniques and approaches to meet different needs and interests. For many people with MS, hydrotherapy is the only viable form of exercise. The water's resistance allows for more controlled movements, enabling participants to experience a level of independence denied to them in other environments. Water exercise offers individuals who can no longer stand or walk the opportunity to exercise in an upright position. The water creates buoyancy, which enables greater freedom of movement and support for participants. Hydrotherapy is also a great form of exercise for clients who experience heat sensitivity, which is a common symptom of MS. While most aerobic forms of exercise increase core temperatures and can result in heightened symptoms and potentially increased disability, water exercise allows participants to maintain a comfortable body temperature. Clients are able to exercise more vigorously and for longer periods of time. Caregivers also benefit from a client's improved health and fitness as a result of hydrotherapy. For example, improved fitness will typically increase a client's ability to participate in personal care and activities of daily living. Grant funds will support pool fees and the physical therapist that provides hydrotherapy sessions. It is expected that 100 individuals living with paralysis and their families will be impacted by this project.

Rocky Mt. Independence for the Physically Challenged
Centennial, Colorado
$3,825 – Adaptive Sports – Actively Achieving
This Quality of Life grant will help to support Awesome Adventures, a camp for youth that use wheelchairs for mobility. Youth ages 9-12 years old and their parents spend an introductory weekend camp in September at Breckenridge Outdoor Education Center (BOEC), an adaptive sports center in Breckenridge. The campers learn new skills in a safe and nurturing environment. They will participate in a high ropes course, a climbing wall, and kayaking and canoeing. They will be with other kids who have similar challenges and are close in age promoting friendships and a sense of community. The children will be given opportunities and encouraged to be more independent. Parents will be reminded to encourage their child to do as much of their own self-care as they can. The experiences at this camp will help prepare them so that they can attend RMIPC's regular outdoor adventure and independence camps in the future. Participating in an outdoor adventure camp is a wonderful way to become more active as well as more independent by trying something new. As they are introduced to accessible activities that they never dreamt they could do, and try to do these new activities their self-esteem and confidence grows. It may be the first time that they get to spend time with other children that have similar disabilities. The sense of community that develops is amazing resulting in the kids not having to worry about being different and so they can relax and really have fun. The new friendships that they make are very special since these children typically do not know other children with similar challenges in their own neighborhoods and communities. These new friendships, along with their higher self-esteem, can help them have more confidence in making new friends when they get home. This project will fund the attendance of 6 campers that are wheelchair users, ages 9 -12, and their parents at the introductory camp.

Rotary Club of Hendersonville / Mary's Magical Place Playground
Hendersonville, Tennessee
$12,500 – Accessible Playground/Ball Field
This Quality of Life grant will help to support Mary's Magical Place Playground, an all-inclusive playground where children of ALL abilities can play together. It will foster barrier-free social interactions, raise awareness, reduce prejudices, and increase opportunities for physical activity for individuals with special needs. Grant funds will support the purchase and installation of the Ability Whirl, a specially designed playground piece that accommodates individuals that use wheelchairs along with individuals that do not. It is expected that this project will impact 5,000 individuals living with paralysis and their families.

Back to top of page

2017 1st Cycle S - T Direct Effect Quality of Life Grants

Southampton Fresh Air Home

Southampton, New York
$5,500 – Camp – Actively Achieving
This Quality of Life grant will help to support Year Round Expansion of Camp Programming. The program expansion will ensure that the independence, freedom, and friendship can be enjoyed for the entire year. Off-season programs will also be extended to young adult alumni of the summer camp, who face a paucity of services after the age of 18. Providing support to campers as they enter the world beyond camp will prepare bright, ambitious, and compassionate children to become strong, successful and compassionate adults. Particular attention will be given to campers in high school and young adult alumni between the ages of 18 and 25. And, a particular focus will be put on extending opportunities for outings and day trips to low income youth who would not otherwise be able to attend events such as concerts and baseball games. All programs in the “expansion” are currently provided free of charge regardless of income through the generous support of donors. Grant funds will support direct-care counselors for off-season programs and travel stipends for campers for respite weekends and day trips. It is expected that 570 individuals living with paralysis will be impacted by this program.

Southwest Wheelchair Athletic Association
Hurst, Texas
$8,805 – Adaptive Sports – Actively Achieving
This Quality of Life grant will help to support the Texas Tract/Field Program, which allows for the high school athletes living with disabilities to be on their track and field high school team, earn a letter jacket and compete in State Championship Meet to represent their school. Athletes that start at a younger age can join their middle school teams. Being active in a sport increases self-esteem and self-confidence and teaches the individual with a disability how to lead a healthy lifestyle. It increases their strength and forces them to transfer in and out of their everyday chair to the sports chair. Also, these students are a role model for the other students in their schools now to show the able-bodied students what they can accomplish. Texas is just one of 22 states that allow individuals with disabilities to participate on their school team with their able-bodied peers. In the future, this program may expand to swimming and tennis within the school system as well. Grant funds will support the purchase of the following track/field equipment: 3 racing wheelchairs, 7 field wheelchairs and 4 pairs of racing gloves. It is expected that this project will impact 50 individuals living with paralysis and their families.

Stay-Focused
New York, New York
$8,875 – Adaptive Sports – Actively Achieving
This Quality of Life grant will help to support the First-Time Diver Program, which will enable six teens that live with paralysis to become certified as PADI SCUBA divers, which means they can dive anywhere in the world, accompanied by a diving instructor or dive master. It represents a significant accomplishment in trying a new sport (which most of participants never imagined would be possible – nor did their parents), overcoming some initial anxiety, which is normal for all SCUBA divers, and knowing they had not been treated differently. It offers them bragging rights among their peers, which is a good thing for any teen in building confidence and independence. Grant funds will support PADI eLearning enrollments, participant travel and hotel accommodations, dive boat rental, and supplies. It is expected that 24 individuals living with paralysis and their families will be impacted by this project.

Stonington Free Library
Stonington, Connecticut
$7,500 – Facility Accessibility Modifications – Bridging Barriers
This Quality of Life grant will help to support accessibility modifications at the historic Stonington Free Library, built in 1888. Stonington Free Library serves as the principal public library for the Town of Stonington, Connecticut which has a population of approximately 18,000 people. Each year, the Library offers a wide variety of programs and services for all age groups including a very popular summer reading program for children that attracts over 700 participants each year. A variety of materials are provided for loan and use including print books and magazines, e-books, e-readers, fax, printing and copy services, computers, wifi, audiobooks, and DVDs. Technical assistance is also provided for patrons who need help with their electronic devices. The Library has approximately 78,000 visits by community members each year. In the late 1990s, an ADA-accessible lift was installed in a stairwell to provide access to the lower level. The lift is rudimentary and has been quite troublesome as the design is inadequate to support routine use and it regularly malfunctions. In recent years the Library has found it difficult to even have the lift repaired as the company that manufactured it went out of business and parts and service professionals can no longer be sourced. It was found that the existing lift no longer complies with current ADA requirements and that a compliant lift would not fit in the existing location. A major remodel of the stairwell doorways is required to create independent access. It was therefore decided to relocate the lift to a more central place in the Library to allow easier access directly from the main floor of the Library. Grant funds will support consultant fees of the architect to create plans for the accessibility modifications. It is expected that this project will impact 1,000 individuals living with paralysis and their families.

Sunnyview Hospital and Rehabilitation Center Foundation, Inc.
Schenectady, New York
$3,647 – Physical/Occupational Therapy – Caring & Community
This Quality of Life grant will help to support Respiratory Muscle Strength Training (RMST) to Increase Quality of Life. Research has found RMST to benefit a variety of patient populations such as individuals with spinal cord injury, Parkinson's Disease, multiple sclerosis, and ALS, among others, delivering functional improvements in areas such as swallowing, coughing/airway protection, ventilator weaning, volume for speech. Each of these improvements promote the ability of individuals to live independently and complete activities of daily living, ensuring inclusion and integration in their community. Additionally, removal from ventilator and ability to safely ingest food is also critical is returning individuals to independence they seek. RMST provides an opportunity to meaningfully address the complex day-to-day health and personal issues for individuals living with disabilities, their families and caregivers so that each individual may participate in activities that enrich their lives. Grant funds will support the purchase of the EMST 150 Trainer-Expiratory Muscle Strength Trainer, the Threshold IMT Inspiratory Muscle trainer, respiratory pressure meter, replacement mouthpieces, viral/bacterial filters and flanged mouthpieces. It is expected that this project will impact 170 individuals living with paralysis and their families.

Sunset Hill Educational Institute
South Sutton, New Hampshire
$7,370
This Quality of Life grant will help to support Wheelchair Health in Motion (WHIM), a free community fitness program geared for individuals living with paralysis. WHIM is a peer-driven program that was developed in 2011 by three women who had experienced spinal cord injuries in different accidents and were all diagnosed with quadriplegia. WHIM provides the tools for increasing quality of life and promoting wellness in individuals living with a physical disability or low mobility through innovative upper-body aerobic exercise and positive peer support within their own community. Quality of life has a different definition for each person, however, reoccurring themes are independence, power to cope, enjoying life activities, good health, good social support and feelings of accomplishment. This program focuses on helping each individual reach their optimal goals regarding their quality of life. WHIM also strives to be a toolbox full of ongoing support resources that individuals with disability can utilize for increasing their quality of life, for example: vocational rehabilitation contacts, informational webcast alerts, advocacy alerts, and recreational opportunities and contacts. Grant funds will help to support costs for the trainer, costs for the peer leader to outreach and help manage the needs of peer leaders, travel costs to develop three new WHIM sites. It is expected that 200 individuals living with paralysis will be impacted by this project.

Texas Lions Camp, Inc.
Kerrville, Texas
$6,000 – Camp – Actively Achieving
This Quality of Life grant will help to support camps for children with special medical conditions. The goal of Texas Lions Camp (TLC) is to provide an atmosphere wherein campers will learn the "Can Do" philosophy and be allowed to achieve maximum personal growth and self-esteem. The TLC medical and program teams work together to provide opportunities for growth in confidence and self-help skills. TLC campers learn about dealing with their respective conditions and sharing with others who have the same condition. Combined with medical education so that children learn to care for themselves, camps invite children to engage in activities normally thought out of their reach. Campers learn about dealing with their respective conditions in a fun and safe environment, share with others who have the same condition and learn team-building activities with peers that promotes group engagement. Best of all, children attend camp at no cost to them or their families and when needed, transportation is also provided at no additional cost, so expense or financial hardships are never a determining factor in who is able to participate. Grant funds will support adaptive supplies for archery, aquatics and equestrian activities. It is expected that 150 individuals living with paralysis and their families will be impacted by this program.

The ALS Association Golden West Chapter
Agoura Hills, California
$12,500 – Assistive Technology Initiative – Bridging Barriers
This Quality of Life grant will help to support the equipment loan library, which provides loans at no cost of assistive technology and durable medical equipment for individuals living with ALS. Grant funds will support the purchase of travel wheelchairs, voice amplifiers, headband microphones, adaptive switches, transfer benches, wheelchair cushions, mounts and seat lifts, and will help support the consultant fees for the therapists to make assessments. It is expected that this project will impact 200 individuals living with ALS and their families.

The Center for Individuals with Physical Challenges
Tulsa, Oklahoma
$13,000 – Adaptive Sports – Actively Achieving
This Quality of Life grant will help to support the Wheelchair Softball Program. A designated U.S. Paralympic Sport Club and the only facility of its kind in the region, The Center recognizes the importance of adaptive sports in supporting an active and healthy lifestyle for those living with physical disabilities. Further, sports provide a shared cultural experience, offering rich opportunities to connect people and communities. Although softball is a popular sport in our regional culture, there is currently no organized, competitive Wheelchair Softball Program in Oklahoma. To ensure that those living with paralysis, as well as other physical disabilities, have access to this active team sport, The Center plans to add a Wheelchair Softball Program to its adaptive sports offerings. The Center currently has 4 existing sport chairs that can be utilized for wheelchair softball. Grant funds will support the purchase 5 sport wheelchairs to complete the number required for a team. The Center's Wheelchair Softball Program will provide a fun and engaging team sport for people to improve their fitness while enjoying opportunities to increase their socialization, improve their athletic skills, and enhance their self-confidence. It is expected that 30 individuals living with paralysis and their families will be impacted by this project.

The College at Brockport, State University of New York
Brockport, New York
$11,000 – Adaptive Sports – Actively Achieving
This Quality of Life will help to fund an initiative to expand athletic opportunities for students and community members that use wheelchairs. Access to sport wheelchairs will serve the Brockport community in at least three significant ways: enhancing the academic experience of students (e.g. those in the adapted physical education program and the recreation and leisure studies program), providing inclusive opportunities for students with and without disabilities to play and recreate together, and generating opportunities for the college to serve the community of people with disabilities throughout the region. Another major goal is to teach future teachers how to teach children with disabilities in physical education. Grant funds will support the purchase of 5 sports wheelchairs. It is expected that this project will impact 1,000 individuals living with paralysis and their families.

The Gateway Family YMCA
Elizabeth, New Jersey
$10,000 – Arts Program – Actively Achieving
This Quality of Life grant will help to support the Specialized Arts Inclusive Learning (SAIL) Program - Digital Arts Training & Inclusion. By utilizing the consultation and training services of Matheny Medical and Educational Center to develop an “Arts Access-Inspired” component to SAIL, the YMCA intends to both enhance the inclusiveness of the program as well as each SAIL artist's ability to create unique pieces that solely display their vision. Similar to Matheny's Arts Access program, the tailored version offered by the YMCA will incorporate digital equipment which allows participants to choose the colors, shapes, textures, etc. they wish to display in their piece, that are selected through voice recognition and/or technology that can identify the selection based on the user's eye movements. Then, using the artists selections, staff facilitators who are trained to remain neutral throughout the creative process, support the artist as they explore their artistic talents and create unique works of art both digitally and/or through other traditional formats such as painting and collage. Grant funds will help to support ongoing consultation and training services provided by Matheny Medical and Educational Center. It is expected that 500 individuals living with paralysis will be impacted by this project.

The Michigan State University Community Music School (CMS)
East Lansing, Michigan
$10,000 – Arts Program – Actively Achieving
This Quality of Life grant will help to support the iCan with iPads Outreach Program – Free Music Therapy Services for Persons with Paralysis. The project will expand upon the iCan with iPads program through an outreach program that will provide music therapy to students using assistive technology, at no cost to the caregiver or student. CMS has identified organizations and group homes with which it already partners to visit for this program. One certified music therapist will visit the partner organizations to work with their clients for approximately 2 hours each week, over a 42-week period. Therapy sessions will be done in a group or individual setting, determined between MTCS and the partner location to determine the best approach for the development of the participants. Sessions will include the assistive technology, using iPads with appropriate applications and accessories to allow individuals with limited mobility or paralysis to make music. This equipment will enhance the effectiveness of interventions designed to improve overall physical rehabilitation and facilitate movement, increase participants ‘ motivation to become engaged in their treatment, and provide an outlet for the expression of feelings. The sessions will target individuals with paralysis specifically, but the technology will be available to all persons with special needs if it is not otherwise in use. The primary goal of this project is to reach more people, specifically those with limited mobility or paralysis, through music therapy and make these interventions, which have proven to be successful, more accessible to those in need. Grant funds will help to support costs for the music therapist to provide free sessions and related travel costs. It is expected that 125 individuals living with paralysis and their families will be impacted by this project.

The Miracle League of North Mankato
Mankato, Minnesota
$15,314 – Accessible Playground/Ball Field
This Quality of Life grant will help to support the Fallenstein Playground, which will be located next to the Miracle League at Fallenstein Field in Caswell Park. It is a natural location for an inclusive play space as many children, youth and adults who participate in Miracle League events can easily access the playground. The Miracle League of North Mankato has experienced tremendous growth in its programming the past three years bringing more children and families to Fallenstein Field at Caswell Park. The City of North Mankato and their city council approved use of the one-third acre parcel where the playground will be built. When people can come together in community spaces that are accessible, welcoming and cater to a wide variety of needs, situations of bullying can be reduced. When opportunities are provided to celebrate differences and to respect each person are fostered, the light of acceptance can be illuminated in places where once the darkness of intolerance existed. Grant funds will help to support consultant costs for the playground design and the purchase and installation of the SwayFun Glider, a fully wheelchair-accessible glider that enables individuals that use wheelchairs and those that do not so that they can play together. It is expected that 1,000 individuals living with paralysis and their families will be impacted by this project.

The New School
New York, New York
$12,500 – Education Program – Actively Achieving
This Quality of Life grant will help to support the Open Style Lab (OSL) at Parsons. Paralysis and other disabilities that limit mobility often directly impact a person's ability to dress independently and restrict the range of clothing that they can wear. Limited clothing choice can decrease social participation, resulting in lower employment rates and increased rates of depression. OSL at Parsons seeks to raise awareness about the need for accessible apparel, and equip students to create accessible yet stylish clothing solutions for people with disabilities through project-based educational programs that team designers, engineers, and rehabilitation therapists. OSL partners students with people with disabilities (including spinal cord injuries, severe arthritis, and muscular dystrophy), who share similar levels of functioning, and consequently, clothing challenges. Thus, many clothing solutions developed through Open Style Lab directly benefits people with that live with paralysis. Further, through close interactions with their clients, students also gain an understanding of the pathology of spinal cord injury and disease and other daily life challenges that people faced by individuals living with paralysis, and learn to become their advocates. Grant funds will support the project leader/lead teacher, pattern maker and seamstress and fabrication support, materials, and required indirect costs. It is expected that 5 individuals living with paralysis will be impacted by this project.

Theater for the New City
New York, New York
$7,000 – Facility Accessibility Modifications – Bridging Barriers
This Quality of Life grant will help to support the installation of a Handilift Elevator, which will replace the lift that has been in place for the past 10 years but that is no longer safely operational. Theater for the New City prides itself on accessibility to all of its patrons and staff, but had to turn some patrons away because of the non-functioning lift. In order to fully accomplish the goal of “Bringing the theater into the community and the community into the theater”, a lift to provide accessibility is essential. A large population of frail, elderly New Yorkers, many who are living with paralysis, are served by the Theatre, so it is imperative that safe wheelchair access is provided to the lower level theater. This is critical to the four-theater complex because it provides accessibility to artists, staff, and volunteers and any person with a mobility disability to gain access to the theaters, costume shop, rehearsal spaces and prop storage area, as well as lower level accessible restrooms. It is expected that 300 individuals living with paralysis will be impacted by this project.

Town of Wabeno
Wabeno, Wisconsin
$7,332 – Facility Accessibility Modifications – Bridging Barriers
This Quality of Life grant will help to support the Wabeno Park Improvement Project, which will create freedom of access to the natural resources in the community for all its residents and visitors. Being able to get exercise safely, enjoy a leisurely trip along the boardwalk and trail, sit on the piers, fish for native brook trout or watch the birds and other wildlife while chatting with another resident or visitor to our parks says "I belong and I am a part of this community.” Grant funds will support the installation of accessible family showers and toilets in the bathhouse used by campers and community members, and which accommodates a host of large community events. It is expected that 1,000 individuals living with paralysis and their families will be impacted by this project.

Trach Mommas of Louisiana
Baton Rouge, Louisiana
$24,990
This Quality of Life grant will help to support the Trach Mommas of Louisiana's Power Inverter Project: The POWER to Save Lives! Trach Mommas of Louisiana's mission is focused on individuals with tracheostomies and families/caregivers of individuals with tracheostomies. These people require multiple pieces of life-saving equipment, including but not limited to ventilators, oxygen concentrators, suction machines, pulse oximeters, apnea monitors, and feeding pumps. Many of these machines only have a limited battery capacity, which places lives on a timeline when car travel is necessary. The individuals frequently have doctor's appointments, therapies, etc. that require them to be in the car for several hours at a time. Louisiana is blanketed with health professional shortage areas, so travel by car for care is essential for many families to be able to access specialty care, often to facilities out of state. Traffic and natural disasters can worsen an already drastic situation when families need to evacuate or reach healthcare quickly. Power inverter technology allows battery-operated medical equipment to be powered by a car battery and greatly extends the life of the batteries, which can literally save the life of a person with a trach, keep them safe in emergency and other unanticipated situations, and can mean access to other life-saving healthcare. Since vehicle batteries are unable to power multiple pieces of equipment, power inverters create a new power source, meaning that equipment can be used that is typically not used in vehicles due to lack of a power source. Grant funds will support 40 Power Inverter Equipment Packages (Inverter, Terminal Connector, Cable, Circuit Breaker, Battery Cable Terminal, Sealed AGM Battery, Battery Box, and labor allowance), consultant costs for emergency preparedness training, and mileage for equipment distribution and training, and shipping and handling costs. It is expected that 240 individuals living with paralysis and their families will be impacted by this project.

Tualatin Hills Park Foundation
Beaverton, Oregon
$5,000 – Accessible Playground/Ball Field
This Quality of Life grant will help to support the expansion of recreational activities at the community park and recreational area that are accessible to individuals with limited mobility that use wheelchairs and other devices. Grant funds will help to support the installation of the Hillside Slide and Accessible Swing at the all-abilities inclusive playground, which will be located in the socially and economically diverse community of Aloha, and will be a major attraction in a park that combines multiple features promoting inclusion, social engagement and access to recreation for people with disabilities. Neighborhood families speak some two dozen native languages, and nearly 60% of students in the neighborhood are eligible for free or reduced lunch. Because of its inclusive features, the completed park is expected to draw visitors from throughout the Portland Metropolitan region. It is expected that 80,000 individuals living with paralysis and their families will be impacted by this project.

Tucker's House
Spring Hill, Tennessee
$15,150 – Home Accessibility Modifications – Bridging Barriers
This Quality of Life grant will help to support a program that provides home renovations and retrofitting services and resources to make homes safer and more accessible for children with disabilities and their caregivers. The families served by Tucker's House have low to moderate incomes and they cannot afford home modifications nor do they know what modifications are needed or who can provide them, and Tucker's House is the only agency in middle Tennessee that provides these services. Home modifications, such as ramps, roll-in showers, and chair or ceiling lifts can eliminate or reduce the number of lifts and, therefore, significantly reduce the risk of injuries to children and caregivers. Grant funds will support supplies for home accessibility modifications. It is expected that 108 individuals living with paralysis and their families will be impacted by this project.

Back to top of page

2017 1st Cycle U - Z Direct Effect Quality of Life Grants

United Brachial Plexus Network

Reading, Massachusetts
$10,750 – Camp – Actively Achieving
This Quality of Life grant will help to support the United Brachial Plexus Network (UBPN) Camp 2017. Brachial Plexus Injury (or palsy) is formerly known as Erb's Palsy. The change in name was to better describe the effects of the injury; i.e., that it is an injury to the brachial plexus, the bundle of nerves in the neck which control the shoulder arm and hand. UBPN Camp educates, supports and empowers the community. This Camp increases the ability of the individuals with brachial plexus injury to prove to not only themselves, but also to their caregivers that they are capable of making their own accommodations to accomplish the tasks of everyday living. The act of being together, learning from each other, relying on each other shows the people with injuries and their caregivers that capabilities exist which were otherwise unknown. Caregivers of individuals with brachial plexus injuries have a tendency to be overly protective. If the caregiver is a parent, this usually due to the nature of the injury being at the time of birth, which leads to guilt. Camp is a place where the caregivers see that their loved ones are capable and that they can assist in a different way. Grant funds will support personnel costs for planning and coordinating the camps, consultant fees for speakers, supplies for arts and crafts, camp program books, and tuition for campers living with brachial plexus injury (who attend camp free of charge). It is expected that this project will impact 250 individuals living with paralysis and their families.

Utah State University Utah Conservation Corps
Logan, Utah
$24,000 – Employment Program – Actively Achieving
This Quality of Life grant will help to support the Utah Conservation Corps Inclusive Crew. The Utah Conservation Corps (UCC) was founded in 2001 by a group of concerned citizens that saw the need for a statewide conservation corps that created leadership development opportunities for youth and young adults while addressing critical natural resource conservation needs. The UCC is an AmeriCorps program based out of Utah State University that completes a number of conservation and environmental education projects throughout the state. The UCC expanded its opportunities for youth and young adults with disabilities in 2007 with the inclusive crew. Two years prior to this, Andy Zimmer, a UCC crew leader, was in a bike accident that resulted in quadriplegia. After rehabilitation, Andy wanted to return to the UCC and complete his AmeriCorps term of service. At that time, there were no opportunities for him to serve in a field-based conservation corps anywhere in the country. Through his rehabilitation process, he worked with UCC staff to design a crew that would give people of all abilities a chance to serve an AmeriCorps position on a conservation corps field crew. This crew experience for corps members with disabilities reflects the traditional corps member experience: living in a tent, spending every day outside, working on conservation projects, and being part of a close-knit team. Due to the success of the inclusive crew, the UCC has been a strong advocate for the inclusion of people with disabilities in AmeriCorps national service programs. Inclusive crew projects are intentionally selected and designed to include crew members of all physical abilities. Crew members with disabilities are actively involved in all phases of the project, adding a valuable perspective and knowledge that only comes with living with a disability. Grant funds will support extension of the current inclusive crew ADA/ABA survey work in the Dixie National Forest for another eight weeks in 2018. Specifically, funds will support personnel costs for 4 AmeriCorp members and project personnel, adaptive hand tools and measuring devices, uniforms and personal protective equipment, a laptop computer and solar charging device for field data collection, rental of a wheelchair accessible van, and Utah State University required indirect costs. It is expected that 3 individuals living with paralysis will be impacted by this project, as well as many more that will ultimately be impacted by improved accessibility at parks and recreational areas.

Variety - the Children's Charity
Wexford, Pennsylvania
$6,000 – Durable Medical Equipment – Bridging Barriers
This Quality of Life grant will support Variety's My Stroller Program, which provides adaptive strollers to eligible children ages 4 through 21 who have a documented developmental, physical, and/or sensory disability, and whose household income is at or below 400% of the federal poverty level. Without a comfortable, safe, and easier mode of mobility, many families are missing out on the opportunity to fully participate in their communities, and parents and caregivers are at increased risk of injury. An adaptive stroller has an immediate impact for these families. It is not your typical infant stroller, but an individually customized piece of mobility equipment. It is a basic and fundamental need for getting around, and it allows kids with disabilities to be mobile in ways they could not before. As other types of mobility equipment, like wheelchairs, are often more “necessary”, children miss out on the accessibility and the social benefits of an adaptive stroller. For many families, the cost of an adaptive stroller is either out of reach or it significantly stretches a family's budget. Variety then hosts a community presentation alongside program partners for the children and their families as a way to celebrate the special moment together. These public presentations are helping reshape how people in the community view children with disabilities. Variety's “My Stroller” Program is a positive way for people in the community to interact with kids with disabilities and gain a better understanding of the challenges they face each day. Grant funds will support the purchase of 5 adaptive strollers for children with disabilities. It is expected that this project will impact 30 individuals living with paralysis and their families.

Wasatch Adaptive Sports (WAS)
Snowbird, Utah
$6,742 – Adaptive Sports – Actively Achieving
This Quality of Life grant will help to support the purchase of a TESSIER Snow'Kart, a sit-ski device which enables an individual with limited upper body strength to ski independently in this by steering and braking for themselves with the use of levers (for those with mobility in both arms) or with a bar (for those with hemiparesis). This state-of-the-art equipment has an articulated seat, is more stable and easier to use that other equipment, and allows increased versatility due to adult and child-specific levers. It is also the only device in production that can be driven with one hand using the EasyDrive kit. The addition of this device to WAS's fleet would result in the ability to better serve current participants and allow for programmatic growth to engage even more people with limited upper body strength and mobility, thus extending organizational reach and impact. It is expected that this project will impact 350 individuals living with paralysis and their families.

Webster Central School District
Webster, New York
$8,017 – Adaptive Sports – Actively Achieving
This Quality of Life grant will help to support the launch of the Adaptive Rock Climbing Club. At present, students with disabilities don't have the opportunity to climb the rock wall due to lack of safety equipment, adaptive harnesses and belay systems. Students with disabilities participate in a parallel activity instead. This fosters a non-inclusive, non-meaningful experience that leaves students with a feeling of discouragement and being left out. Students with disabilities want to be challenged and want to engage in meaningful activities with peers. The Adapted Rock Climbing Club will be an inclusive after-school club for any students with disabilities between fifth and twelfth grade who wish to learn to rock climb in a safe controlled environment with their peers. Students without disabilities will be chosen as buddies for the students with disabilities. Students with and without disabilities will work together over 6 weeks in an inclusive setting to learn to climb, problem solve and work as a team to overcome obstacles. The culminating event will be held at a local Rock Climbing facility. If successful it is hoped that the program will spread across Rochester, New York and beyond, providing an empowering, independent and inclusive experience for people with disabilities. Grant funds will support adaptive rock climbing equipment, initial belay certification for 6 physical education teachers and related transportation expenses, and consultant costs for ongoing maintenance and inspection of climbing equipment at school sites. It is expected that 100 individuals living with paralysis and their families will be impacted by this project.

Wheeling Forward Inc.
Brooklyn, New York
$23,400 – Fitness and Wellness – Actively Achieving
This Quality of Life grant will help to support the Axis Project, a new and innovative multidisciplinary center specifically designed for people with disabilities. Located in a 7,500 square feet space in New York City, it offers programs and activities designed to empower and motivate people with physical disabilities to pursue a healthy, active lifestyle. The Center is wheelchair accessible and features accessible equipment. The Axis Project offers the following programs and services, specifically designed and made accessible for those with disabilities: a comprehensive fitness program of strength training; core trunk building; and aerobic exercises with trained personal trainers available at all times to provide individualized assistance; a unique yoga program adapted for individuals living with mobility impairments; other exercise programming such as wheelchair Zumba, boxing, standing frame class, martial arts, wheelchair mobility training, handcycling, and more; wheelchair repair services to help with routine maintenance of wheelchairs; advocacy desk for people with questions about community services, benefits and more; an assistive technology lab; support groups and life/career coach services; art therapy and creative writing; transportation, and daily nutritious meals to clients (an important form of assistance for a population heavily comprised of Medicaid beneficiaries). The Axis Project's participants come from the NYC disability community, all of whom are either Medicaid beneficiaries, living in institutions, or otherwise disadvantaged (such as individuals that do not have documents). The Axis Project has an open-door policy for individuals living with spinal cord injury, enabling them to join and benefit from services regardless of insurance or financial means. Grant funds will support the purchase of 3 Krank Cycles, 1 Uppertone Exercise machine, 2 EasyStand Standing Frames, 1 Access Xpress Gym machine, and 1 RehaMove FES bike. It is expected that 500 individuals living with paralysis will be impacted by this project.

Wheels of Progress
New York, New York
$14,000 – Education Program – Actively Achieving
This Quality of Life grant will help to support the Axis Project University, which seeks to increase the employability of people with spinal cord injury or spinal cord-related diseases. In 2014, Wheels of Progress partnered with Wheeling Forward, another nonprofit organization based in New York City, to create The Axis Project (TAP). TAP is the answer to the lack of socialization: it is an innovative multidisciplinary center specifically designed for people with disabilities. The TAP University initiative provides a clear way for individuals living with paralysis to acquire marketable employment skills in a setting tailored to their needs. Grant funds will support the purchase of 10 Jouse 3 Joystick Operated USB Mouse devices. It is expected that 120 individuals living with paralysis will be impacted by this project.

Winston Salem State University – PT and OT Clinics
Winston Salem, North Carolina
$15,262 – Durable Medical Equipment – Bridging Barriers
This Quality of Life grant will help to support Community Care Clinics and Neurologic Program Enhancement. Currently, the physical and occupational therapy programs at WSSU partner with the Community Care Clinic of Forsyth County to provide pro bono physical and occupational therapy services to the patients who attend the clinic. The Community Care Center (CCC) provides access to high-quality medical and dental care for the medically uninsured for residents of Forsyth, Davie, and Stokes counties. A second outreach is the REACHE neurologic clinic, which is provided once per month at Maizie Woodruff Continuing Education Center. This Center provides access to ongoing care to those who are underserved and also refers to the Community Care Center for follow up care for those patients with complex conditions including, but not limited to: spinal cord injury, post-polio, and stroke. A final outreach is MSFit, a program established to address the ongoing needs of individuals of low socioeconomic status affected by multiple sclerosis. Participants in this program are seen once per month by physical and occupational therapists, who modify wellness programs and facilitate integration into fitness classes with modification at the YWCA. This program is delivered at no cost to participants. Grant funds will support purchase a mobile trailer and hitch to transport equipment to mobile sites that host MSFit and the REACHE Clinic; the purchase of a tablet computer, VHI software, and a portable printer for mobile clinics, which enable therapists to provide clear and concise home exercise programs to clients and their families in languages that they can understand, and enhance functional recovery of patients living with paralysis; and the purchase of 2 patterned electrical nerve stimulation units and 2 WalkAide systems. These devices will be used to improve motor recovery in those individuals with paralysis. It is expected that this project will impact 100 individuals living with paralysis and their families.

Back to top of page

2016 2nd Cycle A - C Direct Effect Quality of Life Grants

A Chance For Therapy
Key Biscayne, FL
$5,600 – Physical/Occupational Therapy
This Quality of Life grant will support the Act4Me therapy program, which provides increased access to vital therapies for children with disabilities. Act4Me subsidizes the cost of speech, occupational, and physical therapy, and monitors each child's progress throughout the year. Act4Me also works to educate and empower parents/families through monthly follow-ups and annual evaluations of the child's progress. The Act4Me program focuses on children who are not able to attend the doctor-prescribed therapy due to the family's financial constraints, and serves uninsured or underinsured families of children with special needs. The program is open all year and provides weekly, continuous care for the children and supports the families whose care they fall under. Act4Me helps families find locations where they feel they can communicate and trust, and fully vets the therapy centers they partner with and recommend, such as The Arc of South Florida, Parent to Parent, SPEC Miami, Pediatric Therapy Center, Kidnetics, Alfano Center, and many others. Families may choose any therapy center that is licensed and insured and Act4Me will negotiate pricing with that center. Grant funds will support subsidized therapies for at least 26 children up to 18 years old that have paralysis-causing conditions such as brain and spinal cord injuries, multiple sclerosis, cerebral palsy, ALS (pediatric/rare), stroke, spastic quadriplegia, spina bifida Gullain-Barré Syndrome, Hypertonia, and Erb's Palsy. (This Reeve Foundation Quality of Life grant funds 5 percent of the total project cost).

Ability Now Bay Area
Oakland, CA
$3,500 – Durable Medical Equipment
This Quality of Life grant will help to support the upgrade of equipment for personal hygiene needs of participants in a day services program for adults aged 18-75. Participants reside in Alameda and Contra Costa Counties and have a variety of disabilities including cerebral palsy, traumatic brain injuries, stroke-related disabilities, multiple sclerosis, autism, spastic quadriplegia, seizure disorders, and other developmental disabilities. All of the program participants are low-income and receive SSI or SSDI benefits. Less than two percent receive some type of family financial support. Over fifty percent of participants are ethnic minorities. Grant funds will help to support two power treatment changing tables and one Hoyer lift. It is expected that this project will impact 100 adults with conditions including cerebral palsy, spina bifida, and spinal cord injury. (This Reeve Foundation Quality of Life grant funds 50 percent of the total project cost).

Ability360 – Sports & Fitness Center (Center for Independent Living)
Phoenix, AZ (Medically Underserved Area)
$4,883 – Fitness and Wellness
Ability360 is the largest independent living center in Arizona, serving the Phoenix metropolitan area and Maricopa County. Ability360 programs include independent living skills instruction, peer support, information and referral, advocacy, home modifications, early intervention, community reintegration, youth transition, personal assistance services, work incentives consulting, employment, and social and recreational programs. Ability360 is co-located with eleven other disability services organizations at the Ability360 Center at 50th Street and Washington in Phoenix. Ability360 opened the Sports & Fitness Center for Persons with Disabilities on October 31, 2011. This 45,000-square-foot universally-designed (accessible) facility features include: two sport courts; rock climbing wall; indoor track; aquatic center with lap pool, therapy pool and spa; accessible locker and dressing rooms and showers; and a spacious fitness center with accessible equipment and group fitness room. There are currently over 1,800 members, of which an estimated 25% have a spinal cord injury, spinal bifida or other spinal conditions. The sports and fitness center is also used by local rehabilitation centers on community therapy outings as a resource in the community for individuals with newly acquired injuries as they transition from the hospital to the community setting. Quality of Life grant funds will support the purchase of a rickshaw machine for strength training that is user-friendly for members with limited hand dexterity. The rickshaw machine has a rack of weights with a simple pin to change the desired weight. The rickshaw also has the ability to be adjusted laterally, so the proper position can be obtained by an increased number of users. This machine will be used by more people at an increased level of independence. It is expected that 625 individuals ranging in age from 13 to 90+ years that have conditions including spinal cord injury, spina bifida, cerebral palsy, spinal meningitis, multiple sclerosis, ALS and muscular dystrophy. (This Reeve Foundation Quality of Life grant funds 100 percent of the total project cost).

Adaptive Freedom Foundation
Honolulu, HI
$2,000 – Adaptive Sports
This Quality of Life grant will support three WASUP™ (Wheelchair Adapted Standup Paddle) Paddle Days a month in various locations on the islands of Hawaii. Adaptive Freedom Foundation (AFF) is dedicated to offering experiences for people with disabilities that are otherwise excluded from participation. AFF provides wheelchair-adaptive paddle boards to a significant percentage of Hawaiians who are challenged with standing and balancing. The Versatility Board™ secures a wheelchair onto a paddle board and allows community members with disabilities to get out on the water and enjoy what was previously impossible; paddling a board from a wheelchair. Like Duke Kahanamoku, AFF will perpetuate and share their Hawaiian culture of giving, Aloha and their Hawaiian surfing roots with the individuals with disabilities. Services are provided free-of-charge to all people with disabilities who want to get out on the water. Each event will take place at beaches, bays, and lakes, or any flat body of water that has wheelchair access. An area will be set up that will be comfortable for paddlers and their friends, family, and care takers to be comfortable and enjoy the day. Volunteer teams will assist transferring participants on to the board, teach paddling techniques, and assist in paddling when needed. Equipment is provided as needed, such as buddy boards, and traditional paddle boards for other attendees to and volunteers to paddle with WASUP™ paddlers. With past Paddle Days drawing 30-40 participants, and 3 events per month projected totaling 90 participants per month, this project could potentially impact 1,080 community members in a year. Grant funds will support the purchase of a beach wheelchair for the program. (This Reeve Foundation Quality of Life grant funds 3 percent of the total project cost).

ADC Legacy Foundation (DBA Open Avenues)
Rogers, AR
$2,000 – Employment Program
This Quality of Life grant will help to support the Open Avenues Work Center, which focuses on independent living skills training, job skills training, paid work and, when possible, job placement. The goal is to help individuals with disabilities reach their fullest potential through a variety of tasks that allow them to use different muscles and different brain functions. Bus transportation, which picks up and drops off at their doorstep, is critical to people with paralysis and mobility impairments in allowing them to get out of the house and interact on a social level. In addition to work and basic living skills training, the Center offers small group sessions on current events, physical exercise and driver education training. Quality of Life grant funds will support accessible transportation costs for 7 clients with paralysis-causing conditions. (This Reeve Foundation Quality of Life grant funds .5 percent of the total project cost).

Adler Aphasia Center
Maywood, NJ
$13,143 – Peer Mentoring and Support (Caregiving)
This Quality of Life grant will support In-Home Virtual Aphasia Therapy for Stroke Survivors and Support for Aphasia Caregivers. Expanding on a pilot program conducted in 2015, this program will bring group communication therapy to individuals in the community that have had a stroke resulting in aphasia and their caregivers, using virtual communication and conferencing technologies. All group members will participate from their homes, and group meetings are led by experienced facilitators and counselors who can help them identify coping strategies and learn more about their loved one's condition and needs, as well as access helpful community resources. The main goal of this project is to make it possible for people with aphasia who are restricted in their mobility to benefit from programs and services that improve the quality of life for people with aphasia and their caregivers. It will provide them with a vital opportunity to mitigate their isolation, become connected with other people with aphasia, and begin to engage in the focused rehabilitation of their communication skills in a manner that gives them hope, and helps them communicate more effectively while feeling better about themselves and their ability to live more independently. For caregivers of people with primary progressive aphasia, the virtual support group is a unique effort to provide them with a monthly forum comprised of other individuals facing similar life challenges. In both projects, the use of virtual communication as a program platform is an innovative element that enables people with limited mobility to participate in rehabilitation and support that they could not otherwise access, and that can greatly improve their quality of life. The project expects to impact 120 individuals with stroke, brain trauma or neuro-degenerative disease and their caregivers. Grant funds will support programmatic expenses including 5 iPads that will be loaned to program participants and returned, personal computer for group facilitator, programmatic personnel, teleconferencing subscriptions, contracted group facilitator, and travel for home visits. (This Reeve Foundation Quality of Life grant funds 1 percent of the total project cost).

Adventist HealthCare, Inc.
Gaithersburg, MD
$12,500 – Physical/Occupational Therapy
This Quality of Life grant will help to support a Wellness Cycling Program for individuals with Spinal Cord Injury at Adventist HealthCare Physical Health and Rehabilitation (PH&R), the first and only acute rehabilitation hospital in Montgomery County, Maryland, which has a population over one million. PH&R provides lifetime care for many persons with spinal cord injury in the community, including an open gym wellness program available for a nominal fee. The program provides members access to specialized equipment such as the RT300 FES cycle, which electrically stimulates the user's muscles to move the lower body pedals and/or upper body handles. The RT300 FES cycle is one of a small number of fitness machines that effectively enable a person with a spinal cord injury to exercise and derive the benefits of exercise. Members with a spinal cord injury use the equipment for 30 to 60 minutes at time. PH&R has one FES cycle in its outpatient program but demand for the equipment has grown and reduces members' access to the equipment. This project will add another RT300 FES cycle to the Wellness Program and enable twice as many members to use and benefit from the device. Grant funds will help to support the purchase of the RT300 FES cycle, and it is expected that at least 320 individuals with spinal cord injury and their caregivers will benefit. (This Reeve Foundation Quality of Life grant funds 6 percent of the total project cost).



Agape Therapeutic Riding
Cicero, IN
$9.394 – Therapeutic Horseback Riding
This Quality of Life grant will help to support the installation of a SureHands lift at one of Indiana's largest and oldest therapeutic riding centers, classified as a Premier Accredited Center through the Professional Association of Therapeutic Horsemanship International (PATH). The two main services provided are therapeutic riding, which teaches horsemanship skills and mounted horseback riding to persons with disabilities; and equine-facilitated learning/psychotherapy, which are designed for groups. Nearly 1,700 people with more than 40 different diagnoses are served annually–harnessing the power of horses to allow students, seniors, veterans, and those with disabilities to better understand themselves and their world. Currently, riders who have any type of spinal cord injury or mobility impairment are manually hoisted onto therapy horses by two to three volunteers, which increases the risk of injury to the riders, team and horses. The SureHands mechanical lift system will assist in mounting and dismounting riders with special needs safely and respectfully, and will impact annually at least 45 riders with a variety of paralysis-causing conditions, ranging in age from 5 to 90+ years old. (This Reeve Foundation Quality of Life grant funds 86 percent of the total project cost).

ALSA St. Louis Regional Chapter
St. Louis, MO
$10,000 – Healthcare
This Quality of Life grant will help to support ALS Independence Kits, a project that will provide inexpensive personal equipment that will encourage self-sufficiency and support the dignity that is accomplished with routine daily tasks. First, setting the tone for a less frustrating and caregiver-dependent day are items that make getting ready by one's self less stressful. These include a universal cuff that assists shaving and brushing teeth for those persons who are losing the ability to make a grip; and dressing aids including button hooks, elastic shoe laces, and zipper pulls. Next are tools that allow people who have ALS to prepare simple foods and consume them without assistance. These include a straw clip that prevents a straw from moving around in a cup; a rocker knife that assists in eating; a foam tubing set that slips over flatware; and a bottle/can opener on a keychain that allows people to open water bottles without assistance. A gait belt that allows for easier, safer shifts in position and less stress on both the person who has ALS and their caregiver. Communication tools of a boogie board to eliminate paper issues and/or Pen Again sets of three pens each ease the motion of writing. All items will be enclosed in a tote bag to encourage their return to the ALSA loan closet when items are no longer useful. Grant funds will support supplies to create 100 ALS Independence Kits. (This Reeve Foundation Quality of Life grant funds 41 percent of the total project cost).

American Association for Caregiving Youth
Boca Raton, FL (Medically Underserved Area)
$10,000 – Caregiving (Caregiving)
American Association of Caregiving Youth® (AACY) is the national resource for children who too often sacrifice their education, health, well-being and childhood to provide care for family members who are ill, injured, elderly or disabled. The only national study (2005), now more than a decade old, estimated there were more than 1.3 million children ages 8-18 years old in the United States who are caregiving youth. Soon after, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation funded a report, the Silent Epidemic (2006), that documented among young adults who dropped out of school, 22% did so to care for a family member. In Palm Beach County, Florida at least 10,000 children are identified as a hidden population of child caregivers with concomitant academic challenges. In 2006, the Caregiving Youth Project (CYP) was funded and initiated in partnership with The School District of Palm Beach County. It provides needs-driven prioritized services to child caregivers in school, out of school and at home. Since then, the work of this partnership has shown that with increased support, more than 95% of its participants are more likely progress to the next grade level, graduate from high school and become healthy productive adults. Since its inception, the CYP has served more than 1,100 caregiving students and their families. AACY has also established the Caregiving Youth Institute and is developing an affiliate network to assist other nonprofits in serving this population. The CYP is the only program in Palm Beach County specifically dedicated to supporting caregiving youth and their families. The proposed project would target 63 youth, who are caring for parents or grandparents with health conditions such as paralysis, limb loss, stroke, ALS or other neurological disorders and mobility limitations. Specifically, the proposed project would focus solely on in-home supports including: an initial home assessment by a licensed social worker; determination, referral and follow up of potential existing resources to strengthen the family; crucial home safety improvements such as wheelchair ramps, improved night lighting, bathroom safety bars and, with additional special resources, home modifications; and in-home respite care to provide relief for the youth caregiver and potential other family caregivers who share responsibilities for the physical needs of their family member who needs care. Grant funds will support the Family Care Coordinator, contracted respite care services, and home visit assessments. (This Reeve Foundation Quality of Life grant funds 1 percent of the total project cost).

Anchorage Park Foundation
Anchorage, AK
$5,000 – Accessible Playground/Ball Field
This Quality of Life grant will help to support Jewel Lake Park Accessible and Inclusive Playground Improvements. This will be the twelfth accessible playground in Anchorage created by the Anchorage Park Foundation, and is the first accessible playground in southwest Anchorage. Previous accessible and inclusive playgrounds in Anchorage have been in central, north, and east Anchorage. The completion of this playground will fulfill a regional need for Anchorage children and families with disabilities who live near Jewel Lake Park, which has long been a location in critical need of an accessible playground. The 40.26 acre community-use park is one of two Anchorage parks with a swimming beach with lifeguards, meaning the park is a hot-spot for Anchorage residents throughout the summer months. According to the Municipality of Anchorage, over 30,000 swimmers use the beach each year. Because of the number of park users who visit the park each year, the current playground at Jewel Lake is host to a large amount of children. The current playground, while offering wonderful imaginative play (in the form of pirate ship-themed equipment) is lacking accessible and inclusive features and is long overdue for accessible renovations. There are four elementary schools within a two-mile radius of Jewel Lake Park, including Chinook Elementary, Sand Lake Elementary, Kincaid Elementary, and Gladys Wood Elementary. These four schools offer a total enrollment of 2,049 students; 245 of these students are enrolled in special education programs. Grant funds will support accessible play equipment. (This Reeve Foundation Quality of Life grant funds 3 percent of the total project cost).

ArtStream, Inc.
Silver Spring, MD
$7,500 – Arts Program
This Quality of Life grant will support the Allies in the Arts program, which provides bedside and Family Room arts sessions at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center (WRNMMC ) in Bethesda, Maryland. The Allies in the Arts team of artists consists of four highly trained and experienced professional arts practitioners–a musician, a visual artist, a poet, and a multimedia artist specializing in improvisational storytelling–who work at the bedside of wounded military patients and in Family Rooms on the WRNMMC Wounded Warriors unit on Tuesday and Thursday evening each week for approximately three hours. Through their respective specialties, the Allies artists directly engage Wounded Warriors/veterans who have sustained paralyzing injuries during their service, and patients' family members and children are invited to participate as well. The most recent professional evaluation of Allies in the Arts confirmed that the project is meeting its principal goals: 1. To aid Wounded Warriors/veterans in their physical, mental, and emotional healing by increasing the self-identity and self-efficacy of wounded service members; and 2. To help family and friends of Wounded Warriors/veterans cope with the stress of intense caregiving, as well as normalize and reinforce relationships within the family and with the community. The specialists comprising the Allies team are highly trained artists experienced in arts in healthcare settings, all of whom have completed American Red Cross orientation and separate training regarding military life, combat, common injuries of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, the impact of these issues on soldiers and their families, and particular considerations when devising and implementing arts experiences. The program will serve 900 individuals (and their families), 45 of whom have traumatic brain injury and/or spinal cord injury or have other paralysis-causing conditions are being treated for other acute care needs on the Wounded Warrior unit. Grant funds will support the costs for two of the four program artists. (This Reeve Foundation Quality of Life grant funds 21 percent of the total project cost).

Asheville Buncombe Community Christian Ministry (ABCCM)

Asheville, NC
$8,400 – Facility Accessibility Modifications
This Quality of Life grant will support accessibility modifications to ABCCM's Veterans' Restoration Quarters (VRQ), a transitional housing facility that serves male veterans living with homelessness from across a 3-state region, identified as VISN 6 by the Veterans Administration. Veterans who are disabled and/or homeless face additional challenges when reintegrating into the job market upon returning home, including a lack of appropriate resources for recovery from injury, illness, or economic distress, societal stigma, and misconceptions related to the cost of covering disability in the workplace. Homeless veterans are provided with onsite case management, a full-time nurse, three meals each day, and access to career-level job training and placement. The VRQ is located in Asheville in a former motel that was purchased and repurposed as a 250-bed transitional housing facility in 2008. In 2015, ABCCM provided transitional housing and permanent supportive housing services to 462 veterans and 26 civilians at its VRQ. Additionally, 651 men used the VRQ as emergency overnight shelter. Male veterans may enter ABCCM's program through the VRQ and remain on campus for up to two years, though the average stay is approximately 8 months. Veterans are provided with the tools necessary to overcome barriers within a supportive community of other service members. Of the veterans who enroll, 85% of those who successfully complete the program and graduate into permanent housing with stable incomes. Of these, 94% remain in stable situations at 12 months. The National Veterans Technical Assistance Center listed the program among the top 4 programs for veterans in the nation, stating that participants “are not only graduating out of poverty – but into the middle class – and they are not coming back. Four out of five veterans are [graduating from] the program for good.“ Grant funds will be used to renovate two (of six) of its ground-floor transitional and permanent supportive housing units at the VRQ to meet ADA Accessibility Guidelines to fully serve the veterans living with homelessness throughout Western North Carolina. This project will increase the number of veterans living with disabilities that can be served at the VRQ, including those that are living with paralysis causing conditions. (This Reeve Foundation Quality of Life grant funds 26 percent of the total project cost).

Barrow Neurological Foundation
Phoenix, AZ
$6,520 – Adaptive Sports
This Quality of Life grant will support the Barrow Connection: The Day on the Lake program, which has been in operation for 20 years at Bartlett Lake Marina in Carefree, Arizona. Bartlett Lake Marina is owned by Bryan Church, who sustained a spinal cord injury 36 years ago and has built one of the most accessible marinas in the state of Arizona. The marina is nestled in the mountains just northeast of Scottsdale, Arizona. The setting (and even the drive to reach it) is majestic and breathtaking. Barrow originally started Day on the Lake with the intention of introducing people with physical and neurological challenges, ages 3 and older, to adaptive water sports. Over the years, the Barrow Connection team discovered that when participants—including people with disabilities and their families—experience a day of recreation and play with one another, their souls are rejuvenated. Families are able to take rest from the everyday challenges of living with disabilities to enjoy fishing, kayaking or boating together. Family members board speed boats and take pictures of their loved ones water-skiing or tubing for the first time since incurring debilitating injuries. Many of these families have spent countless hours in waiting rooms for doctors and therapy appointments, while devoting countless more hours to learning how to overcome the challenges they face to accomplish even daily activities. Activities range from adapted jet-skiing, adapted water-skiing, wakeboarding and tubing, to kayaking and fishing and other water-related activities. Trained staff, volunteers and medical professionals assist with all aspects of the program to maintain the highest degree of safety for all participants. Day on the Lake allows families to build meaningful memories together in an awe-inspiring setting. It increases confidence and self-esteem of participants, and empowers attendees to break through barriers to explore more life-enhancing opportunities. The Day on the Lake program operates with one part-time CTRS that is the Program Coordinator and 155 volunteers that have gone through training, including seasoned volunteers as well as new therapy and nursing students. This program is a great introduction to the students as they become more aware of what people can do if just given the opportunity with trained volunteers and accessible equipment. Barrow Connection serves people ages 3 years and up who have various paralysis conditions, including: spinal cord injury, Spina bifida, Parkinson's disease, multiple sclerosis, muscular dystrophy, stroke, brain injury, hemiplegia, cerebral palsy, polio, Guillain-Barré syndrome, and other physical and neurological conditions. An estimated 314 individuals with paralysis-causing condition and their families will be served by this project. Grant funds will support the two adapted water skis, with quick-release harnesses, and a Hoyer lift. (This Reeve Foundation Quality of Life grant funds 18 percent of the total project cost).

Bennett Institute Booster Club
Baltimore, MD
$4,000 – Adaptive Sports
This Quality of Life grant will help to fund travel expenses for the Bennett Blazers Youth Sled Hockey team to travel to the 2017 USA Disabled Hockey Festival San Jose, California. The Bennett Blazers are not only the defending Youth Division-A (highest division) National Champions, but have won the championship three of the last four years. Growth in the hockey program and level of athlete commitment is linked to this team success. Sled hockey is offered weekly for children ages 6-18 from September through April, and has grown into one of the most popular team sports. In the last decade, participation has nearly doubled. During the 2015-16 year, 16 athletes played sled hockey with 94% (15 out of 16) having a form of primary or secondary paralysis due to spinal cord injury, spina bifida, cerebral palsy, stroke, or childhood cancer. During the regular season, Bennett teams compete in the Delaware Valley Hockey League which has eight teams spread from northern Virginia to central New Jersey. All teams are co-ed, but Bennett has the largest participation by girls who make up a third of the team, including the goalie. Funding for this project will energize one of the most experienced and successful junior sled hockey programs in the country by allowing these athletes to defend their championship. It also will allow the program to help USA Hockey's efforts to expand the reach of sled hockey by holding high level competition in the under-represented California region. Finally, funding will also foster growth of the teenage athletes independence and acquired life skills by providing experience traveling from Baltimore to California—a significant jump from previous competitions in the eastern half of the United States. Grant funds will support hotel accommodations for the team members as well as ground transportation (wheelchair accessible van) in San Jose, California for 35 individuals with paralysis and their caregivers. (This Reeve Foundation Quality of Life grant funds 22 percent of the total project cost).

Brain Injury Association of Georgia
Atlanta, GA
$5,130 – Camp
This Quality of Life grant will help to support Camp BIAG (Brain Injury Association of Georgia), Camp BIAG is the signature program for survivors and caregivers in Georgia impacted by brain injury. It is the only program of its kind in the state, providing a camp experience to adults with brain injury and their caregivers. Camp BIAG provides an overnight social, recreational and therapeutic program that is uniquely designed for the special needs of adults with a brain injury. A caregiver camp runs simultaneously that is organized to give family caregivers a rare opportunity for respite, socialization and support through daily group sessions. Many caregiver family members use this respite time for a much needed mini-vacation or to rejuvenate and relax quietly at home. Camp BIAG is organized and led by a volunteer camp committee comprising BIAG board members and directors, therapists, nurses, a life skills coach, a social worker and a TBI survivor & caregiver. Camp Twin Lakes provides the camp facility and amenities, a camp coordinator and certified staff who help ensure safety with activities. Camp BIAG will accept 45 - 55 campers each year and recruit 45-plus professionals and students to serve as camp nurses, therapists and counselors. The high ratio of volunteers per camper helps to ensure the safety and welfare of all campers with a brain injury, physical disability or other impairment. Campers average in age from 20 to 70 and are from various cultures and backgrounds. A bonus for the students is that they receive training prior to camp in working with individuals with brain injury and mobility impairments and then gain experience in working with them at camp. For many students this is life changing, providing a unique perspective in understanding firsthand the needs of individuals with brain injuries and other conditions in a 24/7 environment. Camp activities include archery, fishing, boating, arts and crafts, games, BINGO, swimming, zip line, big swing, educational and support group meetings, karaoke, basketball, leather crafts, cook outs, ending with a dance and party on the last evening. Every activity is designed to be therapeutic yet recreational while building on life skills and socialization with new ones added each year based on feedback. Campers are allowed to select the activities they wish to participate in and are not forced to participate in activities that are not of interest to them. Grant funds will fund 38 scholarships for adults with brain injury to attend Camp BIAG. (This Reeve Foundation Quality of Life grant funds 17 percent of the total project cost).

Breckenridge Outdoor Education Center (BOEC)
Breckenridge, CO
$5,560 – Adaptive Sports
BOEC is one of the oldest four season adaptive outdoor educational organizations in North America. BOEC provides a sense of freedom to those who are routinely excluded from activity due to a disability or special need. Whether alpine skiing, paddling the West's great rivers, or mastering the accessible ropes course, BOEC inspires people of all abilities to discover new places, learn new skills and rekindle their spirit in the heart of the Colorado Rocky Mountains. One of the top priorities of equipment needs is the river rafting program. This summer, BOEC did not have enough rafts needed to run all the adaptive programs to meet the demand. Three times this summer, BOEC had to rent an additional raft in order to run programs. BOEC runs day and multi-day raft trips on the Upper Colorado River, Green River and San Juan River. This Quality of Life grant will support the rafting program; specifically the purchase of a raft and life vests. The Brain Injury Alliance, Disabled Veterans, Adventures Within MS Camp, and a group with spina bifida are just a few of the camps that would benefit from this needed rafting equipment, serving an estimated 500 individuals with paralysis. (This Reeve Foundation Quality of Life grant funds 41 percent of the total project cost).

Bridge Disability Ministries
Bellevue, WA
$25,000 – Durable Medical Equipment
Bridge Disability Ministries collaborates with other local, regional, and international private nonprofit and public agencies to advocate for and find solutions to meet the needs of people living with disabilities, to avoid duplication of services and to share best practices and use of resources. Bridge's Meyer Medical Equipment Center accepts donations of used medical mobility equipment (wheelchairs, scooters, Hoyer lifts, hospital beds, etc.) which are then cleaned, repaired and refurbished and given to people in need. This equipment is provided to people of all ages, ethnicities, and walks of life, regardless of race, religion, gender or gender identity, sexual preference, ethnicity, disability, or any other category, or their ability to pay. Grant funds will support three of the highest priority durable equipment needs for the people served by Bridge Disability Ministries: 22 batteries for electric wheelchairs (donated electric wheelchairs typically require new batteries); 26 ROHO Pressure Relief Wheelchair Seat Cushions; and Alternating Pressure Mattresses. At least 58 individuals with paralysis will be impacted by this project, most of whom have no other means of obtaining this equipment. (This Reeve Foundation Quality of Life grant funds 100 percent of the total project cost).

Brooks Rehabilitation
Jacksonville, FL
$3,900 – Adaptive Sports
This Quality of Life grant will help to support Brooks On Ice—a component of the Pediatric Recreation program that offers classes and events focused on ice skating and sled hockey. Through safe and supportive adaptive ice skating equipment, participants build strength, balance, and coordination all through social opportunities with their peers. The sleds can be used for individuals who have the trunk control and want to explore skating outside their wheelchair. It's also a great piece of equipment to work on trunk control for children. Activities are open to kids ages 5 – 18 years old with conditions such as spinal cord injury, spina bifida, cerebral palsy, muscular dystrophy, and traumatic or acquired brain injury. Grant funds will support the purchase of 5 adapted sleds and 30 safety helmets for the ice programs. It is expected that 340 youth with paralysis and their families will be impacted by this project. (This Reeve Foundation Quality of Life grant funds 4 percent of the total project cost).

Burke Rehabilitation Hospital

White Plains, NY
$6,280 – Caregiving
This Quality of Life grant will support two initiatives specifically designed for caregivers of individuals with spinal cord injury, traumatic brain injury, and other debilitating conditions. The first initiative is the creation of an educational, inspirational video that will provide valuable information aimed at helping individuals with disabilities navigate the challenges of everyday life, including managing stress and preventing burnout, as well as providing resources—including the availability of support groups and specialized therapy groups—that will benefit both the patient and the caregiver. The video will be prominently featured on the Burke website, will be distributed widely via social media (Facebook, Twitter and YouTube), and will run on public viewing monitors throughout the hospital. It will be created by a professional media production company and include interviews with Burke therapists and caregivers who have benefited from the participation in therapy groups. While it will include information that is both practical and educational, its purpose will be inspirational; to give caregivers a sense of hope about the future, an understanding that they are not alone on their journey, and a clear pathway to balancing the needs of the patient in their care with their own needs. The second initiative is an expansion of specialized therapy for caregivers of individuals with spinal cord injury, in the form of group therapy, as part of its continuum of care for patients facing long-term rehabilitation. A new group will be developed specifically for caregivers of individuals living with spinal cord injury. In 10 one-hour sessions, group participants will learn effective coping strategies to help those in their care deal with their new reality. They will engage in interpersonal peer support, benefit from psychological insights offered by the facilitator, and feel free to express feelings of frustration, anger, concern and confusion in a safe, supportive setting. Most important, they will realize they are not alone, and will receive the validation that can be so elusive, and yet so badly needed. Both activities in this project will be open to the public, and not restricted to patients who have been treated at Burke. Grant funds will support programmatic personnel and video production costs. It is expected that 150 individuals with spinal cord injury and their caregivers will be impacted by this project. (This Reeve Foundation Quality of Life grant funds 100 percent of the total project cost).

Carrie Tingley Hospital Foundation
Albuquerque, NM
$3,500 – Camp
This Quality of Life grant will help to support the 2017 San Juan County New Mexico Adaptive Sports Camp, the second of what will be an annual event. The project is 5-day (July 17 - 21, 2017), fully adaptive and inclusive sports camp for children with physical disabilities. Campers will participate in the following adaptive sports: cycling, wheelchair basketball, archery, in-door rock climbing and sitting volleyball. The venue of camp will be the San Juan College of Human Health and Human Performance Center, which is fully ADA-compliant and accessible to individuals of all abilities. The camp will be organized and directed by two physical therapists that live and work in San Juan County. The camp will be staffed largely by physical therapy program student volunteers from San Juan College. Equipment for the camp is loaned by the San Juan Center for Independent Living. All volunteers will receive an orientation in advance of camp that includes person-first language and disability etiquette. While there is a nominal registration fee, no camper is denied participation because they cannot pay--full scholarships are available. Campers are identified through San Juan Regional Medical Center and Carrie Tingley Hospital. All campers will be pre-screened so that camp staff including the nurse will be prepared to support each camper. Children and families gain knowledge of adaptive equipment, rule modifications and inclusive practices; families increase their participation (as a family) in sports activities in their community; and children develop a positive attitude towards participation in sports activities. Grant funds will support programmatic costs for the physical therapists, which will enable about 30 youth (ages 5 – 24 years old) with paralysis, and their families to participate. (This Reeve Foundation Quality of Life grant funds 23 percent of the total project cost).

Catalyst Sports
Marietta, GA
$4,250 – Adaptive Sports
This Quality of Life grant will help to support the Adaptive Paddling Adventure Program, designed to introduce persons with disabilities (particularly those with spinal cord injuries) to the enjoyment and fun of paddling while also providing them with the intrinsic physical and mental health benefits of the activity. The program aims to provide a natural journey that inspires disabled youth and adults to be more adventurous and explore the great outdoors. Through this program, participants can develop new skills while improving their endurance, strength, power, and overall physical fitness over the course of a year. This program meets on a weekly basis at local lakes to serve a total of 20-25 paddlers (along with their family members and/or caretakers if they are interested) who have physical disabilities such as spinal cord injury. Grant funds will support the purchase of 2 kayaks, 2 sets of kayak paddles, and 2 personal flotation devices, enabling expansion of the program to recruit an additional 23 participants. (This Reeve Foundation Quality of Life grant funds 23 percent of the total project cost).

Challenged Athletes of West Virginia
Snoeshoe, WV
$6,000 – Adaptive Sports
This Quality of Life grant will help to support the Greenbrier River Trail Handcycle Program. This project will introduce cycling as a recreational option for children and adults with paralysis, and will provide the equipment necessary and so often out of reach of consumers. In addition to established events, the project will encourage individuals to reach out and become involved in more community-based fitness activities as well. Several marathons include a handcycle class, and triathlons with a team format would offer inclusion for a team member with a disability and help to level the competitive playing field. This project is not intended to provide individuals with a handcycle solely for their personal use. Rather, it is designed to engage people, produce a commitment and goals, and help them to achieve those goals. The project will assure that there are the opportunities and support necessary for success for at least 30 individuals in the first year. Grant funds will support the purchase of three Force 3 handcycles: one Force 3 with Quad Elite Set Up; one standard Force 3 handcycle, and one HOC Zipper Handcycle for kids. (This Reeve Foundation Quality of Life grant funds 67 percent of the total project cost).

Chambers Memorial Baptist Church
New York, NY
$7,000 – Facility Accessibility Modifications
This Quality of Life grant will help to support the Accessible Elevator Project, which will expand accessibility to the second floor of the sanctuary, and will enable parishioners and community members that have mobility challenges to actively participate in programming. The building is a community hub for a wide range of resources and services for people in East Harlem, including a food pantry, group counseling, youth services, and plays and concerts. Through interviews and surveys, it was learned that about 25% of the 200 members have stopped attending service and programs due to the inability of getting to the second floor. This community fights the challenges of drugs and gang activity, and tragically, some individuals have been victims of gun violence. Expanded access to the second floor will enable at least 55 youth with paralysis as well as seniors that have decreased mobility to become more engaged in the community. (This Reeve Foundation Quality of Life grant funds 7 percent of the total project cost).

Chanda Plan Foundation
Denver, CO
$10,000 – Healthcare
This Quality of Life grant will help to support Care Coordination for Individuals with Long-Term Physical Disabilities at the Chanda Plan Foundation Patient Centered Medical Home (PCMH) for individuals with physical disabilities. The Chanda Plan Foundation will open this new facility in early 2017, which will offer new services including primary care, mental health services, nutrition assistance, and chiropractic care; and expanded services including massage, acupuncture, and yoga. The PCMH will increase the Direct Services program's total weekly participants from 64 unduplicated individuals and will increase the ability of people living with paralysis and other mobility impairments, as well as their families, to live independently, and to be included and integrated into the community. The Care Coordinator will ensure participants are receiving needed services, including integrative services, primary care, behavioral health, nutrition assistance, and chiropractic care, in a population-competent setting. As seen by the results of participant surveys, the integrative services offered by the Chanda Plan Foundation enable participants to be more involved in the community and increase quality of life. The Care Coordinator will work closely with participants to make sure goals are being met and will adjust care plans if participants are not satisfied with progress. By connecting individuals and their families to community resources, such as funds to assist with home modifications and respite care for caretakers, the Care Coordinator will provide the opportunity to increase independent living. The PCMH will offer group classes (such as yoga and nutrition) that support community connections and the Care Coordinator will recommend these opportunities based on their knowledge of an individual or their family's needs. Community space and a tea bar in the facility will also create an opportunity for participants to connect with one another in an informal setting. Grant funds will help to support the salary for the Care Coordinator. It is expected that 217 individuals of all ages will be impacted by this project. (This Reeve Foundation Quality of Life grant funds 20 percent of the total project cost).

Children's Research Triangle, Inc.
Chicago, IL
$4,500 – Camp
This Quality of Life grant will help to support Camp SOAR (Special Outdoor Adaptive Recreation), which provides social and recreational experiences for children with special needs. Camp SOAR has three main objectives: to provide outdoor, social and recreational opportunities for youth with special needs who otherwise have limited access to such programs; to provide respite and support for families with a special needs child; and to provide a positive volunteer experience for adolescents and young adults. The primary purpose is to provide youth with a positive and enjoyable recreational experience, promote skills development, increase self-reliance and self-esteem, and develop peer-to-peer relationships. Even with many camps designed specifically for children with disabilities, there is an expectation that participants have some degree of independence in order to attend. Camp SOAR is not diagnosis-specific and works with youth of all abilities, which has been essential to the success of the program. The long-term impact of Camp SOAR on campers include increased confidence, the willingness to try new things, independence and the ability to interact with new people. Camp SOAR emphasizes competence and skill-building such as brushing teeth and hair and using eating utensils independently. Camp SOAR counselors, many of whom work with campers of the same age as themselves or older, often express a change in their perception of people living with disabilities. Grant funds will support scholarships for 10 children with paralysis to attend Camp SOAR. (This Reeve Foundation Quality of Life grant funds 4 percent of the total project cost).

City of Independence – Parks/Recreation/Tourism
Independence, MO
$6,669 – Fitness and Wellness
This Quality of Life grant will help to support the Roger T. Sermon Community Center, an inclusive community fitness and wellness center that provides superb fitness opportunities for all community members, regardless of ability level. Memberships rates for adults are currently $60 per year (an average of $5 per month). After conducting a survey of members, it was found that the piece of equipment that was most sought for individuals with paralysis was the NuStep T5 XR, one of the few pieces of fitness equipment that is specially designed to enable individuals that use wheelchairs to work out safely and independently. The NuStep will complement the accessible cardio area, circuit training room, weight room, gymnasium, and locker rooms. Grant funds will support the purchase of the NuStep T5 XR with oversized seat, and it is estimated that it will impact at least 100 individuals with paralysis and their families. (This Reeve Foundation Quality of Life grant funds 100 percent of the total project cost).

Colorado Springs Independence Center
Colorado Springs, CO
$3,300 – Fitness and Wellness
This Quality of Life grant will help to support Get Out!–a project that will expand upon an existing spinal cord injury support group to provide recreational opportunities in the community. The major purpose of this proposal is to increase inclusion. Many of the peer support group members have never gone fishing, and have in fact been stuck in an isolated routine that keeps them home the majority of the time. By having a way to get outside, all members will benefit from the increased camaraderie of getting to know people in fun and different situations and not just in talking about their shared 'condition.' Members will experience using different modes of transportation and learn how to use these services again in the future. The group will also be able to take advantage of the deep integration that nature has to offer. Having a disability does not alter a person's appreciation for nature, and these activities will help broaden experiences, friendships, and knowledge of what activities are available in the community. Planned activities include three fishing trips at different locations, one three-day camping trip, and kayaking at Chatfield Reservoir. Each activity will have up to 25 participants. Grant funds will support the following activities: adapted fishing gear for 10 individuals, rental of Wilderness on Wheels campground facility, costs for the kayak activity day, and accessible transportation for participants for the trips. (This Reeve Foundation Quality of Life grant funds 44 percent of the total project cost).

Common Ground Outdoor Adventures
Logan, UT
$10,000 – Transportation
This Quality of Life grant will help to support a bus that is equipment with a wheelchair lift to enable safe, accessible transportation for program participants. The mission of Common Ground Outdoor Adventures is to provide life-enhancing outdoor recreational opportunities for youths and adults with disabilities. The organization's vision is to enhance the lives of people with disabilities through quality outdoor recreation such as river rafting, downhill skiing, camping and much more. This is achieved by removing the physical, social and financial barriers faced by youth and adults with disabilities. This Quality of Life grant provides a required match to a Utah Department of Transportation grant for the ADA-approved 12-passenger wheelchair accessible bus. The vehicle will be used for destination camping trips as well as local daily activities. The lift-equipped bus will transport 100 individuals living with paralysis annually, including 15-20 United States military personnel and veterans living with paralysis. (This Reeve Foundation Quality of Life grant funds 20 percent of the total project cost).

Community Foundation of North Central Wisconsin
Wausau, WI
$12,195 – Accessible Playground/Ball Field
This Quality of Life grant will help to support JoJo's Jungle, an inclusive outdoor playground that brings together children of any ability, along with their friends and families, in a safe, enriching environment that promotes physical fitness, social skills, and enhances sensory learning. This is the only accessible playground in Wausau, Wisconsin, with the nearest accessible playground over 45 minutes away. Grant funds will help to support two accessible zip lines. It is expected that this project will benefit 21,000 individuals of all ages and ability levels and their families in this medically underserved area. (This Reeve Foundation Quality of Life grant funds .5 percent of the total project cost).

Community Health & Wellness Partners of Logan County
West Liberty, OH
$10,193 – Healthcare
This Quality of Life grant will help to support Whole Health—Whole Person, an initiative that will provide accessible examination equipment for individuals with mobility challenges at this nonprofit comprehensive community health clinic in rural Ohio, which is a Patient Centered Medical Home (PCMH) to approximately 10,000 patients and operates at two locations within the boundaries of Logan County, Ohio. Grant funds will support the purchase of a wheelchair scale and a power examination table. Both of these pieces of equipment are critical to be able to provide essential health services to individuals with paralysis. (This Reeve Foundation Quality of Life grant funds 100 percent of the total project cost).

Compassionate Friends Therapeutic Riding Center
Medford, NJ
$5,695 – Therapeutic Horseback Riding
This Quality of Life grant will help to support the purchase of one Independent Strides Independence Saddle for the therapeutic riding program for riders with traumatic brain injury and spinal cord injury. The saddle has proven to be very successful in significantly improving the quality of the riding experience for individuals with severe physical impairments. This equipment is exceptionally suitable for therapeutic riding for several reasons. The saddle is extremely versatile—it can be used with any combination of the twelve attachments, or alone (simply the base saddle) which gives equestrian therapists the capability to completely individualize the saddle by first assessing each rider's needs, then adjusting and/or removing the components in order to maximize therapeutic benefits. It is also surprisingly light weight and easy to use. Further, the saddle is equipped with safety features that enable riders to be easily released from the saddle in an emergency. In the initial project year, the equipment will impact 5 individuals with paralysis-causing conditions, and will continue to impact more individuals in the future. (This Reeve Foundation Quality of Life grant funds 100 percent of the total project cost).

Cook Inlet Native Head Start (CINHS)
Anchorage, AK
$5,000 – Accessible Playground/Ball Field

This Quality of Life grant will help to support an initiative to make Anchorage's largest Village Playground accessible in order to remedy the problems of lack of cultural connection, exercise, and repairs at the existing playground. As the only tribal Head Start for the Anchorage area, CINHS's purpose is to ensure the continuity of Tribal Early Head Start/Head Start programs and services for nearly 400 Alaska Native and American Indian (AN/AI) children and their families living in Anchorage, Alaska. The existing CINHS playground will be rebuilt as an exciting, new, traditional, and modern Alaska Native village. The playground will have traditional dwellings from the three main cultural groups of Alaska: Southeast, Eskimo, and Athabaskan. There will be a traditional fish camp, and land and water transportation. Modern play structures will also represent what modern villages are like with a clinic, store, post office, snowmobile, four wheeler, and biplane. A skiff in a river will be available for students who want to fish for wooden fish, which they can cut at the splitting table. A mountain range will divide the Early Head Start playground from the Head Start side (mandated by regulations). Teachers and students will better connect with cultural content and this will inspire pride in the students. CINHS is in a unique position to provide strong cultural foundations for Alaska Native children in all areas of school. Grant funds will support wheelchair accessible playground equipment. (This Reeve Foundation Quality of Life grant funds 1 percent of the total project cost).

Back to top of page

2016 2nd Cycle D - I Direct Effect Quality of Life Grants

Des Moines Rowing Club

Des Moines, IA
$8,776 – Adaptive Sports
This Quality of Life grant will help to support the DMRC Adaptive Membership Initiative (AMI), which offers the sport of rowing to athletes who are not able to row in standard rowing shells (boats). It provides boats and equipment that allow for adaptation to meet the needs of athletes with both physical and mental challenges. Adaptive rowing requires a 4:1 volunteer-to-athlete ratio plus durable equipment that will last more than 10 years. Currently the club offers a “Learn to Row Day“ as community outreach. In order to offer this same outreach to the adaptive rowing community, the proper equipment required is an adapted double shell, which allows an experienced rower to row with and support an inexperienced rower. Three adaptive rowing clinics with up to five participants at each event or “Para-Learn to Row“ days will be offered every summer to the VA Hospital and other adaptive athletic groups. The intent of these clinics is to give people a one-time, on-water rowing experience before they consider joining the program or just for the fun of it. In order to reach a broader base of individuals with spinal cord injuries, a shell that accommodates 2 individuals is required. Each rower with impairment will be accompanied by a seasoned rower who gently coaches them on the finer points of rowing, while a safety launch accompanies them in the event of a mishap. Clinics will be publicized to current partners at the Department of Veterans Affairs-Central Iowa Healthcare System, United Spinal Association (Iowa Chapter) and Paralyzed Veterans of America (Iowa Chapter) before expanding to other interested groups. The optimum months for rowing in Iowa are June, July and August, so one-day clinic in each of these months will be offered. Three-fourths of the active adaptive membership are athletes with spinal cord injuries. Rowing is a perfect complement to other wheelchair activities; a direct benefit is that it strengthens the core. In addition to the double shell, safe adaptive rowing requires: pontoons attached to the rigging to stabilize the boat; four oars to propel the boat; fixed seats that safely strap a person with paralysis into the boat to keep them secure; personal flotation devices for safety; and Active Sport gloves if a person's hand grip has been compromised. At the club-level of rowing, equipment tends to be very long-lived. It is not uncommon for shells to be used for 10-20 years. With regular maintenance, it is anticipated that the adaptive shells will have similarly long use and accommodate many future adaptive rowers both as members and day clinic participants. Grant funds will support the purchase of the double shell, four paddles, and two personal flotation devices. It is expected that this project will impact 150 individuals with spinal cord injury and other paralysis-causing conditions and their families will be impacted by this project. (This Reeve Foundation Quality of Life grant funds 90 percent of the total project cost).



Determined2Heal, Inc.
Potomac, MD
$10,886 – Adaptive Sports
This Quality of Life grant will help to support Moving Forward With Adventurous Wheels, a program that provides recreational opportunities for individuals with paralysis to transform the way that they and the world see paralysis. The outings empower individuals to get outside of their comfort zone and to learn firsthand that with the right attitude and creativity, almost anything is possible. Sponsoring rehabilitative adventures helps alleviate financial barriers and fosters much-needed happy memories for people with paralysis and their families. Determined2Heal partners with a variety of organizations to conduct the activities, including (but not limited to): The Impossible Dream accessible catamaran (based at Shake-A-Leg Miami) to sponsor sailing trips along the eastern coast of the United States; Kennedy Krieger Institute in Baltimore, Maryland to recruit children with paralysis for sailing excursions; Life Rolls On (based in Marina Del Ray, California) for adaptive surfing in Virginia Beach, Virginia, and Blue Ridge Adaptive Snow Sports (BRASS) in Carroll Valley, Pennsylvania for skiing and snowboarding. Grant funds will support adaptive fishing equipment; rental of adaptive snow ski equipment and travel expenses; activity fees for fishing, glider runs, miniature golf, IndyCar, surfing, and skydiving. At least 110 individuals with paralysis and their families will be impacted by this program. (This Reeve Foundation Quality of Life grant funds 44 percent of the total project cost).



Dignity Now, Inc.
Branson, MO
$4,386 – Physical/Occupational Therapy
This Quality of Life grant will help to support the MOVE (Mobility Opportunities via Education / Experience) therapy program for children and adults with developmental disabilities. MOVE is an activity-based program that combines natural body mechanics with an instructional process designed to help people acquire increasing amounts of motor skills needed for sitting, standing, walking and transitioning. The MOVE program literally “moves“ an individual from a position of dependency to interaction with, and control of, his or her environment. By maximizing an individual's abilities and adequately training parents, agency and school personnel and health care professionals to use specialized equipment, ordinary household items and regular daily activities, the mobility and overall well-being of these individuals can be improved. Grant funds will support the purchase of a Rifton TRAM which will be used as an assistive device for gait training, sit-to-stand transfers and seated transfers with optional thigh supports, walking saddle and forearm supports. This project expects to impact 150 individuals of all ages that have paralysis-causing conditions including spinal cord injury, spina bifida, cerebral palsy, and muscular dystrophy. (This Reeve Foundation Quality of Life grant funds 26 percent of the total project cost).



DIRECT Center for Independence
Tucson, AZ
$16,119 – Advocacy Initiative
This Quality of Life grant will help to support a training, advocacy, and social change project will enhance the quality of life for individuals with paralysis and other disabilities (consumers) and their support networks in Tucson by addressing the widespread lack of accessibility and voluntary compliance with the ADA Title III. The initiative will implement practical solutions to this community problem by: (a) training individuals with paralysis and other disabilities as effective self-advocates on accessibility under ADA Title III; (b) empowering self-advocates to become community leaders in outreach and education on accessibility; (c) organizing consumer-advocates to assist in training business owners/operators on the ADA and creative options to increase accessibility; (d) influencing businesses to proactively make changes to architecture, the physical environment, and/or operations to increase access and comply with the ADA; and (e) organizing community partners to develop an advocacy plan aimed at closing the gap between city building code and ADA standards. The initiative will not only result in increased accessibility and compliance with ADA Title III but also enhanced collaboration among disability organizations and businesses and empowerment of individuals with disabilities to advocate for positive community change. A series of trainings will be conducted for individuals with paralysis, other disabilities, and families and caregivers on: the history of disability rights movement and the importance of advocacy, ADA basics, rights and responsibilities under Title III; how to conduct a basic assessment; advocacy and leadership styles; what to do when encountering barriers (exploring options and setting short- and long-term goals); advocating for civil rights; and community organizing to influence social change. Using DIRECT's peer mentoring model, the project will coach and support consumer-advocates who want to take on leadership roles in advocacy, training, and/or community organizing. Further, the project will train businesses on Title III of the ADA, their obligations, tax credits available, etc. An employer network will be established that promotes best practices in access and hiring people with disabilities. Finally, the project will Work with community partners and the city of Tucson to reconcile gaps between local building code and ADA standards. Grant funds will support program personnel, Spanish interpreter, para transit costs for mentoring, and stipends for 8 consumer advocate leaders. It is expected that this project will impact 50 individuals with paralysis and their families. (This Reeve Foundation Quality of Life grant funds 54 percent of the total project cost).



discapacitados abriéndose caminos
South Saint Paul, MN
$3,200 – Facility Accessibility Modifications
discapacitados abriéndose caminos (d.a.c.) provides information and support to Latino families who have children, youth and adults with any kind of disability, so they will be more knowledgeable about their needs and their rights and responsibilities under the ADA. Many Latino families are dealing not only with the disability-related issues of their children, youth and adults with special needs, but also with a whole host of issues related to the challenges of poverty and linguistic and cultural diversity. Even though there other organizations that provide Spanish services, d.a.c. provides unduplicated services. The families served receive culturally and linguistically appropriate information and emotional support to help them to gain skills to parent their child with a disability more effectively, and to participate as partners in educational and other decision-making for their sons/daughters with disabilities. They receive and benefit from individual assistance and support to help them access services and advocate for themselves and their sons and daughters. They participate in a supportive environment with other parents, and develop mutually supportive connections among themselves. All services are provided in their native language. d.a.c. moved locations and is now housed in a building which does not have a ramp. While individuals in wheelchairs have been able to access the offices once inside the building, they cannot enter the building without assistance. This Quality of Life grant will help to fund a ramp that will enable individuals that use wheelchairs to enter the building independently. It is expected that this project will impact 10 individuals with paralysis and their families. (This Reeve Foundation Quality of Life grant funds 4 percent of the total project cost).

Dream Catcher of Los Angeles

Los Angeles, CA
$4,445 – Therapeutic Horseback Riding
This Quality of Life grant will help to support the purchase of an Equicizer, a non-motorized mechanical horse that offers the unique ability to experience the benefits of therapeutic horseback riding without the horse. The Equicizer is designed with a spring balanced system that allows for safe scaling to the rider's ability and strength. Riders will be able to maintain a sense of comfort and control while building important muscle groups and gaining confidence through accomplishment. The Equicizer's design also allows instructors and volunteers to work in close proximity to the rider, according to their needs. Capable of carrying a weight of up to 500 pounds, the Equicizer can accommodate both child and adult riders with a variety of skill levels and disabilities. By incorporating the Equicizer into the existing programs and therapies, the center will be able to increase the quality of care provided for clients. The Equicizer will be used as an alternative therapy for riders who do not want to or cannot ride a full-size horse. The Equicizer will also be used as an alternative when weather prevents outdoor riding. Currently, Dream Catcher serves 80 riders with four programs: therapeutic (adaptive) horseback riding, Equine Assisted Learning, Equine Assisted Psychotherapy, and Horses for Forces. At this time, approximately a quarter of riders have some degree of paralysis. In the next calendar year, a 20% growth across all four programs is anticipated. (This Reeve Foundation Quality of Life grant funds 100 percent of the total project cost).



Easter Seals Eastern PA
Allentown, PA
$5,634 – Durable Medical Equipment
This Quality of Life grant will support an outpatient clinic for children with disabilities which offers physical, occupational and speech therapies that are designed to help children develop new skills and improve their overall level of functioning. Therapy is critical in diagnosing, training and managing a plethora of developmental disabilities and neuromuscular, congenital, skeletal and acquired disorders. Each year, Easter Seals' outpatient therapy and specialized clinics serve more than 500 children with disabilities at the organization's Berks County office. Dozens of consumers pass through the doors every day to receive therapy and consult with orthopedic and neurologic specialists. One of the benefits of receiving outpatient therapy services from Easter Seals is the nurturing, community environment that is wholly focused on helping children with disabilities reach their fullest potential. Two of the most utilized pieces of therapy equipment at Easter Seals are the supine stander and therapy tables. The supine stander gives children who spend much of their time in a wheelchair or other adaptive seating, the opportunity to be in a standing position, which can improve digestion, respiration and circulatory system function. Therapeutic positioning using a stander or therapy table is extremely beneficial and greatly improves the quality of life. Through positioning, the body can naturally stabilize and align. This can help a child develop a full range of motion to better perform independent living activities, and it also prevents muscle contractures that make it much more difficult to stand and walk. Grant funds will support the purchase of a supine stander with accessories and a therapy table. (This Reeve Foundation Quality of Life grant funds 92 percent of the total project cost).



Elmwood Health Center
Williamsville, NY
$5,832 – Healthcare
Elmwood Health Center, located in a medically underserved area, is one of two clinics in Buffalo that provides health care tailored to patients with developmental disabilities. High quality services available at the Elmwood Health Center include: Pediatric and Adult Medicine, Gynecology, Podiatry, Audiometry, Physiatry, Social Work, Psychiatry, Occupational Therapy, Physical Therapy, and Speech Therapy. Grant funds will help to support the purchase of a Midmark IQecg (electrocardiogram) and IQspiro (spirometer) to assess heart and lung function. These would replace current equipment that has been working sporadically over time. And, the most recent Electronic Medical Record (EMR) upgrade is no longer compatible with the system. New digital ECG/Spirometry equipment from Midmark would be reliable and would interface directly with the Electronic Medical Records, providing state-of-the-art electrocardiograms and spirometry directly to the physicians to detect defects and disease in heart/lung function, in real-time, for patients. This is very important in working with individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities that may have difficulty communicating health issues and in whom symptoms of significant chronic diseases (including heart disease, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, asthma, etc.) often go unrecognized. It is expected that 100 individuals, ages 13 years old and above, that have paralysis-causing conditions will be impacted by this projects. (This Reeve Foundation Quality of Life grant funds 100 percent of the total project cost).



Excel Employment Options
Howell, MI
$5,000 – Employment Programs
Transportation remains one of the biggest barriers to community integration for people with disabilities, especially in rural areas. Excel Employment Options gets people, particularly those with the most severe impairments and barriers, out of the institutions and sheltered workshops, and into the community where they can participate and live inclusive, productive lives. Accredited through the Commission on Accreditation for Rehabilitative Facilities (CARF) for the past 15 years, Excel now serves 300 people between Livingston County and Oakland County, and has a structured plan for continued growth. Excel services are unique in the fact that they are community based, with no in-house shelter or workshop. They work with each individual to find community employment and training opportunities unique to their individual skills and interests. This Quality of Life grant will to support a wheelchair accessible community van that will help transport clients with paralysis into the community for employment assistance, transition, and community skill building services. This project is expected to impact 8 individuals with paralysis. (This Reeve Foundation Quality of Life grant funds 10 percent of the total project cost).



GIVE Medical Ministry of The New Path, Inc.
Covington, OH
$5,700 –Durable Medical Equipment
GIVE Medical Ministry has been providing free used refurbished durable medical equipment to individuals in need since 1997. In 2007, GIVE Medical Ministry became one of the twelve ministries of New Path, a nonprofit organization. Almost no donations of pediatric equipment are made, but numerous requests for equipment and supplies that are designed specifically for children are received every month. Unfortunately, these individuals cannot be served with the current equipment inventory and there are no other area agencies providing these services to which they can be sent. Grant funds will help to establish a pediatric section of services that will include the following equipment that has been identified as most beneficial for children with paralysis: an EasyStand sit-to-stander; a Skillbuilders pediatric anterior gait trainer; 4 Medline pediatric wheelchairs, a Wenzelite young adult posture walker; 2 Wenzelite youth posture walkers; and 2 Ergobaum junior shock absorber crutches. The primary goal of this project is to provide pediatric equipment that will increase each child's mobility, thus allowing the child and their family to experience everyday life with fewer restrictions and greater involvement. Equipment will be loaned to families with the expectation that it be returned when no longer needed. It is expected that this project will impact 100 children with paralysis and their families. (This Reeve Foundation Quality of Life grant funds 100 percent of the total project cost).



Global Abilities Foundation
Philadelphia, PA
$2,500 – Adaptive Sports
This Quality of Life grant will help to support The 2017 Rec Fest, a series of inclusive recreation festivals that feature adapted sports (wheelchair rugby, handcycling, wheelchair tennis, golf, martial arts, wheelchair basketball), general recreation activities (art, scuba diving, gardening), and resources for school, work, play, and other aspects of life. Through each Rec Fest, Global Abilities helps hundreds of people of all ages and abilities become more physically active; helps organizations connect with the persons they want to serve, and educates the public about the needs and capabilities of persons with disabilities. Each Rec Fest brings together over three dozen organizations providing disability resources in one event. Persons with disabilities can engage in many activities in a free event at a convenient location accessible by public transportation. Global Abilities works closely with the Mayor's Commissions on Disabilities and the Departments of Parks and Recreation in Philadelphia and Baltimore to plan each city's respective Rec Fest. Rehabilitation partners in these two cities include Magee Rehabilitation, Moss Rehab, Good Shepherd Penn Partners, and Kennedy Krieger Institute. Global Abilities has been asked to host a third event in Harrisburg, PA, in 2017. This Rec Fest will serve the cities of Gettysburg, Harrisburg, Hershey, Lancaster, Reading, York, and their surrounding areas in Pennsylvania. Penn State University's Harrisburg campus has agreed to host the Harrisburg Rec Fest, and Penn State Hershey Rehabilitation Hospital is confirmed as the primary sponsor. GAF will reach out to other organizations that serve individuals with paralysis in the region to coordinate the Harrisburg Rec Fest. It is projected that over 80 organizations will participate in the three 2017 Rec Fest events. Grant funds will support the purchase of a sports wheelchair. (This Reeve Foundation Quality of Life grant funds 3 percent of the total project cost).



Goodwill Industries of Denver
Denver, CO
$14,000 – Employment Program
This Quality of Life grant will help to support AgrAbility SCI Workshops, a series of 10-15 free educational workshops in rural farming and ranching communities throughout the state, presented to agricultural families and the professionals who work with them. These workshops are critical to reaching and educating individuals who are working to maintain livelihoods in agriculture while living with a disability. AgrAbility workshops educate those with disabilities, their families and caregivers, and the professionals that work with them, about the physical, emotional, and cognitive issues they may be facing; ways to adapt farm and ranch operations to accommodate needs; and resources available to help agricultural families with a disability remain independent, self-sufficient, and successful in their livelihoods. Workshops also include sessions for professionals working with agricultural families living with a disability, and provide opportunities to inform and coordinate resources between families and professionals. Workshops have been regularly attended in local communities by professionals in occupational and physical therapy, assisted living centers, local law enforcement, health care services, and the Division of Vocational Rehabilitation. Workshop topics are tailored toward specific disabilities that are commonly seen in the farming and ranching community, and toward common issues that these individuals face, including adaptive equipment, mental health, social security, estate planning, injury education, and funding available to meet physical, emotional, or cognitive needs. Another important aspect of each AgrAbility workshop is peer support. Workshops provide opportunities for farmers and ranchers facing similar challenges to share ideas, offer and receive support, and connect to local support groups, coalitions, and activities that take place throughout the year. Workshops also include separate breakout sessions for caretakers and family members of those living with a disability, with topics tailored specifically to the challenges they may face and resources available to them. Finally, AgrAbility workshops also include the participation of individuals who are successfully working in agriculture with a disability, as these individuals serve as guest speakers and lead breakout sessions at each workshop. Grant funds will help to support a focus on spinal cord injury by conducting three educational workshops in rural Colorado communities during January, February, and March 2017, tailored specifically for those living with SCI and working in agriculture. Requested funds will cover expenses for participants to travel to workshops, lodging during their stay, childcare or livestock care assistance stipends (critical for some families to be able to travel away from their farm or ranch), meeting space, and workshop materials. Goodwill estimates that 90 individuals will attend these three SCI workshops, and that an additional 5,000 individuals will be reached through outreach efforts to promote the workshop, and will be made aware of AgrAbility services available in their local community. (This Reeve Foundation Quality of Life grant funds 9 percent of the total project cost).



Haiti Rehab Project
Vernon Center, NY
$8,000 – Physical/Occupational Therapy
The mission of the Haiti Rehab Project is to support rehabilitation and medical clinics, orphanages, families, and outreach programs for those with special needs in Haiti. In 2012, the organization's founder volunteered as a physical therapist at a hospital in Port-Au-Prince. There she learned of the tremendous challenges those with disabilities experience in a country with limited medical and rehabilitation resources and was inspired to establish the Haiti Rehab Project. From time spent with individuals with amputations and spinal cord injuries in Haiti, the organization learned of their challenges with discrimination, difficulties with transportation, and inability to find work to provide for their families. Understanding the importance of promoting employment and quality of life activities, they opened a shop, supplying a work-space for those with disabilities, and provided training to make canes and walkers out of PVC pipe. Next, woodworking training programs were initiated, while building items for the planned rehab clinic. Mobile clinics were used, and the PVC devices were provided to many with no access to rehabilitation services. In January of 2016, the Centre of Rehabilitation de Artibonite in Gonaives was opened in order to serve those who previously had no access to rehabilitation services. As expected, the volume of patients served increases each month. By January 1, 2017, it is anticipated that the clinic will be operational 5 days per week, seeing at least 200 visitors per month. A conservative projection of 2,000 total patient visits per year is anticipated. Grant funds will help to support the contracted reimbursement for rehabilitation services provided for people with disabilities who cannot afford to pay for them in clinic and during mobile clinics. (This Reeve Foundation Quality of Life grant funds 14 percent of the total project cost).



Handi-Wheels Transportation, Inc.
Fargo, ND
$1,858 – Employment Program
Handi-Wheels Transportation began over 40 years ago through a grassroots effort by individuals using wheelchairs and their families to purchase a wheelchair accessible van. Throughout its history, in addition to providing rides to people with disabilities, Handi-Wheels has also had people with disabilities volunteering and working in its office as well as serving on its board. Throughout its 41-year history as a nonprofit organization, people who have disabilities have been a vital part of its operations. Handi-Wheels currently operates out of space that is donated by the New Horizons, which is part of Fargo public housing and is a fully accessible building. The space is small, and does not adequately accommodate office staff and volunteers that use wheelchairs, particularly if there is more than one wheelchair user working in the space at a time. Manual height adjustable workstations would allow wheelchair access for ADA compliance, and will provide ergonomic comfort that reduces fatigue and prevents overuse injuries. Having height-adjusted workstations, desks, and tables will help to protect staff and volunteers from overuse injuries, eye strain, and back issues. Handi-Wheels would like all of its staff and volunteers to have easy access to all necessary tools required in the office environment. Handi-Wheels wants to accommodate its staff and volunteers of various needs and abilities with adjustable-height tables that are motorized and some that lift by hand crank or knob. Plus, optional accessories like a wire management system and an adjustable keyboard arm will make it easier for staff and volunteers that use wheelchairs to work comfortably. Every person deserves an accessible, comfortable spot to work, and having wheelchair accessible desks and tables will suit each person's special needs in the office. Grant funds will help to support ergonomic wheelchair accessible work stations. This project is expected to impact 6 adults that have paralysis-causing conditions. (This Reeve Foundation Quality of Life grant funds 18 percent of the total project cost).



HelpHOPELive
Radnor, PA
$2,500 – Healthcare
HelpHOPELive is a national nonprofit that supports community-based fundraising for people with unmet medical and related expenses due to cell and organ transplants or catastrophic injuries and illnesses. HelpHOPELive helps patients and families overcome financial barriers to transplantation and catastrophic injury through grass-roots community fundraising campaigns that enable the families to fundraise without fearing loss of their benefits. This Quality of Life grant will help to support a Hispanic initiative that will enable Spanish speakers who seek a community-based approach to fundraising to help finance their medical and related expenses. A marketing campaign will be launched in areas with high levels of Spanish-speaking individuals, and staff will travel to transplant and rehabilitation centers in Spanish-speaking communities. These efforts will be supported by a translated version of website and printed materials, and the temporary usage of a telephone translation service to serve Spanish speakers until hiring a new full-time staff bilingual professional to serve as a Patient Service Coordinator, who will assist Spanish-speaking clients in customizing a personal fundraising campaign, perfectly tailored to their needs and community. Grant funds will support the cost of a translation service to generate Spanish versions of website and print materials. An estimated 85 individuals with paralysis and their families will be impacted by this project. (This Reeve Foundation Quality of Life grant funds 4 percent of the total project cost).



Herkimer ARC
Herkimer, NY
$6,600 – Accessible Playground/Ball Field
This Quality of Life grant will help to support the Mohawk Valley Region Accessible Recreation Park, a collaboration between the Village of Herkimer and the Herkimer ARC, to transform contiguous properties owned by each into a totally accessible recreation experience attractive to children and families of all ages and abilities in a 10-county region throughout the Mohawk Valley and Central New York. The Recreation Park will feature the following elements: exercise stations for all ages; fitness path; municipal pool renovated for accessibility; renovated basketball court and athletic field; bocce pavilion; picnic pavilion; bandstand; and adult seating at play areas. When complete, the facility will be the only park in the region to have all these fully accessible features. Grant funds will support one piece of a five-piece fitness course apparatus that includes a two-person accessible chest press, accessible butterfly, two-person accessible vertical press, four-person leg press, and four-person lower body combo. impact 11,400 individuals of all ages and abilities and their families. (This Reeve Foundation Quality of Life grant funds .4 percent of the total project cost).



I Believe, Inc.
Montclair, NJ
$3,000 – Media Development
I Believe TV serves the paralysis community locally, nationally and worldwide, via public access television and online. In 2004 Richard Gaskin, known as Professir X, was invited to the Cure Paralysis Now Rally in Washington, DC. He was asked to perform a song he wrote called Forever Superman, a tribute to Christopher Reeve. A collection of friends and family captured the events on video, which included Dana Reeve speaking on stage at the rally. Upon returning to his home and going through the footage, he discovered there were no media outlets on television about the event or information he had gathered. Understanding the importance this information would be to others, he and his peers decided to contact local access television to attempt to deliver the information they captured. A quick return call was made to him and he began editing shows for Public Access television. I Believe TV captures information of those who provide resources for individuals with paralysis and bring this information to those living with paralysis through community, media and social interactions, helping to fill the common void within today's information platforms that rarely show people living with spinal cord injuries what resources are available to them--particularly helping to reach minority and underserved communities. I Believe TV is an open forum of many organizations, exhibitors of Abilities Expos and those developing cures and technologies to improve the Quality of life of people living with paralysis. An element of the project will be to create a catalog of accessible places in local communities, so that people know what to expect and can better plan activities in their community. Grant funds will support production costs including a professional memory video card, premium Soft Floors Interlocking Tile Mats (for studio sound proofing), fluorescent green Rosco Chroma Key Paint and ProTapes Pro Chroma Cloth Tape (to create green screen), and a contracted production assistant that will prepare the studio set, set up camera equipment, drive, and provide physical labor for a duration of 15-20 show recordings. This project is expected to impact 20,000 individuals of all ages with paralysis and their families. (This Reeve Foundation Quality of Life grant funds 100 percent of the total project cost).



Indian Waters Council, Boy Scouts of America
Columbia, SC
$5,304 – Facility Accessibility Modifications
This Quality of Life grant will help to support Camp Barstow for All: Increasing Accessibility to All Activities, an accessibility initiative that will make one of the most popular Boy Scout Camps in the southeast more accessible for Scouts with paralysis. Located on the shores of Lake Murray in Saluda County, South Carolina near the metropolitan area of Columbia, it's easily accessible, yet feels like miles away. The 300-acre camp offers a wide variety of traditional camp activities, with an emphasis on waterfront activities (boating, swimming, fishing), shooting sports (rifle, sporting clays and archery) and high adventure (sailing, survival skills, high ropes course & treks). It is used by Boy Scouts, faith-based youth groups, schools, and even the Department of Juvenile Justice. The camp serves over 2,000 youth in the summer, and another 1,800 during the rest of the year. In 2017, an additional 1,500 youth and their families will participate in a special regional camping event, with Scouts coming from Florida, Georgia & North Carolina as well as South Carolina. About 10% of participants need modifications or accommodations to participate in camp activities, and staff and volunteers are trained by the Boy Scouts of America to make all of program activities accessible to all youth. Grant funds will support 2 beach mats that will enable wheelchair access on the beach; an accessible gate, 2 aluminum threshold ramps, and supplies for a wheelchair accessible Adirondack shelter. (This Reeve Foundation Quality of Life grant funds 23 percent of the total project cost).



Infinite Flow - A Wheelchair Dance Company
Sherman Oaks, CA
$6,000 – Arts Program
This Quality of Life grants program will help to support Infinite Flow Kids, a dance education and outreach program intended to engage kids with and without paralysis in wheelchair ballroom dancing and other forms of commercial dance, such as hip hop and contemporary dance. The existing weekly program “Infinite Flow Kids Dance Company“ meets weekly in two separate groups for class and rehearsal for one hour each. Some kids meet in smaller groups outside of the regular rehearsal for solos as well as experimenting with their own choreography. In order for more kids from different regions to participate, this project will recruit 15 additional dancers with disabilities and 15 contemporaries who are not disabled. Quality of Life grant funding will support instructional costs. There are no fees for participants. All dancers in the Infinite Flow Kids Dance Company are given scholarships, as are their siblings, who are encouraged to participate. Curriculum will include ballroom and hip hop dance for all. Contemporary, improvisation, and choreography will be added for the upper levels. The kids will have the opportunity to showcase their work at various community events and media opportunities. Participant kids and families become part of the Infinite Flow community and form a social and support network. It is estimated that 75 dancers with paralysis and their families will be impacted by this project. (This Reeve Foundation Quality of Life grant funds 12 percent of the total project cost).

Back to top of page

2016 2nd Cycle J - M Direct Effect Quality of Life Grants

Jacob's Chance

Richmond, VA
$10,850 – Adapted Sports
Jacob's Chance is the parent company for River City Buddy Ball, which is in its 7th year of operation. The mission of this program is to promote wellness through exercise and establish relationships between participants with disabilities and peer and adult volunteers through athletic programs. River City Buddy Ball began with a baseball program and has added cheer-leading, tennis, soccer, basketball, surfing, and flag football over the past two years in a suburban location near Richmond. This Quality of Life grant will support the Athletics for All adapted sports program, which will expand the sports programs to offer the programs to lower income residents of the City of Richmond by hosting sporting seasons in locations that are near to accessible public transportation. Initially, baseball and basketball will be offered, followed by the addition of soccer, flag football, tennis, and teen social programs. Grant funds will support staff that will coordinate program logistics, outreach and recruitment, as well as the following equipment: baseball bats, gloves, and balls; flag football supplies and audible balls; adjustable hoops; portable wheelchair ramp for accessibility/ gait assistance/bowling push; 2 sports wheelchairs; soccer balls and goals; and tennis ball machine, balls, and racquets. It is expected that this project will impact 114 individuals with paralysis, ages 5-24 years old, that have conditions such as stroke, cerebral palsy, traumatic brain injury, acquired brain injury, spinal cord injury, muscular dystrophy, spina bifida, and spinal muscular atrophy. (This Reeve Foundation Quality of Life grant funds 39 percent of the total project cost).



Lexington-Fayette Urban County Government Parks and Recreation
Lexington, KY
$7,800 – Adaptive Sports
This grant will help to fund Back to the Bluegrass - Bringing Back Wheelchair Hoops, an initiative that will restore recreational wheelchair basketball in Central Kentucky. Therapeutic Recreation (TR) has been part of the Lexington-Fayette Urban County Government (LFUCG) Division of Parks and Recreation programming for more than 30 years and the TR program is one of three in the state of Kentucky offered through a Parks and Recreation division. In 2015, 296 individuals, experiencing varying levels of disability, attended TR programs and camps. TR serves Fayette and surrounding Central Kentucky counties and participants range in age from eight to 64. Community activities are age appropriate and designed for integration into and socialization within the community at large. For more than 30 years, LFUCG and Cardinal Hill Rehabilitation Hospital supported basketball teams for persons with disabilities. The LFUCG Division of Parks and Recreation had competitive teams and hosted the Bluegrass Wheelchair Invitational Tournament for 32 years. As many as 28 teams from the region would participate in the tournament. Unfortunately, budget cuts that appeared in 2012 caused the tournament to leave Lexington and move to Louisville, and teams dispersed or disbanded. This Quality of Life grant will support the purchase of three basketball wheelchairs for the recreational basketball program, bringing wheelchair basketball back to Central Kentucky and impacting 45 individuals ages 5 years and older with paralysis caused by conditions including spina bifida, cerebral palsy, spinal cord injury, multiple sclerosis, and arthrogryposis. (This Reeve Foundation Quality of Life grant funds 76 percent of the total project cost).



Lions Camp Tatiyee, Inc.
Lakeside, AZ
$6,612 – Facility Accessibility Modifications
Lions Camp Tatiyee is the only organization in Arizona that provides individuals with special needs the opportunity to spend six days and five nights away from home in the White Mountains, enjoying activities and meeting new friends, entirely free-of-charge. Lions Camp Tatiyee has provided this unique experience to special needs families in Arizona since 1958, and generations of campers have gained newfound independence and confidence that comes with trying new activities and challenging personal limits. When the camp is operating at full capacity of 72 campers per week, Lions Camp Tatiyee can host approximately 600 campers per season, ages 5 to 90+ years old. Lions Camp Tatiyee has had a pool lift since the original pool was installed in the late 1990's, but it was used to the point that it no longer operates safely. The loss of this tool in utilizing the pool has reduced the capacity to serve less mobile campers unable to comfortably transition into the pool. This Quality of Life grant will support the installation of a pool lift that will allow a comfortable method by which campers that use wheelchairs (approximately 80+ per season) may enter the pool safely, more independently and with dignity. (This Reeve Foundation Quality of Life grant funds 94 percent of the total project cost).



Margaret E. Moul Home
York, PA
$2,275 – Assistive Technology Initiative
This Quality of Life grant will help to support a project that will bring environmental control technology to adults that have a variety of conditions including cerebral palsy, multiple sclerosis, spina bifida and traumatic brain injuries. This technology will help each person function more independently by controlling his or her TV, radio, lights, computer, telephone and call light in his or her own room, as well as the building's elevators, increasing self-esteem and self-worth and maintaining and/or increasing functional and cognitive abilities. This Quality of Life grant will support 5 eye-gaze environmental control unit systems. (This Reeve Foundation Quality of Life grant funds 1 percent of the total project cost).



Mary Free Bed Rehabilitation Hospital
Grand Rapids, MI
$9,986 – Adaptive Sports
Mary Free Bed Rehabilitation Hospital is one of only 25 hospitals in the United States dedicated solely for the purpose of providing comprehensive, specialized rehabilitative services for individuals with physical disabilities. Last year, Mary Free Bed served approximately 260 patients with paralysis-causing conditions. As this number increases, so does the need for specialized rehabilitation and healthy outlets such as adaptive sports. Mary Free Bed strives to better serve patients by expanding the programs and services offered through the Recreational Therapy Program. That expansion includes the addition of the Downhill Adaptive Handcycle Program. Currently, no hospital or organization in Michigan offers an adaptive program that allows individuals with spinal cord injuries to ride bikes on non-paved trails. With the purchase of the Sport-on, Fat [Tire] Explorer 3 Handcycle, Mary Free Bed Recreational Therapy will offer a brand new adaptive sports clinic to hundreds of patients presently part of the program and to patients for years to come, and will develop and offer Michigan's first and only adaptive downhill and off-road handcycle program. The Downhill Adaptive Handcycle Program will be offered to both inpatients and outpatients, and clinics will be held train patients on the equipment. It is expected that 520 individuals with paralysis and their families will be impacted by this project. (This Reeve Foundation Quality of Life grant funds 99 percent of the total project cost).



Memorial Hospital
South Bend, IN
$7,200 – Durable Medical Equipment
Memorial Hospital is the only verified trauma center in north central Indiana, and provides care for persons in the region who sustain acute spinal cord injury. From 2011-2015, 84 patients were admitted with acute spinal cord injury, with an average of 16.8 patients annually (median 17). The population has grown 75%. This Quality of Life grant will help to support Let's Get Moving: Early Aggressive Rehab to Improve Quality of Life, the purpose of which is to achieve "sooner & safer" mobilization of patients after acute spinal cord injury. This project will help to minimize the negative systemic effects of prolonged immobility for all patients served in the ICU and their families. In 2016, an interdisciplinary team comprising physicians, nurses, patient care assistants, and physical/occupational/speech therapists implemented an early mobility initiative in the ICU for all patients. The specific objective is to achieve movement from bed within 24 hours of medical stability. Medical stability is defined in terms of cardiovascular, oxygenation, and neuro stability without support of medications. This project will focus extending early mobility for patients with acute spinal cord injury. Early mobilization can decrease the incidence of respiratory complications, bowel complications, pressure injuries and deep vein thrombosis due to immobility and decreased muscular tone. The negative effects of bedrest can also delay the rehabilitative process, especially if the patient cannot tolerate a vertical position. Through progressive mobility, patients can acclimate to an upright position to decrease orthostatic complications. Quality of Life grant funds will support the equipment needed for the program that is specific to patients of different sizes with acute spinal cord injury, and includes walking jackets and slings in different sizes, reclining wheelchairs in 2 different sizes, and Roho high profile cushions in 2 different sizes. It is expected that this project will impact 100 individuals, ages 13 and over, with acute spinal cord injury and their families. (This Reeve Foundation Quality of Life grant funds 60 percent of the total project cost).



Miracle Flights for Kids
Green Valley, NV
$7,500 – Healthcare
Miracle Flights serves economically disadvantaged families facing life-threatening medical conditions, who need to travel to distant medical facilities for specialized care. Children and adults are flown from all 50 states to the best treatment centers in the nation for their needs. Unlike many other programs, Miracle Flights will provide transportation to qualifying families as often, and for as long, as is required. The funding requested will be used to coordinate travel arrangements and book commercial airline flights for families with an urgent medical need to travel for specialty care. Qualifying families can receive travel assistance for a child patient and up to 2 parents or legal guardians. In addition, flights are provided for adult patients and 1 caregiver if medically necessary. Eligibility includes income threshold, certification of need from the referring physician and appointment verification from the treatment site. This Quality of Life grant will help to support approximately 17 flights for children and adults who are battling rare medical disorders and disabilities and would otherwise lack access to specialized medical care. (This Reeve Foundation Quality of Life grant funds 9 percent of the total project cost).

Mission to Assist and Provide for Seniors (MAPS Charities)

Newhall, CA
$6,800 – Durable Medical Equipment
This Quality of Life grant will help to support the Senior Mobility Project, which aims to increase access to mobility devices and related needs for low-income and high-risk senior citizens in the Los Angeles County area. The Senior Mobility Project will fund outreach to partner agencies and direct safety-net assistance to seniors in 2017. The Project strives to bolster independent living by helping seniors with mobility impairments to age in place with dignity. Clients are referred by case managers, physicians, discharge planners, and other eldercare professionals from over 20 partner agencies. Seniors must meet basic eligibility requirements: they must be at least 60 years of age and not have previously received assistance totaling over $500 from MAPS Charities. As part of the Senior Mobility Project, referrers will be required to specifically report their clients' paralyzing and mobility-impairing conditions, in an effort to increase understanding of this vulnerable population's needs and improve quality of life through assistive devices and beyond. It is evident even from existing data that clients who are able to afford wheelchairs, mobility scooters, walkers, and other durable equipment because they are covered by Medicare Part B cannot afford additional purchases that could dramatically impact their health and well-being. The project funding will be used to fulfill mobility-related requests submitted by eldercare professionals throughout Los Angeles on behalf of impoverished seniors under their care. Clients, their referrers, and MAPS staff will work together to purchase safe, effective, and size-appropriate durable medical equipment from local and online vendors. In the past year, approximately 10% of safety net funds granted by MAPS Charities were used for the purchase of items that increase mobility and accessibility, such as wheelchairs, ramps, and bathtub seats. Accordingly, the Senior Mobility Project funding will be used to increase the number of seniors with mobility needs served by MAPS Charities, more coherently assess their diverse needs, and ensure that these needs are met to the best of the agency's abilities. Grant funds will support durable medical equipment including wheelchairs, walkers, shower chairs, lift chairs, grab bars, and bedside commodes. It is estimated that 115 individuals over the age of 61 with a variety of paralysis-causing conditions will be impacted by this project. (This Reeve Foundation Quality of Life grant funds 40 percent of the total project cost).



Montana Independent Living Project (MILP)
Helena, MT
$10,000 – Fitness and Wellness
This Quality of Life grant will help to support Out the Door and MORE!, designed to improve the health, wellness, and quality of life for people living with disabilities by eliminating barriers leading to social isolation. Out the Door and MORE! consists of three programs: RAMP (Readiness to Achieve Mobility and Parity), Evening & Weekend Accessible Transportation, and Travel Training. MILP's RAMP program will begin making ramps available (as inventory supply allows) to any community member living with a mobility disability. For many people, a single step may as well be the Grand Canyon, as they find themselves unable to exit or enter their home safely, if at all. Front steps suddenly become potential hazards for falls or obstacles that prevent a person from leaving safely in an emergency. RAMP will provide the means to access their yard, neighborhood, and community as a whole. MILP is partnering with QRamp (www.qramp.com), a manufacturer of access ramp systems that are designed for quick, easy assembly. QRamp has agreed to sell to MILP, at wholesale, their maintenance-free, movable alternatives to permanent wood ramps. This significant savings benefits the community by allowing MILP to provide more ramps for more people living with disabilities. The RAMP loaner program will install a ramp for any community member living with a mobility disability, regardless of their ability to pay, for as long as necessary. MILP will retain ownership of the ramp. If a person no longer requires its use, MILP will uninstall and make it available for another community member. However, if someone would prefer to purchase a QRamp system, MILP will sell them one. Any proceeds from the ramp sale will be reinvested into additional modular components for the loaner program. This begins to resolve the home-to-curb barrier. While a ramp itself may be considered a home modification, it is truly much, much more. It becomes the mechanism that allows someone living with a disability to actively participate in their neighborhood and community, thus leading to improved health, wellness, and a quality of life. Grant funds will help to support the purchase of QRamp product inventory. (This Reeve Foundation Quality of Life grant funds 7 percent of the total project cost).



Music Conservatory of Westchester
White Plains, NY
$2,286 – Arts Program
This Quality of Life grant will support a music therapy program for individuals with cerebral palsy and other paralysis-causing conditions. The physical process of music-making has several important physical and emotional benefits for individuals with physical injuries, cerebral palsy and related conditions, including improved muscle control, sense of empowerment, stress reduction, and the joy of making music. Creating original music takes individual creativity to an unprecedented level, uncovering talent and offering an outlet for expressing a variety of thoughts and emotions. For individuals with cerebral palsy and other mobility impairments, the challenge of documenting their original compositions can be resolved through technology. Grant funds will help to support a computer and keyboard setup with composition software, and will facilitate a high level of music-making, including composing original music, and would also be used for the students to perform. The new computer and keyboard setup with composition software will offer many benefits to people with paralysis. For example, for someone who is paraplegic, the setup will provide a beneficial and therapeutic activity that can be done while sitting in a wheelchair, which is not true for many instruments. The use of the keyboard will offer recreation, learning, and creative expression. For children with cerebral palsy, using the keyboard will stimulate muscle development and increase strength. For veterans and others with TBI, this activity will help rebuild memory and cognitive functioning. The Conservatory organized a Veterans Band two years ago which is open to all veterans in the program. The band will use the technology set-up to write and arrange songs as a group. The proposed project is part of a plan to develop a keyboard technology lab consisting of eight student stations and a teacher station. The first work station with a new computer and keyboard setup will be housed temporarily in one of the existing classrooms until the keyboard lab is completed. Eight work stations will be in place by December 2017. Grant funds will support the full-size keyboard, pedals, student interface box, and workstation. This project is expected to impact 75 individuals, ages 5 years and up, that have conditions such as cerebral palsy, spinal cord injury, traumatic brain injury, spina bifida, and multiple sclerosis. (This Reeve Foundation Quality of Life grant funds 2 percent of the total project cost).

Back to top of page

2016 2nd Cycle N - R Direct Effect Quality of Life Grants

New Horizons, Inc.
Unionville, CT
$4,000 – Durable Medical Equipment
New Horizons Village is one of the largest apartment complexes in North America dedicated to independent living by persons with disabilities. This Quality of Life grant will support the purchase of a standing lift to assist with transfers of persons with limited or no mobility to a bed, chair, or for toileting needs, replacing a lift that had been regularly used for 14 years and had surpassed its safe usage. Eighty individuals will be impacted by this equipment. Individuals that reside at New Horizons Village are adults over the age of 19 that have paralysis-causing conditions including multiple sclerosis, cerebral palsy, spina bifida, stroke, and spinal cord injury. (This Reeve Foundation Quality of Life grant funds 100 percent of the total project cost).

No Barriers, USA
Fort Collins, CO
$4,000 – Adapted Sports
This Quality of Life grant will help to support the 2017 No Barriers Summit, a 4-day intensive conference and exposition targeted to individuals with disabilities and their families. The Summit promotes innovation, education and assistive technologies that enable participants of all abilities and ages to discover the potential that lies within them. Through over 50 hands-on clinics (such as mountain biking, rock climbing, fly-fishing, art, etc.), expeditions, innovative demonstrations, adaptive activities and exercises, participants gain inspiration, insight and resolve which promotes community and independence, encourages inclusion, creates stronger family bonding and increase quality of life. Grant funds will support activity experts to facilitate clinics. It is expected that at least 80 individuals with paralysis and their families will be impacted by this grant. (This Reeve Foundation Quality of Life grant funds .5 percent of the total project cost).

Norton Healthcare Foundation
Louisville, KY
$11,220 – Fitness and Wellness
This Quality of Life grant will help to fund Neuro Tai Chi, a program specifically designed for people who are living with paralysis due to Parkinson's disease, multiple sclerosis, spinal cord injuries, ALS, or stroke and their caregivers. This class meets twice a week throughout the year, with each class lasting 1-½ hours. Participants are expected to attend at least one full 12-week session and are encouraged to continue with the program, as because just as with any other form of exercise, Tai Chi should be practiced regularly to maintain its value. The class is conducted by a Tai Chi expert who has extensive experience working with people with these neurological conditions. The purpose of the Neuro Tai Chi class is to engage the minds and bodies of people with Parkinson's disease, MS, stroke, ALS, or spinal cord injuries and their caregivers through a community-building environment that not only improves balance, flexibility and focus, but also the overall positive mood of the patients. Neuro Tai Chi reduces stress, anxiety, and fatigue as it works towards a clearer and more relaxed mind and more positive outlook on their quality of life. Tai Chi is a low-impact activity suitable for people of all ages and all abilities, especially people with neurological conditions, as it places minimal stress on joints and muscles and as such, is far less likely than other forms of exercise to cause muscle soreness or injury due to its slow, flowing, graceful movements. The Neuro Tai Chi class is free of charge to patients and their caregivers. The class can accommodate up to 25 people with Parkinson's disease, MS, ALS, or spinal cord injuries as well as their caregivers. The current class has 25 participants, but there is a waiting list of 25 who have expressed interest in participating in this program. Grant funds will fund the Tai Chi expert. (This Reeve Foundation Quality of Life grant funds 49 percent of the total project cost).

Old Dominion University Research Foundation
Norfolk, VA
$23,137 – Adaptive Sports
This Quality of Life grant will support the launch of the Mighty Monarchs Adapted Sports Program, a community-based adapted sports program for youth with physical and sensory disabilities. Held on the campus of Old Dominion University (ODU), this program will offer the opportunities that are not currently available in the Hampton Roads area for youth with physical and sensory disabilities to participate in adapted sports, including wheelchair basketball, wheelchair tennis and goalball, on a weekly basis throughout the school year, and will specifically target youth who are enrolled in urban school districts across the Hampton Roads area. Adult athletes with disabilities, including wounded veterans recruited from Naval Station Norfolk, the largest naval complex in the world, will be invited to participate in programming and mentor younger athletes, providing an important opportunity for the youth athletes to learn about their own abilities by seeing the successes of people like them. A secondary purpose of the Mighty Monarchs Adapted Sports Program will be to provide hands-on training opportunities for undergraduate and graduate students interested in related fields, such as those studying therapeutic recreation, physical education, and adapted physical education. Further, the Mighty Monarchs Adapted Sports Program will provide a forum for conducting research in the arenas of physical activity and health-related quality of life for individuals with physical and sensory disabilities. Currently, researchers have a limited understanding of how physical activity impacts individuals with physical and sensory disabilities and their families, especially related to quality of life. Although research is available pertaining to the impact adapted sport and physical activity have on adults with physical disabilities, little has been done to explore these relationships for youth. Because the Mighty Monarchs Adapted Sports Program will recruit and engage a large number of youth with disabilities over an extended period of time, the opportunity to conduct much needed research in this arena will be pursued. Grant funds will support ten sports wheelchairs for the program. This project is expected to impact 60 youth, ages 5-18 years old, with paralysis-causing conditions and their families. (This Reeve Foundation Quality of Life grant funds 100 percent of the total project cost).

Oregon Paralyzed Veterans of America
Salem, OR
$2,895 – Adaptive Sports
This Quality of Life grant will support the purchase of a GRIT Freedom Chair that will be loaned to individuals with mobility challenges that reside in Oregon or are visiting the area, enabling them to join their families or others in outdoor events throughout the Northwest. These wheelchairs use gearing and upright poles to get propulsion for the chair. They work off road, on hiking trails and even on the beach. The GRIT Freedom Chair was designed by a world-class team of MIT engineers to handle any terrain. The 26“ mountain bike tires provide superior traction, especially compared to regular wheelchair wheels, and coupled with the lever drive, it's an unstoppable combination. The GRIT Freedom Chair's lightweight steel frame is extremely strong and provides a smooth ride over bumpy terrain. The big front wheel doesn't get stuck and the three-wheeled footprint is stable like a tripod. This grant will support the purchase of one GRIT Freedom Chair, and the manufacturer will cover the cost of a second one, enabling more individuals to be impacted by the project. It is expected that this project will impact 100 individuals, ages 13 years and above, that have conditions such as spinal cord injury, multiple sclerosis, and ALS. (This Reeve Foundation Quality of Life grant funds 74 percent of the total project cost).

Paralyzed Veterans of America North Central Chapter
Sioux Falls, SD
$5,000 – Adaptive Sports
This Quality of Life grant will help to support the 15th Annual PVA North Central Chapter/Firefighters Walleye Fishing Event, in which Firefighters from around the state of South Dakota provide their personal boats and the manpower to take veterans with spinal cord dysfunctions fishing for 2 days in Chamberlain, South Dakota on the Missouri River. Each boat has a Firefighter and Co-Captain, along with 1 to 2 angler(s), most of whom use wheelchairs. PVA North Central Chapter provides all financial support for the volunteers and veterans, other than a dinner provided by the Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) Post 628. For many of the paralyzed or disabled anglers, this is their only opportunity each year to fish from a boat. Safely transferring someone who has limited or no lower limb mobility into a boat is a monumental undertaking very few would consider attempting without the resources this group brings to this event. An electric wheelchair alone averages 400 - 500 pounds. The Firefighters have mastered this task by manufacturing a support beam which slides onto the prongs of a boom forklift. A custom harness is attached to the support beam, which is used to raise both a wheelchair and the angler in it, from the parking lot into a boat. The event will be held will be held May 25-26, 2017, and it is expected that 75 individuals over the age of 19 years old with paralysis-causing conditions will be impacted. Grant funds will support accessible lodging for the participants. (This Reeve Foundation Quality of Life grant funds 33 percent of the total project cost).

Paraquad, Inc.
Saint Louis, MO
$4,700 – Fitness and Wellness
This Quality of Life grant will help to support the acquisition of a Lite Gait 400ES for Paraquad's Accessible Health and Wellness Center. The Lite Gait 400ES features a powered lift that can quickly bring a patient up to 6'8" tall and 400 pounds from sitting in a wheelchair to a full standing position over a treadmill or the ground. The Lite Gait 400ES provides postural stability and bio-mechanically appropriate posture. Originally opened in 2004 in partnership with Washington University, the Center is an accessible exercise facility for people with disabilities. Paraquad's staff of physical and occupational therapists work with each participant to design an individualized fitness plan to maximize his or her health and functional independence goals. The staff also supports people discharged from rehabilitation facilities to continue therapeutic exercise programs. Over the past decade, Washington University's researchers have tracked program data during an introductory 12-week period, which shows participants consistently experience improved strength and endurance and reduced secondary health conditions. The Lite Gait 400ES will be the latest piece of equipment offered by the Accessible Health and Wellness Center, adding to the an array of wheelchair-accessible exercise equipment, including arm ergometers for aerobic exercise; Vitaglide for upper body strength; and weight equipment. These machines help participants improve functions such as strength, endurance, circulation, range of motion, and bone density. Additionally, the Center offers a unique mobility skills course where people with recently acquired disabilities learn to navigate everyday obstacles such as slopes, ramps, uneven pavement, and stairs. It is expected that this project will impact 180 individuals ages 19 years old and up that have stroke, spinal cord injury, multiple sclerosis, cerebral palsy, muscular dystrophy, polio and other paralysis-causing conditions. (This Reeve Foundation Quality of Life grant funds 3 percent of the total project cost).

Pennsylvania Elks Major Projects, Inc.
Somerset, PA
$5,000 – Caregiving
This Quality of Life grant will help to support a program to provide children and adults with disabilities the support services and resources they need to live as independently as possible and maintain a healthier lifestyle. They will receive needed support and advocacy services to promote full participation in community life. Family members and others who care for them will receive the support they need to decrease their stress and improve their quality of life. Children and adults with disabilities will receive access to affordable, quality health care, including dental care and oral hygiene. In addition, the need for behavioral health care services will be evaluated and services will be accessed as needed. Durable medical equipment and supplies will be obtained. Assistive technology will be accessed to foster independence and improve health and safety. Children born with disabilities or who acquired them later will receive the early intervention services they need to foster healthy development. Youth with special needs will receive the support they need to transition successfully to adulthood. Adults will receive the home- and community-based services they need to be able to live as independently as possible. Grant funds will support home visit travel costs. It is expected that this program will impact 3,500 individuals with paralysis and their families, providing a continuum of care through every stage of life. (This Reeve Foundation Quality of Life grant funds .6 percent of the total project cost).

Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine Foundation
Philadelphia, PA
$12,500 – Transition from Institution to Home
This Quality of Life grant will help to support the Virtual Life program, a partnership between Inglis Gardens at Belmont, Home Care Associates, Magee Medical Home, and Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine (PCOM), which will test a new model of care enabling individuals with significant physical disabilities and complex health care needs to live well and independently in the community. Virtual Life is specifically designed to provide an array of support services, including housing, primary care, home attendants, and case management for individuals living with paralysis and related mobility impairments to successfully transition from a long-term care facility and support their integration into independent living. The dream of independent living will finally become a reality for 24 individuals as a result of this innovative and collaborative project. As the project proves to be successful, these comprehensive services will be offered to community members with profound disabilities. This grant will help to support the accessible primary health care, and specifically will support one electronic wheelchair scale with handrails, one Hoyer lift, and one electric adjustable examination table. (This Reeve Foundation Quality of Life grant funds 16 percent of the total project cost).

Pittsburgh Penguins Foundation
Pittsburgh, PA
$5,400 – Adaptive Sports
This Quality of Life grant will help to support the expansion of Mighty Penguins Sled Hockey to additional players with disabilities in the Pittsburgh region. Adding a third team will not only allow more youth to have ice time, but will serve as an intermediate level for many players who are in between skill levels. Grant funds will be used to purchase the extra equipment needed for these additional players to keep everyone compliant and safe on the ice; specifically, 8 sled hockey sleds and 8 sets of hockey sticks. This project is expected to impact 60 individuals ages 5-60 years old with paralysis-causing conditions and their families. (This Reeve Foundation Quality of Life grant funds 18 percent of the total project cost).

PROVAIL
Seattle, WA
$12,600 – Physical/Occupational Therapy
PROVAIL is the only organization in the region offering a full range of comprehensive services so that people with disabilities can live, work, and fully participate in the community according to their choices. In order to serve more children with complex needs, the PROVAIL headquarters planned a comprehensive renovation and expansion, including the Clinic Therapy Room. Grant funds will help fund the purchase and installation of an overhead lift system and hygiene support station for the new therapy room bathroom, ensuring that the upgraded facility will be able to meet the needs of all clients safely and with dignity and respect. It is expected that 655 individuals of all ages with paralysis and their families will be impacted by this project. (This Reeve Foundation Quality of Life grant funds 7 percent of the total project cost).

Providence Little Company of Mary
San Pedro, CA
$10,850 – Durable Medical Equipment
This Quality of Life grant will help to support the Providence Rehabcentre Wheelchair Clinic, which works to build confidence in clients that will need to use wheelchairs for mobility. Clients have the opportunity to trial ultralight wheelchairs, discuss options with therapists and specialists, see visuals from the pressure mapping device to make decisions on cushions and comfort, and speak to other clients who can give them first-hand experience. The Providence Rehabcentre Wheelchair Clinic will help to provide mobility options for clients to once again participate in the community, with simple tasks or highly interactive adaptive sports. The Wheelchair Clinic can provide a critical starting point to independent living by expanding access to mobility equipment and pressure mapping. Adding a pressure mapping system and trial ultralights with cushion support will allow the caregiving team and the client to identify the mobility device for overall health and comfort. Grant funds will support a pressure mapping system with accessories, a Catalyst 5Vx ultralight folding wheelchair package, and a Tsunami ALX ultralight rigid frame wheelchair package. It is expected that this project will impact 250 individuals ages 19 years and above that have paralysis-causing conditions such as spinal cord injury, Parkinson's, multiple sclerosis, Guillain-Barré Syndrome, spinal muscular atrophy, and transverse myelitis. (This Reeve Foundation Quality of Life grant funds 3 percent of the total project cost).

R4 Alliance
Sun Valley, ID
$13,000 – Adaptive Sports
This Quality of Life grant will support Operation Access Outdoors (ACCESS), which will allow veterans and civilians in the disability community to access to therapeutic recreational programs as part of their healing plan. R4 is partnered with Outrider USA, a manufacturer of adaptive, all-terrain bikes that allow individuals that have paralysis and other mobility challenges and their families to participate in outdoor recreational activities and improve their quality of life. Outrider vehicles have a wide array adaptive features, providing a versatile platform for riders with spinal cord injuries. The Horizon model offers optimal usability for individuals with spinal cord injury. Settings are adjustable to meet the unique needs of each rider. Grant funds will support the purchase of one Horizon Outrider all-terrain bike that will be loaned to veterans free of charge, and will be used by select nonprofit organizations that provide safe outdoor activities for disabled veterans and their family members programs for off-road rides, cross country rides, racing events, trail adventures and more. It is expected that 250 veterans and civilians with paralysis-causing conditions and their families will be impacted by this project. (This Reeve Foundation Quality of Life grant funds 17 percent of the total project cost).

Rancho Research Institute
Downy, CA
$15,675 – Arts Program
This Quality of Life grant will support Photography as Therapy for Individuals With Spinal Cord Injury, a program that enables individuals with spinal cord injury to learn photography as a means of creative expression and a way to channel negative emotion into something positive. Photography is an ideal tool to engage and inspire people who are struggling with their lives. Photography combines instant, tangible gratification with the potential to rework an image to perfection—and then share it with friends or strangers to get feedback and provoke reaction. Each student produces photographs to be exhibited and presented in an online portfolio. The great value of this process was first demonstrated in 2014 by the documented success of the first two-semester Photography as Therapy program. Each student was given a camera and then asked to show the world through their eyes. Under the tutelage of a professional photographer, the results were astonishing. The images were thought provoking, heart wrenching, and above all, thoroughly unique in their perspective. The 19 graduates of this startup program reported that they were more confident and independent and that the program helped them to look beyond their own disability. This grant will support the costs for the photography instructor, guest speakers, and project coordinator in order to continue these classes for a year. This project will impact 18 individuals, ages 19-60 years old, that have paralysis caused by spinal cord injury. (This Reeve Foundation Quality of Life grant funds 64 percent of the total project cost).

ReinventAbility
Chicago, IL
$2,155 – Arts Program
This Quality of Life grant will support Dancing with Disability, a program of weekly dance classes offered to teenagers that reside at Illinois Center for Rehabilitation and Education (ICRE), a state of Illinois school charged with preparing “students age 16-21 with severe physical disabilities for independent living. The program uses dance to teach skills needed for independent living, such as community mobility and advocacy skills. Inclusion is promoted by teaching social dancing strategies as well as specific dances that students may encounter out in the community, such as popular line dances that are often engaged in at school dances or weddings. Grant funds will support the assistant dance instructor (a dancer that has spina bifida), a dance instructor apprentice, music and music licensing. It is expected that this project will impact 150 individuals ages 13 – 24, that have conditions such as spina bifida, cerebral palsy, spinal cord injury, traumatic brain injury, and polio. (This Reeve Foundation Quality of Life grant funds 46 percent of the total project cost).

Rockford Park District Foundation
Rockford, IL
$2,500 – Adaptive Sports
This Quality of Life grant will help to support a floating water wheelchair for the Magic Waters Water Park, a family-friendly community park with high standards for safety, cleanliness, and friendly customer service. In 2011 Magic Waters was awarded an Aquatics International award and rated the #4 publicly-owned water park in the country. Guests with disabilities enjoy the park assisted by accommodations as needed. Accessible rides and attractions within the park include: Tsunami Bay - the largest wave pool in Illinois featuring a zero-depth entrance and a wave pool that alternates between calm water and wild waves; Splash Magic River—an attraction that features a zero-depth entrance and allows participants to float along the "river" and relax; Tiki Island—an attraction that offers a variety of sensory fun for all ages and interactive water toys, topped off by a 1,000 gallon water bucket that tips and sends water splashing everywhere. The water wheelchair will enable people living with disabilities, who may have otherwise had to watch from outside each attraction, to experience the waterpark attractions with their families. It is expected that 50 individuals with paralysis, ages 5 – 60 years old, will be impacted by this project. (This Reeve Foundation Quality of Life grant funds 100 percent of the total project cost).

Rocklin Swim Team
Rocklin, CA
$4,000 – Adaptive Sports
This Quality of Life grant will help to support the Adaptive Aquatics Youth Summer Program, an opportunity for youth with special needs to experience aquatic activities and develop water awareness. The program is designed so that swim instructors will work one-on-one with special needs youth. Due to the sensitive needs of the participants, a professional in the field of special needs therapy is present to oversee the sessions. The sessions are grouped with 3-6 participants so that each child receives the level of assistance that best suits their needs. Sessions are designed by a professional swim instructor and physical therapist to allow each child the opportunity to advance at their own pace, yet be challenging enough to allow the child to feel accomplished. Water safety is enforced and depending on the skill level of each child, early-to-beginning swim techniques are taught in a fun and positive environment. The program is free to children and youth between the ages of 1 and 18 years old. Registration is done on a first-come-first-served basis with priority registration given to children referred to the program by local service providers. Aside from the physical benefit of being in the water and having the ability to move freely without their disability acting as a barrier, the program is designed to develop a sense of community. Families have opportunities to meet other families that are involved in the swim team, which includes a network of families dedicated to youth in the community. Grant funds will support the swim instructor, life guard, and physical therapist. It is expected that this project will impact 8 youth, from infant to 18 years old, that have cerebral palsy, muscular dystrophy, dyspraxia, and any other paralysis-causing conditions. (This Reeve Foundation Quality of Life grant funds 40 percent of the total project cost).

Back to top of page

2016 2nd Cycle S - T Direct Effect Quality of Life Grants

Sanctuary Hill Foundation NFP

Petersburg, IL
$9,300 – Therapeutic Horseback Riding
Sanctuary Hill Foundation NFP was originally founded in 2006 to help children in need. In 2014, the organization embraced a concept for delivering innovative programs for children and adults with physical and developmental disabilities through interactions with horses, and the Bright Star Equestrian Centre was born. Located in Petersburg, Illinois, a small rural area in central Illinois, Bright Star Equestrian Centre serves riders that reside mostly in Menard, Sangamon and Mason counties, where it is the only therapeutic riding facility that is certified as a Professional Association of Therapeutic Horsemanship (PATH) center. Expanded programming in 2016 includes family support services called the Bright Star Family Circle, and Veritas, an equine therapy program specifically created for combat veterans. Grant funds will support the installation of a portable mounting ramp and mechanized lift for children and adults who have severe mobility losses and are not able to access the mounting block or lift themselves onto the saddle to ride the horse because they lack motor control, or are too heavy to be lifted onto the saddle by volunteers. It is expected that 38 individuals with paralysis and their families will be impacted by this project. (This Reeve Foundation Quality of Life grant funds 45 percent of the total project cost).



SCI Recovery Project
Denver, CO
$5,500 – Fitness and Wellness
The SCI Recovery Project strives to optimize the level of physical and emotional wellness for those impacted by spinal cord injury through progressive, evidence-based adaptive exercise techniques, alternative health and wellness programs and the cultivation of creative community partnerships. Initially traveling by truck with minimal equipment to serve participants with spinal cord injury in their homes, the organization now occupies a 5,600 square foot state-of-the-art adaptive exercise facility in north Denver. Programs are available to all individuals with spinal cord injury regardless of their physical challenges, and include Adaptive Exercise, Open Gym and Integrative Therapies. Fees for the Adaptive Exercise and Open Gym Programs are subsidized through fundraising efforts to keep costs low for all clients. Skilled Adaptive Exercise Specialists and Integrative Therapy Providers help individuals identify their goals for health, wellness, and recovery, and those goals drive the services provided. Recognizing that the term “recovery“ is subjective and individual outcomes are unpredictable, clients are assisted in pursuing their individual goals--whether they are as simple as being able to scratch their nose, or as complex as learning to stand and take steps again. Success is identified not only in physical improvements, but also in the maintenance of health and wellness, with the focus is on the whole person, not the physical limitations they face as result of their injury. Grant funds will help to support a Neurogym Sit-to-Stand Trainer. It is expected that 250 individuals with paralysis, ages 18 and above, and their families will be impacted by this project. (This Reeve Foundation Quality of Life grant funds 8 percent of the total project cost).



Shakopee Diversity Alliance
Shakopee, MN
$13,245 – Accessible Playground/Ballfield
This Quality of Life grant will help to support the Shakopee Fun for All Playground, an accessible play center at Lions Park, the City of Shakopee's oldest park. Lions Park is open to the public year round, and is home to SandVenture Aquatic Park and the City's 18-hole Disc Golf Course. This park is a favorite for company picnics, family reunions and community events. The 50-acre park has a basketball court, playground, tennis courts, hockey rink, trails and pleasure skating area. It also provides public restrooms and picnic shelters and a warming house. Grant funds will support the installation of a Sway Fun® Glider,“ an essential piece of equipment that is the first wheelchair accessible glider that is ADA compliant and meets all safety standards. Twin bench seating accommodates room for friends and family, along with three bench and two wheelchair handholds, and an interactive play table with dual cup holders. The Sway Fun® glider is for people of all abilities to enjoy outdoor play for many years. It is expected that this project will impact 5,000 individuals of all ages and ability levels. (This Reeve Foundation Quality of Life grant funds 3 percent of the total project cost).



Shane's Inspiration
Sherman Oaks, CA
$2,500 – Accessible Playground/Ballfield
This Quality of Life grant will help to support Together, We Are Able, a program that transforms inclusive playgrounds into classrooms where compassion and acceptance are the core learning objectives. Delivered free of charge to grades K-12 in Los Angeles, the program reinforces critical social skills for children with disabilities while promoting respect for diversity, understanding and awareness in their typically developing peers and teachers. The program is delivered in the following steps: DAY 1: In-Class Workshop: DAY 2: Interactive Field Trip: Students then pair with their peers with disabilities for a day of play at a Shane's Inspiration inclusive playground. In addition to scheduling the field trip, Shane's Inspiration pays for bus transportation from the campus to the playground via local transportation companies. This aspect can be cost prohibitive for schools with students using wheelchairs and require multiple buses. Without this support, more severely impacted students would not be able to participate. Once at the Shane's Inspiration playground, students with typical abilities are paired up with children with disabilities for a day of play, allowing students to gain insight and connect socially through first-hand experience. Shane's Inspiration staff facilitate the interaction, showing the students how to communicate, connect and play beyond their differences. Each field trip lasts approximately 3 hours. Day 3:Follow-Up Presentation: A second forty-five minute classroom workshop follows the field trip. It begins with a post-field trip written exercise, which allows educators to measure the shift in beliefs and attitudes about disabilities. This is followed by a wrap-up discussion that gives students the opportunity to share successes, challenges and reaffirms what they learned personally through the experience. A closing activity illustrates the reciprocity of their experience on the playground, emphasizing the gifts both sets of students gave to one another. To further extend the program's long-term impact, a professional development program was created, which trains educators to self-deliver the program, increasing the number of children impacted an on-going basis. Educators have the opportunity to download the programming materials free of charge and, through staff guidance, implement the program in their classrooms and schools. Grant funds will support accessible bus transportation. It is expected that 105 children with paralysis-causing conditions, ages 0-12 years old, will be impacted by this project. (This Reeve Foundation Quality of Life grant funds 1 percent of the total project cost).



Shelby Residential and Vocational Services, Inc. (SRVS)
Memphis, TN
$5,950 – Therapeutic Horseback Riding
Shelby Residential and Vocational Services, Inc. (SRVS) is West Tennessee's largest provider of disability services, supporting more than 1,000 individuals in the Memphis region. Services are designed to follow the arc of clients' lives—from birth to end of life—and to meet a full spectrum of the families' needs, regardless of the severity of the disability. SRVS programs include: Community Living, Learning Centers, SRVS Kids & Families, Community Employment Services, Family Support, Intermediate Care Facilities, Personal Assistance, and Elderly and Adult Disability Services. These supports improve the quality of life of individuals with disabilities while increasing their independence and self-sufficiency. Their families and caregivers, in turn, have more freedom to work and participate in the community. In 2015, SRVS partnered with Southern Reins, a local equine therapy provider; to offer access to the benefits of equine therapy. Participants experienced the satisfaction of learning a new skill, strengthened their bodies, and interacted with Southern Reins staff and volunteers, even making new friends. However, it was evident that the majority of SRVS clients were missing out on this opportunity because they live on extremely fixed incomes and cannot afford to participate in activities that many people take for granted. The lack of accessible transportation is also a barrier to accessing services. This project will expand access to the therapies at Southern Reins to clients with paralysis by enabling SRVS to subsidize the cost of sessions for clients. SRVS will fund ninety percent of the cost of 20 weeks of lessons and clients will pay the remaining ten percent. This project will provide 12-15 adults with paralysis or limited mobility (many who have cerebral palsy, use a wheelchair, and have limited financial resources) with subsidized therapeutic riding sessions and hippotherapy sessions. Beyond the physical benefits, the programming at Southern Reins allows these individuals to socialize with typical and non-typical peers, connect to their community, and perhaps most importantly, experience the joy and pride that comes with learning new skills. (This Reeve Foundation Quality of Life grant funds 82 percent of the total project cost).



Shepherd Center
Atlanta, GA
$3,339 – Adaptive Sports
This Quality of Life grant will help to support the Shepherd Center's adaptive sports program, which helps to empower patients and all in the community with disabilities to lead active, happy, and healthy lifestyles through team and individual competition. Shepherd Center athletes challenge stereotypes about individuals with disabilities by demonstrating that they can participate and thrive in sports at a competitive level. Sports teams also provide hope and motivation for the Shepherd Center inpatient population. Exposing patients to practice sessions and competition helps them to see that life beyond injury or illness can be full of fun, vigorous, and challenging physical activity. Adaptive sports results in a greater level of reintegration as an active and productive community member. Increased self-esteem, self-confidence and self-efficacy often lead to increased likelihood of employment, with enhanced productivity and less absenteeism. Individuals increase their knowledge that will allow them to seek ways of incorporating new ways of life that make them not only independent but happy daily with their overall quality of life. Many times, this not only helps the patient with the disability but their family and friends that are there to support them. Grant funds will support one Catrike 5.5.9. Grand Touring Bike, a high-performance bike designed for long-distance rides with extraordinary comfort. This equipment will be used for community members, inpatient, day program and outpatient patients. The bike can be adjusted to better fit different body types. It is expected that 100 individuals with paralysis and their families will be impacted by this project. (This Reeve Foundation Quality of Life grant funds .2 percent of the total project cost).



Sociedad, Educación y Rehabilitación (SER) de Puerto Rico, Inc.
San Juan, PR
$5,243 – Physical/Occupational Therapy
This Quality of Life grant will help to support SER de Puerto Rico's Aquatic Therapy Center. SER inaugurated in 2015 a world-class Technological Pediatric Therapeutic Center in its San Juan, Puerto Rico facilities. It is the only of its kind in Puerto Rico. Aligned to its mission and abiding to its course towards offering better services to its participants, SER will renovate its Aquatic Therapy Center in 2017. This will provide an updated therapeutic opportunity that would otherwise not be available for the target population—the majority of participants being children, youth and young adults with a disability. Currently SER provides services to 4,600 participants, and there is a waiting list for other persons with a disability that require the services provided at the institution. SER's Aquatic Therapy Center Renovation will be funded by Banco Popular de Puerto Rico ($48,000). Grant funds will support the installation of a hydraulic lift, which will provide access to participants while preventing harm to them and personnel providing assistance. This lift will replace the existing hydraulic lift, which has been used for over 22 years and is no longer safely operational, and aquatic physical therapy tools. It is expected that 300 individuals with paralysis-causing conditions such as cerebral palsy, multiple sclerosis, muscular dystrophy, spina bifida, spinal cord injury, stroke, spinal muscular atrophy and brain injury will be impacted by this project. (This Reeve Foundation Quality of Life grant funds 10 percent of the total project cost).



Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital Corporation
Boston, MA
$6,760 – Adaptive Sports
This Quality of Life grant will help to support a first-of-its-kind collaboration with Massachusetts Department of Recreation and Conservation's Universal Access Program (MADCR UAP) to open an operations center in a State Park (Nickerson State Park on Cape Cod, MA) to provide adaptive land and water sport opportunities to local community members, tourists visiting Cape Cod and to the inpatient population from the hospital in Sandwich, MA. This exciting collaboration has necessitated the expansion of the fleet of adapted recreational equipment for use by individuals with spinal cord injury. This equipment would also be available to travel throughout the service network to be used by spinal cord injured clients at special events from Cape Cod, MA to Cape Ann, MA on the northeastern shore of Massachusetts. Spaulding is committed to maintaining the highest standards of care, and these high standards extend into community-linked adaptive sports activities. This facilitates the connection between individuals with spinal cord injury and the community-at-large, reducing isolation and promoting healthy lifestyle options. Grant funds will support one Top End CrossFire Wheelchair and one GRIT Freedom Chair all-terrain wheelchair. It is expected that this project will impact 100 individuals ranging in age from 5 – 90+ years old, the majority of whom have spinal cord injury, as well as other conditions including stroke, trauma with nerve injury, poliomyelitis, cerebral palsy, peripheral neuropathy, Parkinson's disease, ALS, botulism, spina bifida, multiple sclerosis, and Guillain-Barré syndrome. (This Reeve Foundation Quality of Life grant funds 2 percent of the total project cost).



Spina Bifida Texas
San Antonio, TX
$5,500 – Peer Mentoring and Support
This Quality of Life grant will help to support the establishment of the SB Buddies Mentoring Program, the first of its kind in Central and South Texas. Program guidance will be provided by Big Brothers Big Sisters of South Texas (BBBS), which has facilitated thousands of empowering relationships since 1976. Through this well-researched service delivery process, SBTX will pair the SB Buddies based on shared interests, hobbies, and preferences. Every month SBTX will host a SB Buddies event, and will offer activities including bowling, wheelchair sports, movies, outings to the mall, and afternoon socials. Throughout the mentoring relationship, SBTX will employ the professional case management of BBBS to support to the youth, families, and volunteers through this process. This ongoing supervision and communication ensures child safety and positive experiences as part of the commitment to creating a positive life. SB Buddies will provide the children with a cherished bond and positive role model that can help them to visualize a successful future that includes gainful employment and meaningful relationships. It will demonstrate that they are not suffering with spina bifida and spina bifida isn't a tragedy. By the end of the first year, participants will see what they are capable of in spite of having a physical limitation. Grant funds will support the program director (responsible for recruitment of volunteers and participants, project planning and coordination, group activities and evaluating and reporting outcomes); volunteer screening, volunteer training, and staff training; board games, sports equipment and programmatic printing costs; wheelchair accessible van rental for monthly SB Buddy Outings for 1 year; mileage reimbursements, and background checks for volunteers. It is expected that 60 youth with spina bifida and their families will be impacted by this project. (This Reeve Foundation Quality of Life grant funds 45 percent of the total project cost).



Saint Francis Home
Tiffin, OH
$9,675 – Durable Medical Equipment
St. Francis Home is a nonprofit organization comprised of 20 assisted living units, 22 Chiara Center units (specializing in care for individuals with Alzheimer's Disease) and 132 units for skilled and long-term care residents, all of which are private rooms. Each resident is respected as a unique individual with his/her own life history, talents, interests, and abilities. Residents are given personal attention and encouraged to function at their highest level of independence to help them maintain dignity, self-worth, and autonomy. Since 1869 and during the time period that no government or insurance programs were available to pay for nursing home care, St. Francis Home has provided care for those in need, regardless of their ability to pay for their care. At St. Francis Home no one is ever turned away because of their inability to pay. Currently, 57% of residents are on the Medicaid program. This Quality of Life grant will help to support the purchase and installation of 5 electric hospital beds with independent hand controls that will enable patients with limited mobility to adjust their beds independently, so they do not have to be totally dependent on other people to make even a simple adjustment so they can watch TV or read a book or even just sleep a little more comfortably. This project will replace manual crank-handle adjustable beds that require nurses or the family members of patients to crawl under or stoop very low to reach a hand crank under the bed, which then has to be turned many times to get the feet to raise; and if the desire is to raise the head end of the bed, a second lever must be turned. This project will impact at least 5 individuals, ages 46 years old and above, that have paralysis caused by either multiple sclerosis or stroke. (This Reeve Foundation Quality of Life grant funds 7 percent of the total project cost).



St. Mary's Healthcare System for Children
Bayside, NY
$5,072 - Physical/Occupational Therapy
St. Mary's Healthcare System for Children is one of only a handful of organizations around the country that is dedicated to providing intensive rehabilitation, specialized care, and education to children with medical complexity and life-limiting conditions. Established in 1870, St. Mary's is New York City's first children's hospital. Located in Bayside Queens, the 97-bed inpatient facility is designed for children with the highest degree of medical complexity. This facility also provides medical day care to children and young adults, medical early education, a multidisciplinary Feeding Disorders Program, and a K-12 public school that educates long-term inpatients who may be admitted for several months, or even years. Additionally, Home Care Programs reach nearly 2,000 medically fragile children each day throughout greater New York City and Long Island, making St. Mary's one of the largest providers of long-term home healthcare for children in New York State. St. Mary's Aquatic Therapy program has become one of the hospital's most popular programs, and ensures that children—who may reside at St. Mary's for months, or even years—have access to fun, restorative, and engaging programming. Since being established in October 2013, the program has grown dramatically, increasing from 160 minutes of therapy sessions per month to 1,800 minutes per month. In 2015, St. Mary's conducted over 500 aquatic therapy sessions. Using the relieving, low-impact environment of water to help young patients achieve their health and rehabilitation goals, aquatic therapy has proven to benefit children with musculoskeletal and neurological conditions as well as children recovering from major surgeries or traumatic injuries. Currently, a standardized aquatic therapy certification does not exist for physical and occupational therapists, and this poses a challenge when hiring new therapists to work with children with medically complex conditions. In order to meet the ambitious goal of a 60% increase in aquatic therapy minutes per month (approximately 300 additional sessions annually), this project will work with a leading special needs aquatics provider to create customized formalized training for current St. Mary's physical and occupational therapists, as well as one that can be utilized to orient new staff with limited aquatics experience. Grant funds will support training for 5 physical and occupational therapists, and 8 hours of instruction provided by the special needs aquatics provider. This project expects to impact at least 100 individuals, from infancy to young adulthood, that live with paralysis caused by spinal cord injuries, cerebral palsy, and traumatic brain injuries, infection, tumor, or stroke. (This Reeve Foundation Quality of Life grant funds 31 percent of the total project cost).



Tennessee Technological University
Cookeville, TN
$6,931 – Caregiving
This Quality of Life grant will help to support Simulation to Teach Safe Patient Handling for Home Caregivers, which consists of the development and implementation of a training workshop for caregivers using the Safe Patient Handling and Mobility: Interprofessional National Standards for safe patient handling (ANA, 2013). An interdisciplinary training involving the use of assistive devices in a simulated learning environment will be presented by a physical therapist and a nurse with specialty certification in simulation education. The training will be presented at no cost to groups of 10-12 participants, and registration priority will be given to caregivers and families of patients with paralysis. Participants for the training will be recruited from the Upper Cumberland region made up of 14 counties in middle TN. Twelve of these counties are designated as whole-county medically underserved areas (MUAs) while the remaining two counties are designated partial-county MUAs (Tennessee Dept. of Health, 2016). The training will be presented in the Whitson-Hester School of Nursing Simulation Laboratory at Tennessee Tech University with the use of both mannequins and assistive devices. The School of Nursing has a battery operated sit-to-stand lift that can be used. Grant funds will support a full body lift for use in the training, as this is the type of lift device that will typically be used in the home. Objectives that will be evaluated include: increased knowledge, competence, and confidence of caregivers following active learning in the use of assistive devices; integration of knowledge into the care of people with paralysis and others served by this group of caregivers, and improved safety during transfer and mobility for caregivers and those they serve. This project is expected to impact 300 individuals with paralysis-causing conditions, ages 19-60 years old and their families. (This Reeve Foundation Quality of Life grant funds 100 percent of the total project cost).



The Ability Center of Greater Toledo
Toledo, OH
$2,500 – Service Animal Program
Since 1990, The Ability Center of Greater Toledo has been a Center for Independent Living, providing advocacy, peer support, information & referral, independent living skills training, and support for community living in seven northwest Ohio counties. Assistance Dogs for Achieving Independence (ADAI), a program of The Ability Center, helps children and adults with disabilities to achieve greater independence by training and placing service and therapy dogs to assist with an individual's daily needs. ADAI serves persons in Michigan, Ohio and Indiana, and provides service and therapy dogs to eligible individuals living within a 250-mile radius of Sylvania, Ohio. This includes most of Ohio, northeastern Indiana and southern Michigan. The services provided in these geographic areas are unduplicated. Currently there are 21 individuals with paralysis (i.e. cerebral palsy, multiple sclerosis, spinal cord injury, neurological disorders, muscular dystrophy, and other conditions that cause paralysis) on the ADAI-approved waiting list. These individuals typically wait 18-24 months to receive their canine companion. The intense level of training, veterinary care, outreach/follow up activities, equipment and supplies required currently costs approximately $26,000 for each dog placed. Thankfully, through a strong volunteer network that includes fundraisers, trainers and fosters, and the prison puppy training program, the cost to clients is nominal. No one is ever denied a service or therapy dog based on his or her ability to pay the application and equipment fee. Grant funds will support the acquisition of two young therapy dogs and specially designed halters, leashes, crates, and dog beds. Two individuals with paralysis and their families will be impacted by this project. (This Reeve Foundation Quality of Life grant funds 5 percent of the total project cost).



The ALS Association - DC/MD/VA Chapter
Rockville, MD
$7,300 – Assistive Technology
This Quality of Life grant will help to support the expansion of the Assistive Technology program, which enhances the quality of life for those living with ALS and their families by teaching them how to use special technology to perform everyday tasks, such as environmental controls to help answer the telephone or operate light switches as a person's muscles weaken, and augmentative communication devices such as computers with communication software and eye-tracking technology. To enhance the effectiveness of care and provide more people with greater access to services, two new models for delivering care will be established: Assistive Technology (AT) Clinics to serve people with ALS in Rockville, Maryland, and Richmond, Virginia; and a Mobile ALS Clinic to serve people with ALS in Virginia Beach, Virginia. Each setting would have an AT Treatment Kit, which consists of eye gaze or eye tracking technology, head tracking devices, and communication devices/software and applications, as well as voice banking, switches, and communication boards. The AT Clinic is an innovative model for serving people and families, and will increase the availability of AT services to those who are able to travel to the clinic location because several people rather than a single person can be served at once. More people can be educated about ALS and trained on how to use AT equipment, and equipment can be loaned to those who lack insurance coverage or the ability to fund AT devices. People with ALS will be provided with opportunities to leave their homes and meet with other people and care providers. An AT clinic in the community improves access to care for more than people with ALS. The clinic and the technology available there can serve as a community resource for training speech and occupational therapists. Once trained, these professional caregivers can use their newfound expertise and the AT kits to serve not only ALS patients but any of the patients they treat who are struggling with communication disorders and muscle control. This includes stroke patients, people with brain or spinal cord injury, primary lateral sclerosis, multiple sclerosis, and cerebral palsy. To strengthen this chapter's ability to reach even more people with ALS and, at the same time, elevate public awareness about this silent disease, a mobile ALS clinic will be offered. This mobile clinic will consist of a standard cargo van that has been retrofitted with the computers, technology, and equipment needed to serve people with ALS outside the formal clinic environment. The van will allow AT specialists and volunteers to easily transport equipment to a clinic, corporate environment, or home setting. While two new AT clinics will serve people in the Rockville and Richmond territories, the van offers the ability to extend the program's reach to areas where access to services is severely limited, including remote counties in Southwest Virginia. Grant funds will support 8 patient communication device kits. It is expected that this project will impact 450 individuals with ALS, ages of 25 years and over and their families. (This Reeve Foundation Quality of Life grant funds 3 percent of the total project cost).

The Botanic Garden at Historic Barns Park

Traverse City, MI
$5,000 – Facility Accessibility Modifications
This Quality of Life grant will support an initiative to improve accessibility between the lower and upper levels of the Botanic Garden. Specifically, this project will create a switchback ramp and railing to enable children, youth and adults living with mobility limitations to move readily and independently between the lower level of the gardens and visitor center to the pavilion and classroom on the upper level. The design work for the switchback ramp has been funded and completed and is integrated into the overall master plan for the garden. The design complies with all requirements of the ADA and has been reviewed by a local construction firm familiar with the site. The Botanic Garden at Historic Barns Park is Northwest Michigan's only public garden, located in Traverse City, the commercial, health care and cultural center for the region, and is adjacent to Munson Medical Center, the flagship of 11 hospitals and medical centers serving the Northern Michigan region, along with The Pavilions, an extended care and rehabilitation center. The Center is the only Level II trauma center for all of Northern Michigan, is designated as a Primary Stroke Center by the Joint Commission and the American Heart Association, and offers a comprehensive array of rehabilitation therapies. The close proximity of the medical center to the Botanic Garden, and the paved trail that links them, present a tremendous opportunity for respite for patients, families and caregivers from throughout the region and a chance to enjoy a public garden designed with them in mind. This project helps to ensure that persons who use assistive devices for mobility can access the array of spaces, activities and events within the garden and do so with the greatest possible independence. It is expected that this project will impact 1,500 individuals of all ages and paralysis-causing conditions and their families. (This Reeve Foundation Quality of Life grant funds 12 percent of the total project cost).



The Lazarus House
Houston, TX
$4,709 – Fitness and Wellness
The Lazarus House is a center for wellness, dedicated to decreasing and limiting the effects of muscle wasting in those living with chronic illness or injury through wellness, nutrition, and support in a non-clinical, safe environment. It provides program of opportunity and hope to people managing chronic situations like spinal cord injury/disease, cancer, stroke, MS, and HIV. Operating from the comfort of a renovated Victorian house, Lazarus House has created a low or no cost program of hope through condition-specific exercises, nutritional guidance, and peer support. Since its inception, Lazarus House has served more people each year than the prior, bringing the current client base to 53 people served a day, which is the limit of capacity due to space limitations and because of that limitation, a waiting list has grown to over 20 names. The largest request for service comes from the spinal cord injury/disease and stroke population. As their health insurance is exhausted, many state that they are seeking safe places of service that can provide wellness opportunities until the insurance is available again. Lazarus House fills that gap. The current facility is being expanded to allow for doubling clients served, as well as to improve accessibility and provide state-of-the-art fitness equipment. It will be the first facility in Houston utilizing a completely accessible fitness equipment line, empowering clients with independence and opportunity. Grant funds will support one Bradley Advocate AV30 Lavatory station with 3-in-1 Sink (funds for two more of these lavatory units have already been committed by other sources) and one Elkay BiLevel Filtered Water Cooler with Bottle Filling Station. This conservation-designed lavatory equipment will provide maximum personal hygiene independence for individuals with paralysis. It is expected that at least 25 individuals with paralysis will be impacted by this project. (This Reeve Foundation Quality of Life grant funds 42 percent of the total project cost).

Triumph Foundation

Santa Clarita, CA
$2,500 – Fitness and Wellness
Triumph Foundation, a chapter of United Spinal Association and a Paralympic Sport Club, provides mentorship, resources, hope and security to people living with paralysis–not just initially when the injury or disorder occurs—but as a lifelong support network. Additionally, the organization holds events that are a captivating force within the entire community of individuals with disability. This Quality of Life grant will support the Annual Wheelchair Sports Festival, which provides opportunities to individuals with spinal cord injury and their families to participate in adaptive sports activities, increase self-efficacy, prevent sedentary lifestyles, and enhance quality of life through the benefits of exercise, sport, and fitness. Held each spring during the last week of April at the Santa Clarita Sports Complex, the event is free to the public and open to people of all abilities. The Wheelchair Sports Festival has become a much-anticipated event for the spinal cord injury community. Beginning in 2012, Triumph had 100 participants and the event was one day; in 2013, 250 participants; in 2014, the event expanded to two days and had 362 participants; in 2015 the two-day event had over 500 participants; and in 2016 it expanded to include four additional sports and had over 800 participants plus volunteers and spectators. The Festival features wheelchair basketball, hockey, quad rugby, racquetball, handcycling, WCMX, wheelchair rodeo, scuba, and Over-the-Line baseball. Instruction is given for each sport by an elite disabled athlete coach. Outside, a resource fair is held, featuring adapted products and community services, and vendor booths are set-up for businesses that serve the individuals with disabilities. In addition, other activities are held, including painting and art workshops. Grant funds will support the purchase of one sports wheelchair. (This Reeve Foundation Quality of Life grant funds 14 percent of the total project cost).

Back to top of page

2016 2nd Cycle U - Z Direct Effect Quality of Life Grants

University of Maryland Medical System Foundation

Baltimore, MD
$7,124 – Adaptive Sports
This Quality of Life grant will help to support the wheelchair basketball program, which helps former and current patients transition to playing basketball in the Baltimore City Recreation and Parks Division's Metro League and even National Wheelchair Basketball Association (NWBA) teams. This is a formalized wheelchair basketball program, with an annual six-week clinic kicking off each May and continuing throughout the summer months. The wheelchair basketball program welcomes both male and female players age 15 and above. Players who own an adapted sports wheelchair can use their own, and those who do not own a chair can borrow one from the Rehabilitation and Orthopaedic Institute. There is no cost to participate and family members and friends are encouraged to join and play as well. Drills, skill building exercises, and scrimmages are held on the basketball courts located on the campus of the University of Maryland Rehabilitation & Orthopaedic Institute. This is a great way for people to stay active and have fun. It increases quality of life and gives the players confidence to do other things in life, like return to work or pursue other activities that they originally thought they could no longer do. Key benefits of participating in the Adaptive Sports Program include: improved physical strength, range of motion, flexibility, and endurance; improved emotional well-being; enhanced quality of life; social interactions with others who have parallel interests; new connections with people who face similar challenges; opportunities to engage in competitive activity; and access to adapted equipment at no cost. Grant funds will support the purchase of 2 basketball wheelchairs, three pairs of basketball wheelchair tires, and 25 pair of sports wheelchair tire tubes. This project is expected to impact at least 12 individuals, ages 13 years and above, that have paralysis caused by injury, stroke, or a chronic health condition such as multiple sclerosis. (This Reeve Foundation Quality of Life grant funds 20 percent of the total project cost).



Vermont Arts Council
Montpelier, VT
$2,000 – Arts Program
In April 2017, Vermont Arts Council project partners will host the Vermont Accessibility Symposium: The Art of Inclusion [working title] at the historic Town Hall Theater in Middlebury, Vermont. This initiative is designed to educate staff and volunteers at art organizations in Vermont on promoting inclusive participation by people in the arts—beyond just getting them through the doors as members of the audience—as artists, staff members, volunteers, or teachers. The symposium will offer networking opportunities, a keynote speaker, and an array of workshop sessions on accessibility features, personal and professional experiences, area resources, and model programs/best practices to share. Presenters will represent a wide range of expertise, including artists with and without disabilities, user experts, disability service and advocacy organizations, and representatives from various funding organizations. Symposium organizers and speakers include the president of the Vermont Coalition for Disability Rights (who was also the former executive director of the Vermont CIL) and editor of The Independent, a statewide newspaper for seniors, individuals with disabilities, and family members; a multi-disciplinary artist and educator with a passion for social justice and community work whose art and other work is informed by experience with disability, gender fluidity, and queer identity; and a nationally recognized accessibility consultant for cultural institutions who has promoted equal access for people with disabilities to cultural experience for over four decades and in 2015 was awarded The Kennedy Center Leadership Exchange in Arts and Disability (LEAD®) Award for Excellence in Accessibility Leadership for her inspiring dedication to inclusive practices in the arts and mentoring of cultural arts administrator. After the Symposium, follow-up meetings and surveys will foster connections and partnerships initiated at the symposium, which will serve as a catalyst to encourage members of the arts community to appreciate the value of inclusive arts practices and policies for all. Grant funds will support accessible transportation for the event for the artists, presenters and attendees. It is expected that 24 individuals with paralysis will be impacted by the symposium, and that many more will be impacted as a result of the changes implemented by the arts organizations that attended the symposium. (This Reeve Foundation Quality of Life grant funds 4 percent of the total project cost).



Vermont Center for Independent Living
Montpelier, VT
$18,000 - Home Accessibility Modifications
This Quality of Life grant will help to support the Home Access Program, which provides home access modifications to Vermont residents that have paralysis and other mobility challenges. There are currently 40 individuals on the waiting list for home modifications, including one who applied for assistance over two years ago. All individuals on the wait list must meet three criteria: have a permanent physical disability which affects their mobility; household income is lower than 80% of the HUD median income by county; and be in need of a ramp or bathroom modification (typically tub-to-shower conversion) in order to participate in their community and/or live more independently in their own home. Because of Vermont's rural nature, many of its residents live in medically underserved areas. This project will impact 6 individuals with paralysis who have identified a ramp as a goal to enable them (and their families) to leave their homes to participate in their communities, as well as enabling other people on the wait list to receive assistance sooner. (This Reeve Foundation Quality of Life grant funds 33 percent of the total project cost).



Village of Hamburg Community Playground Committee
Hamburg, NY
$12,885 – Accessible Playground/Ballfield
This Quality of Life grant will help to support the Hamburg Community Playground, which replaces the existing outdated playground with a new playground that is more accessible, enabling many children who were unable to access the various play components of the previous playground to now have the ability to get onto the playground and play with other children. The new playground will have a wheelchair accessible walkway that allows for access into the playground from the main parking lot or from the side street, and to connect the accessible play pieces so that children of all abilities can interact and play together. Children will be attracted to the accessible play pieces so that individuals of all abilities will be interacting with one another and that no groups will be isolated from one another. The playground will be a destination for children of all levels of abilities and their families. There is a large day treatment program serving individuals with various levels of abilities located within one mile from this community center playground and 75 group homes in a five-mile radius of the site. There is also at least one group home serving individuals with various levels of abilities one block away from the playground, which would be accessible by wheelchair or a short walk. The Village of Hamburg has sidewalks throughout that all lead to this community center park. Grant funds will support the installation of a Sway Fun accessible glider, which is the most accessible piece of playground equipment for the widest range of individual abilities. The Sway Fun has direct ramp access that allows a child or adult to access the play piece while remaining in their wheelchair. A child or adult using a wheelchair can roll up to the table and contribute to the motion by holding onto the table and rocking their chair back and forth along with the movement. This important design feature allows children to make it sway and move by coordinating their movements back and forth to get it moving and maintain the ride, allowing them to initiate and participate in the play experience. It is expected that this project will impact 415 individuals of all ages that have paralysis-causing conditions and their families. (This Reeve Foundation Quality of Life grant funds 3 percent of the total project cost).



Wilderness Inquiry
Minneapolis, MN
$5,000 – Fitness and Wellness
This Quality of Life grant will help to support Paddling Beyond Boundaries, which provides challenging and rewarding kayaking experiences for individuals with spinal cord injury alongside their peers. This project will help Wilderness Inquiry to update its fleet of universally designed sea kayaks. Wilderness Inquiry partners with Current Designs to design and manufacture a universally designed model based on the Libra XT model. The design reflects Wilderness Inquiry's extensive experience and commitment to creating accessible environments for individuals of diverse abilities. Slightly wider than a traditional kayak with an additional cockpit, the watercraft accommodates a wheelchair or other adaptive equipment, allows adaptations for individuals needing additional core support, and can accommodate three paddlers to ensure access for all. The kayaks enable full participation by all individuals in a universal manner that goes unnoticed by most individuals without disabilities. Grant funds will support one accessible kayak upgrade, and will impact 100 individuals with paralysis, ages 5 years old and above. (This Reeve Foundation Quality of Life grant funds 9 percent of the total project cost).

YWCA Gettysburg & Adams County

Gettysburg, PA
$7,099 – Facility Accessibility Modifications
This Quality of Life grant will help to support an ADA-Accessible Lift for the Outdoor Pool. The YWCA's aquatics facilities are especially popular among senior citizens and people with disabilities, many of whom rely on the YWCA's water fitness classes and whirlpool to manage joint pain and arthritis, fibromyalgia, and other chronic conditions, enabling them to live a productive and satisfying life. Enrollment in water fitness classes and class offerings continue to grow year after year. There is a demonstrated need for aquatics facilities and programs in the community, and the YWCA strives to make facilities accessible to everyone regardless of physical ability. The indoor pool and the whirlpool each have an ADA-compliant accessibility lift available for use by those who use wheelchairs or who have other disabilities and require assistance getting into and out of the pool and whirlpool. This summer, the YWCA added two outdoor pools a short distance from the facility to expand aquatics offerings. In past years, these pools were operated by a private swim and tennis club, and the owners were not required to install accessibility lifts. Since these pools were opened to YWCA members and guests, it is a legal requirement to install a lift at each of the outdoor pools to provide accessibility for those who need assistance getting into and out of the pool. A generous grant award from a local community foundation funded the purchase and installation of a lift for one of the pools. This Quality of Life grant will support the installation of a lift for the second pool, enabling full inclusion to all aquatic activities offered by the YWCA. A large senior living development is also located in close proximity to this outdoor pool, and many of these residents have been using the pool during the summer months. It is expected that this project will impact at least 50 individuals of all ages with paralysis and other mobility challenges that make it difficult to enter and exit the pool. (This Reeve Foundation Quality of Life grant funds 44 percent of the total project cost).

Back to top of page

2016 1st Cycle A - C Direct Effect Quality of Life Grants

Abilities of Northwest Jersey, Inc.
Washington, NJ
$7,500 - Assistive Technology Initiative
Quality of Life grant funds will support the acquisition of one Smart Table and one Smart Podium, which will enable consumers to more actively engage and communicate with others in social, educational and vocational endeavors; reducing isolation and increasing socialization, self-confidence, and independence. Abilities' training and placement services are available to all individuals with disabilities 16 years of age or older who are in need of continual ongoing support services.

Acting Without Boundaries
Bryn Mawr, PA
$6,400 – Arts Program
Acting Without Boarders has provided acting and theatrical opportunities for children, teens and young adults with physical disabilities since 2004. Quality of Life grant funds will support two public performances of its premier production of Jungle Book. Grant funds will support accessible transportation for actors; props; and costumes for the Jungle Book production.

Adaptive Expeditions
Charleston, SC
$9,935 – Adaptive Sports
Adaptive Expeditions started in 2015 with six adaptive sport and recreation programs: kayaking, cycling, swimming, yoga, sailing, and natural history interpretation tours, and became a Disabled Sports USA Chapter and Charleston's only Paralympic Sports Club. Quality of Life grant funds will support the launch of the adaptive surfing program. Specifically, grant funds will support the following: five adaptive surfboards, each custom designed to accommodate different abilities; one beach-strength and rust-resistant TentCraft aluminum 10-foot x 10-foot foldable tent for staging area on beach (tent will provide sun and rain protection, marketing, and will serve as a fixed reference point for surfers to adjust position to compensate for longshore current); and one 7-foot x 12-foot enclosed box trailer to haul and store all adaptive surf program equipment.

ALS Association Iowa Chapter
West Des Moines, IA
$5,000 – Healthcare
Quality of life grant funds will support ten reimbursement grants to individuals with ALS and their caregivers to help offset costs associated with ALS that are not covered by insurance, such as durable medical equipment, home modifications, transportation adaptations, and services that support their new way of life and ever changing needs, and will improve quality of life and sustain independent living.

America's VetDogs
Smithtown, NY
$5,000 – Service Animal Program
America's VetDogs serves the needs of veterans of all eras and first responders with disabilities. VetDogs provides -- at no cost to the recipients -- guide dogs for individuals with blindness or visual impairments; hearing dogs for those who have lost their hearing later in life or in combat; service dogs for those with spinal cord injuries, paralysis, or other physical disabilities; facility dogs as part of the rehabilitation process in military and VA hospitals, and PTSD service dogs to help mitigate the effects of PTSD in an effort to provide the emotional and physical support needed. Quality of Life grant funds will help to support two Open Seseme Automatic Door Openers for the service dog training campus facility, where recipients receive intense individualized training with their service dogs, and will provide increased independence for individuals with paralysis, as they won't have to rely on help to open the doors.

Angel City Sports
Los Angeles, CA
$3,900 – Adaptive Sports
Angel City Sports creates sports opportunities for adults, children, and veterans with physical differences and impairments. The initial programming focus is on Southern California, but events and programming will draw athletes from all over the country. Quality of Life grant funds will support the purchase of two racing sports wheelchairs and shipping costs, which will enable more individuals to participate in sports programming throughout the community.

Athletes with Disabilities Network Northeast Chapter
Moorestown, NJ
$7,865 – Adaptive Sports
The Mentoring and Outreach Program connects peer athletes/mentors to individuals and/or groups seeking inspiration and motivation, using sports as a catalyst for conversation and engagement at schools, hospitals, and support groups to teach disability awareness and introduce a variety of adaptive sports and other community resources. Instructor trainers will be trained through the Amputee Coalition's national peer certification program. The Adaptive Sports Coalition overlaps the Mentoring and Outreach Program, bringing together 41 local organizations, including amputee, spinal cord, and stroke support groups, sports programs, healthcare providers, parks and recreation offices, and municipal police departments. These partners assist in enhancing sports, recreational and leisure programs for people with physical disabilities in addition to the volunteers who may have mental health issues like PTSD. Training peer visitors within partner organizations in the region and offering additional courses like CPR and swift water rescue training increases the number of volunteers available, strengthens the network across the state of New Jersey and in southern Pennsylvania, and expands program capacity and reach in the community. Quality of Life grant funds will support the cost of two trainers and the following kayaking equipment: one Current Designs Solara 120 fully-outfitted Kayak with seat and outriggers; one Current Designs Solara 145 Tandem Kayak; two Basic Kayak Chariots; two transfer systems; two Paddle Pivots with Pedestal, and three Jackson Sweet Cheeks Seat Cushions.

Bergin University of Canine Studies
Rohnert Park, CA
$5,000 – Service Animal Program
The "Our Dogs Helping Veterans" project provides highly trained assistance dogs free of charge to veterans with physical disabilities and/or combat-related disabilities. The program trains veterans with PTSD to work with the service dogs-in-training, thus helping the veterans to manage their own challenges with reintegrating into society while strengthening their sense of camaraderie with others who have served and increasing their sense of purpose and self-worth. Quality of Life grant funding will support programmatic equipment costs for the puppy raising program that provides dogs specifically bred with characteristics required for service.

Bright Time, Inc.
Cincinnati, OH
$7,000 – Accessible Playground / Ballfield
Wert Park in Colerain Township, Ohio is 10 acres in size and currently has a playground that has some accessible equipment, a nature trail, and a community garden where local residents can grow and pick vegetables for their homes. Due to the wood chip surfacing throughout the 10 acre facility, Wert Park is not currently accessible to individuals with physical disabilities. Quality of Life grant funds will help to support installation of TerraSoft Poured-in-Place surfacing to allow ADA access to existing accessible swings, and installation of TerraSoft Poured-in-Place surfacing to allow ADA access to the transfer module on the existing play structure.

California Inclusive Sailing
Newport Beach, CA
$6,000 – Adaptive Sports
Quality of Life grant funds will help to support the expansion of year-round sailing opportunities for individuals with paralysis in southern California with the acquisition of the RS Venture Keel sailboat with adaptive equipment needed for sailors with paralysis. During the first year, the project will serve at least 75 sailors with paralysis-causing conditions.

Camp PossAbility, Inc.
Fort Wayne, IN
$7,000 – Camp
Camp PossAbility exists to give high functioning young adults with physical disabilities opportunities to relax, refresh, let their guard down, and enjoy a week at a camp adapted just for them. This one-week summer camp is designed specifically for young adults ages 18 to 35 who have a physical disability and use any type of adaptive equipment -- walker, wheelchair, cane, etc. Campers may also use communication boards if needed. Quality of Life grant funds will support five full scholarships for campers with spinal cord injury to attend Camp PossAbility.

Camp Virginia Jaycee
Blue Ridge, VA
$5,400 – Camp
Camp Virginia Jaycee provides a safe, educational and recreational experience in a beautiful outdoor camp setting for campers ages 6 to 70 with intellectual and/or physical challenges. It serves as a respite setting for their parents and families to use this time to strengthen their marriages, care for their own medical needs and other family members. Campers come from Virginia, North Carolina, Maryland, South Carolina, and Florida. Campers return year after year to suspend personal obstacles long enough to enjoy many wonderful camp activities, including swimming, arts and crafts, music, competitive and leisure sports, wagon rides, animal care, fishing, cooking, boating, drama, and nature study, as well as opportunities to build friendships and engage in activities in a safe, caring, and supportive environment. Quality of Life grant funds will support scholarships for nine campers with paralysis.

Canine Partners for Life
Cochranville, PA
$2,320 – Service Animal Program
Canine Partners for Life's Team Training classes provide a comprehensive educational program and curriculum to partner students (who have wide variety of disabilities) and trained service dogs (who have gone through a two-year intensive training process). The three-week Team Training is the process used to create safe, productive, responsible, and well-bonded service teams between students and dogs. Quality of Life grant funds will help to support expenses for the Service Dog Team Training Program, including staff time of trainers and other program personnel, equipment, and entrance fees for training field trips.

Challenged Athletes Foundation
San Diego, CA
$5,600 – Adaptive Sports
Challenged Athletes Foundation is the only national nonprofit providing all of the following services to people of all ages with paralysis and other physical challenges: 1) adaptive sports equipment like racing and sports wheelchairs, 2) adaptive sports clinics nationally, including mobility, swim, surfing and others, and 3) an extensive national network of program alumni who serve as mentors to those recently injured. Additionally, three para-triathlon camps will be hosted in cities across the United States where there is a great need. Quality of Life grant funds will support aquatic facility rental and camp facility rental.

Chapel Hill Training Outreach Project, Inc. - ARCH National Respite Network and Resource Center
Chapel Hill, NC
$7.980 – Caregiving
This Quality of Life grant will support the 2016 National Respite Conference that will be held in Denver, Colorado on September 20-22, 2016. This is the 17th national conference hosted by ARCH. The conference brings together 200 to 300 diverse participants representing providers, businesses, federal, state and local government entities, policy makers, advocates, health and social service organizations, family caregivers and consumers to learn about the current state of respite service delivery, respite best practices and innovations, training curricula, research and evaluation, and policy. Participants come from nearly all of the states. A family caregiver track provides resources and hands-on tools to help caregivers reduce their stress and take care of themselves and their loved ones to better prepare them to continue to provide care at home. A Lifespan Respite Track focuses on highlighting the accomplishments of the Lifespan Respite grantees, especially as they strive to better serve underserved and unserved populations. Keynote speakers generally include prominent federal officials from the U.S Department of Health and Human Services, well-established state and national policymakers, authors, physicians and other health professionals, advocates, and family caregiving specialists. At least 25 breakout sessions will feature local and state community leaders and service providers from across the country. Quality of Life grant funds will support registration fees, hotel fees, and respite care for six individuals that would not otherwise be able to attend.

Cody Rotary Foundation
Cody, WY
$5,000 – Accessible Playground / Ballfield
This Quality of Life grant will support the installation of a public boundless play park at Mentock Park in the city of Cody, Wyoming. The Collier Memorial Play Area will be outfitted with many accessible features that will provide children of all ages and abilities opportunities to play together, and will enable adults with disabilities opportunities to play with their children. The inclusiveness of the play area will be an important factor in the success of this project. Grant funds will support the installation of a NEOS 360 electronic play system, which is specially designed and constructed for people that use wheelchairs, and allows them to play along with children and adults of all abilities. The NEOS 360 system is essentially a "Simon-Says" game where players repeat light and sound patterns. Its circular design builds peripheral vision, auditory and spatial awareness skills. NEOS 360 features eight games, one- and two-player options as well as team play, and one freestanding user control panel with player instructions on the back. A NEOS Wall electronic system will also be installed, which allows the "Simon-Says" game to be played by children and adults of all levels.

Commonwealth Community Care
Boston, MA
$13,461 – Durable Medical Equipment
Commonwealth Community Care provides consumer-directed, comprehensive, high-quality primary care in the most effective and cost-efficient manner possible to adults and elders with complex physical, developmental, behavioral, and intellectual disabilities by reducing barriers to care and establishing highly personalized partnerships with them. Bladder issues are extremely common for individuals with paralysis, and members may encounter numerous barriers to seeking care from a urology specialist, including: unreliable transportation, lengthy wait times with local urologists, inability to leave the home, and inability to communicate their symptoms and needs. Members have also experienced added hospital days for voiding trials after indwelling catheter removal that could be done at home. This Quality of Life grant will support the purchase of a bladder scanner that will be utilized both in the home and in the clinic for members who have difficulty accessing urological care through specialists. This project will help to eliminate the barriers to urological health and improve healthcare access for members by conducting noninvasive urological work ups as part of comprehensive primary care.

Community Rowing, Inc.
Brighton, MA
$5,500 – Adaptive Sports

CRI's Para and Military Rowing Programs work to enhance the quality of life for youth and adults with physical and cognitive disabilities by giving them the opportunity to fully participate in the sport of rowing. The Programs not only improve physical fitness, but also provide opportunities to engage in fun and competitive events, and build a sense of connectedness through teamwork and support. Participants learn the basics of rowing indoors on rowing machines, and then progress through a series of increasingly challenging boats as they gain confidence and comfort on the water. There are nineteen sessions of Military and/or Para Rowing each week, including: Adaptive Sculling; Friends and Family Sculling (Weekly rowing session for friends and family of members of the military programs); Women Veterans' Sculling; Military Sweeps; Advanced Para Rowing; In-School Inclusion Physical Education (in partnership with the Health and Wellness Department of Boston Public Schools); Junior LTA; Inclusion Race Team; Therapeutic Recreation; and short-term programs and field trips. Quality of Life grant funds will help to support programmatic personnel costs for the Intake and Health Outcome Specialist and the Para Intake Coach.

Back to top of page

2016 1st Cycle D - I Direct Effect Quality of Life Grants

Disability Action Center – NW
Moscow, ID
$17,500 – Home Accessibility Modifications
This Quality of Life grant will help to support a modular ramp loan program in collaboration with the volunteer service organizations in the area that are working to meet the needs for minor home modifications associated with installing ramps, installing grab bars, widening doors, etc. for people who cannot afford to do it on their own. A variety of modular aluminum ramp systems that are designed to address different needs will be purchased and then will be deployed to community members on a short- or long-term loan basis, with volunteer labor from community service organizations, to meet access needs in a more efficient, widely available, safe, and timely manner. Further, the project will provide liaison work and training with the local service organizations to increase their knowledge and capacity to provide ramps and home modifications. Grant funds will support purchase of the portable modular ramp systems, program outreach, collaboration and training for partner organizations, transportation costs to bring ramps to partner organizations, and programmatic supplies.

Disability Action Center of Georgia dba disABILITY LINK
Tucker, GA
$8,800 – Employment Program
This Quality of Life grant will support "Locating Employment Avenues through Peer Support," a project that focuses on youth that are transitioning from high school into the work force, young adults who are coming out of college into the workforce, and adults aged 30 years and above that have gone back to college or are just now learning to be independent in their own lives. The project provides assistance with employment readiness skills (including interviewing, resume preparation, and job searching); regular job leads for a variety of local employment opportunities; both one-on-one and group-centered peer support; connections to state and community-based organizations such as the Benefit Navigator Program and Manpower; familiarity with the Americans with Disabilities Act and other applicable employment regulations; and job location and placement. The purpose is for the consumer to learn lifelong skills in the areas of accessing labor market information, identifying job openings, understanding the application and interview process, worker rights and responsibilities, problem solving, motivation and on-the-job behavior. Consumers may also receive assistance in choosing a vocation or job consistent with their aptitudes and interest. Quality of Life grant funds will support paid internships for individuals with paralysis and personnel costs for the program's Employment Specialist.

DISLABELED Philly Film Series of CultureTrust Greater Philadelphia
Philadelphia, PA
$1,662 – Arts Program
DISLABELED is a new monthly film screening series in Philadelphia that showcases disability media and culture. The first event was hosted on June 15, 2015 at PhillyCAM, Philadelphia's Community Access Media studio. Each event includes a screening of one or more shorts, feature length films or other media, followed by a talk-back with special guests and the audience. Each talk-back is filmed to create a 30-minute program for television and online broadcast in partnership with PhillyCAM. DISLABELED is designed to be, first and foremost, a project developed by people with disabilities for artists and audiences with disabilities. This assertion is critically important in a history of related work which is all too often developed by nondisabled artists for nondisabled audiences about people with disabilities, often with very limited opportunity for individuals with disabilities to provide input, have subjectivity, or influence representation. While many people attending or viewing DISLABELED may learn many new things about "disability," DISLABELED is not intended to be primarily a community outreach or educational event. Rather, DISLABELED is a creative project, intending to intervene and make space in the curatorial and cultural landscape, to assert disability not as a diagnosis but as an identity and culture, and to assert artists with disabilities not as patients but as creative professionals and producers of culture. The project co-directors each have mobility disabilities but are intentionally designing DISLABELED to draw people with a wide range of disabilities (cross-disability), including sensory disabilities, intellectual disabilities, psychological disabilities and more. They are also committed to engaging audiences without disabilities (cross-ability). Opportunities are all too rare for cross-disability and cross-ability audiences to come together in a shared space. DISLABELED hopes to change that and works toward building a cross-ability coalition of people in a lively, fully inclusive social space for people with and without disabilities to create common understanding and take action around issues of disability visibility, representation and awareness and more. Quality of Life grant funds will support for artist personal care attendant fees, artist speaker fees, and artist travel.

Dream Foundation
Santa Barbara, CA
$6,000 – Healthcare
The Dream Foundation, founded in 1994, remains the only national nonprofit organization dedicated to facilitating end-of-life dreams for terminally ill adults. The program offers a unique form of palliative care that allows a Dreamer to focus on their quality of life, emotional well-being and what matters most to them at the end of life by granting a life-changing experience, basic need, or opportunity to create a special memory that will outlive them. At a time when options and resources are limited, Dream Foundation provides end-of-life dreams to terminally ill adults and their families that give inspiration, comfort, and closure. Quality of Life grant funds will support dream-related expenses for end-of-life dreams for individuals with ALS, including the Dreams for Veterans program.

Exceptional Equestrians
De Pere, WI
$9,373 – Therapeutic Riding
This Quality of Life grant will help to support the installation of an overhead mounting lift at this therapeutic horseback riding center that specializes in pediatric hippotherapy, therapeutic riding, and equine-assisted learning programs that improve cognitive, physical, emotional, and social well-being. Riders include people ages 2 years and up with a wide spectrum of conditions such as cerebral palsy, Downs syndrome, brain injury, autism, sensory dysfunction, neuromuscular disorders, and other various paralysis-causing conditions. The lift will provide safer, more dignified transfers for riders that use wheelchairs, as well as increased safety for therapists and volunteers. The addition of an overhead lift will help children keep riding as they grow larger and will enable Exceptional Equestrians to accommodate hippotherapy services for adults.

Extra Special People, Inc.
Watkinsville, GA
$9,277 - Facility Accessibility Modifications
Extra Special People (ESP) provides individuals ages 4 years old to 45 years old opportunities to cultivate skills, self-confidence, and relationships through recreational therapy, community involvement, and the arts. With the support of volunteers and donors, the ESP team gives participants and their families acceptance, hope, and opportunities to not just survive, but to thrive. This Quality of Life grant will help to support the purchase and installation of a Pressalit Care 300 changing table, an adult size, height-adjustable changing table with a rail. This changing table is viewed as the best and highest quality table to meet the needs of participants that have cerebral palsy, spina bifida and other paralysis-causing conditions that make it necessary for them to require assistance in toileting care. It is one of three tables to be installed in accessible bathrooms in different areas of the facility (two are funded through other sources). Providing access to adequate equipment in multiple restrooms in the building eliminates the separation between participants who are dependent on help in the bathroom and participants who are independent in the bathroom, further increasing social inclusion among participants of varying abilities. Further, participants will spend less time waiting to be changed, thus increasing their dignity and decreasing potential health issues.

Goodwill Industries of Southwest Florida, Inc.
Fort Myers, FL
$12,325 – Camp
This Quality of Life grant will support Trailways Camp, a three-to-four night residential camp for adults with cerebral palsy or other paralysis-causing conditions, and includes all the camping experiences anyone would expect: fishing, swimming, canoeing, nature walks, hayrides, roasting marshmallows by the campfire, basketball, sports and the now famous talent show night. The event takes place at the Riverside Retreat in Hendry County near LaBelle, Florida. The rustic camp of 150 acres borders the Caloosahatchee River in Florida and challenges the mobility of many of campers due to its uneven terrain. A particular challenge is access to the river for water events. The camp accommodates 20 adults per session who age from 18 and over. For many, it is their first camping experience and first time away overnight from their parents, siblings or caregivers. The camp also provides parents and caregivers a break to pursue their own interests with the knowledge that their adult son or daughter is safe and having a good time. While their child is away at camp, some parents schedule medical procedures that have been delayed, or spend one-on-one time with their other adult children, grandchildren, or friends. For some parents, it is their first opportunity to take a mini-vacation. Quality of Life Grant funds will help to support the acquisition of the Trailways Camp Accessible Shuttle, which will furnish additional safety, comfort and independence by providing improved access to all camping activities for campers that rely on wheelchairs and other assistive devices for mobility.

Grand Forks Public School District
Grand Forks, ND
$14,047 – Adaptive Sports
This Quality of Life grant will help to support an inclusive adaptive sports program that will provide to students with mobility impairments within the community and surrounding region opportunities to participate in winter outdoor recreational activities during recess, physical education class, and in the community with their families and friends. It will ensure inclusion, access, and increased independence in a variety of winter outdoor sports and games for four to five months every year, including ice skating, hockey, cross-country skiing, and exploring the great outdoors. A unique aspect of the program called the "Buddy System" provides additional equipment that can be used by friends and family members without disabilities to further enhance social opportunities, and bring disability awareness to the forefront. So, a student with a mobility impairment will not be sitting down low to the ground using a piece of sled hockey or sit-ski equipment while the rest of the kids are ice skating and skiing four feet above them. Instead, there will always be two children at a school or within a family using equipment from the program at the same time. This will end isolation by allowing for the side-by- side participation between friends or siblings with the same type of equipment, forming a cohesive social union. The Buddy System will help peers and siblings to connect on a higher level and experience what it might be like to have a mobility challenge. Quality of Life grant funds will support four Rev Force 1 sled hockey systems with all accessories and options plus shipping; one Hippocamp with all accessories and options plus shipping; and two Kiwi sit cross-country ski systems with all accessories and options plus shipping.

Heart 2 Heart Volunteers, Inc.
Wheeling, WV
$13,000 – Caregiving
Heart 2 Heart Volunteers uses a team of compassionate volunteers to visit individuals that reside in nursing homes that may not have family members or friends living close enough to visit, and helps to provide to them things that will help their quality of life. The visits help decrease isolation and loneliness, and provide companionship and a sense of community. Quality of Life grant funds will help to support various items that will specifically impact quality of life, independence and community engagement for individuals with paralysis that reside in institutional settings and have few opportunities. These items include: durable medical equipment; transportation to local events in the community; and technical assistance to train individuals living in nursing homes on how to use computers and other devices.

Heartland Equine Therapeutic Riding Academy
Gretna, NE
$3,020 - Therapeutic Horseback Riding
Heartland Equine Therapeutic Riding Academy (HETRA) is the only Professional Association of Therapeutic Horsemanship International (PATH Int’l) Premier Accredited Center in the state of Nebraska, with the next closest Premier Accredited Center over 200 miles away. Premier Accredited Center status is granted to centers that have demonstrated excellence in providing quality equine-assisted activities and have met established industry standards in areas of safety, facility, programming, and policies. HETRA has experienced a 100% increase in the number of participants served and a significant increase in the number of referrals in the past seven years, including veterans and military service men and women. This growth requires the strategic purchase of equipment needed to meet the needs of adult riders. Quality of Life grant funds will help to support the purchase of two larger adult-sized special saddles and ten Troxel riding safety helmets of different adult sizes. This equipment will help accommodate more adult riders in the veterans program.

Impact Broward
Fort Lauderdale, FL
$12,337 – Caregiving
This Quality of Life grant helps to support the Senior Companion Program, which employs senior companion volunteers, 55 years of age and older, to provide companionship and respite services to caregivers and their loved ones throughout Broward County. Impact Broward has been the local sponsor of the Senior Companion Program in Broward County since 1988. There are no other agencies that solely focus on recruiting, placing, training and engaging individuals 55 years of age and older in volunteer opportunities throughout Broward County. Every Senior Companion volunteer must pass a Level Two criminal background check and National Sex Offender check before completed 20 hours of classroom training. Senior Companions visit with four to five clients per week and they volunteer fifteen to twenty hours per week. Every month there is a monthly in-service meeting held at the office that the Senior Companions must attend. The Senior Companions receive on-going training on community resources to share with the clients they visit. In addition, the organization recognizes the Senior Companions and all of the volunteers at an annual recognition luncheon held in April. Quality of Life grant funds will enable five Senior Companions to serve twenty-five additional individuals diagnosed with a paralysis causing condition weekly for an entire year.

IndependenceFirst
Milwaukee, WI
$7,349 - Assistive Technology Initiative
This Quality of Life grant will help to support the purchase of thirteen specific pieces of assistive technology equipment designed to address four specific areas of living for individuals with paralysis, namely: Self-Care, Sexuality, Work and Gardening. The project will reach at least 175 individuals with demonstrations, loan trials and/or advice about reputable vendors and financing options for the purchase of adaptive equipment. These services will be unduplicated in the organization’s four-county service area. The equipment will be highlighted in annual trainings that are conducted with 100 occupational therapy students from Mount Mary University and the Milwaukee Area Technical College. These future occupation therapists gain knowledge about a wide array of assistive devices and equipment that they can convey to their consumers. The equipment purchased will become part of the Assistive Technology Loan and Demonstration Center and will continue to benefit hundreds of consumers after the grant year is over. Quality of Life grant funds will support the purchase of the following equipment: Easy Reach Seat Belt Extender; Milford Lift; Tilt Love Bumper; Love Lounge; Office Runner Computer telephone headset; Adjustable Touch Screen Stylus; Free standing number pad; Caduceus Stylus; Garden Kneeler; Standing Garden; VegTrug Patio Garden; Potato Grow Bags; and Tumbling Composter.

Independent Lifestyles, Inc. Center for Independent Living
Sauk Rapids, MN
$5,000 - Adaptive Sports

Camp Bliss is an accessible retreat center that accommodates people of all abilities that opened in 2015 to address the tremendous lack of social opportunities in Minnesota that are accessible, both attitudinal and physical. As Minnesota is a land of ten thousand lakes, understandably a majority of residents spend time recreating on the lakes, fishing and boating. For individuals who experience paralysis and other mobility disabilities, boating and recreating on the lakes becomes an instant barrier. After a long, complicated process, the paths down to the lake at Camp Bliss were made accessible to ensure that people with paralysis and all mobility disabilities are able to partake equally in activities and have access to the lakes and into the wooded trails. Quality of Life grant funds will support the acquisition of an accessible pontoon so that full socialization, fishing and recreation can occur. Camp Bliss will offer retreats that are three to five days in length to Veterans and all people with disabilities, and their families and caregivers. These retreats focus on wellness, socialization, healing, forming new friendships, developing skills and hobbies, and rejuvenation through the healing components of nature. This accessible pontoon will be used in many ways, including fishing trips, fishing clinics, sightseeing, recreation, boating across the lakes, socialization, and nature experiences, It will also provide to families, spouses, friends and caretakers opportunities to be with their loved ones for these experiences and do away with the notion of "separate but equal." This pontoon will afford people with mobility disabilities new and profound experiences that would not otherwise be available to them and will be utilized and enjoyed for years and years to come.

Back to top of page

2016 1st Cycle K - M Direct Effect Quality of Life Grants

Kelly Brush Foundation

South Burlington, VT
$7,500 – Adaptive Sports
This Quality of Life grant will help to support "Pathway to Active Independence," an innovative and collaborative program aimed at establishing an efficient path to an independent, active lifestyle. Pilot partnerships will be established with local adaptive sports programs around the country, each with the goal of empowering individuals with spinal cord injury to achieve independent, active lifestyles through adaptive equipment ownership. Individual ownership of adapted sports equipment enables people with spinal cord injury to lead active lifestyles similar to individuals in the able-bodied community, inclusive of friends and family and on their own terms. This program has the potential to develop a model that can bridge the financial barrier between trying sports and recreation activities at a local adaptive sports program and achieving an independent active lifestyle through ownership of equipment. The program combines the strength of the individual ownership of equipment with the strength of the existing successful adaptive sports programs providing access, opportunity, and instruction. Quality of Life grant funds will support programmatic expenses for one partnership, including: personnel time, adaptive sports equipment, and travel expenses to facilitate the partnership.

Lakeshore Foundation
Birmingham, AL
$6,500 – Media Development
This Quality of Life grant will help to support the creation and distribution of Activate, a compelling video featuring real participants and their stories. Through its local, regional and global networks, Lakeshore will distribute Activate to those with new injuries around the world who will benefit directly and to those people who care for, influence and guide them. Lakeshore Foundation's physical activity programs for individuals with paralysis are consistently described as "life-changing" by participants and their family members or care providers. Often these individuals hadn't recognized their capacity to live active, healthy lives again. Activate is intended to evoke the benefits of physical activity through action-packed video and compelling snippets from those who are experiencing the action. The fast-paced video will feature footage of individuals with paralysis participating in a wide range of fitness, aquatics, recreation and sports like those available at Lakeshore Foundation. These include wheelchair basketball, rugby, tennis, track racing and field events, rock climbing, water volleyball, recumbent road or trail cycling, swimming, shooting sports, canoeing and kayaking, and water skiing. In addition, the video will show aquatic exercise classes and fitness workouts with machines or free weights, yoga, and other adaptive activities. Bits of commentary from participants that reveal the impact of physical activity in their lives will be interspersed with video footage. Finally, a participant will issue an invitation to become active by visiting Lakeshore or similar facilities and adaptive recreational and sports programs in the viewers' own communities. Lakeshore Foundation is fortunate to house the National Center for Health, Physical Activity and Disability (NCHPAD). Not only is NCHPAD a premier resource for distributing useful information to individuals with disabilities around the world, it is also a top-notch creator of media. NCHPAD staff videographers will work closely with Lakeshore programs and outreach staff to craft the content and message of this 3 to 5 minute video. In addition to capturing footage and interviews, the in-house videographers will accomplish all post-production tasks, including coordinating duplication of the video on discw and flash drives, and placement of the video on Lakeshore and NCHPAD web and social media sites for international public access. Lakeshore program and outreach staff will also distribute the video to local doctors, therapists, rehabilitation hospitals and clinics, and other participant referral sites and resources for use in-house or for distribution to patients at or prior to discharge. Quality of Life grant funds will support production and post-production costs of the video.

Lawrence Schools Foundation
Lawrence, KS
$12,200 – Accessible Playground / Ballfield
Since 1993, the Ryan Gray Playground for All Children, located on the grounds of Hillcrest Elementary School, has been well loved by countless children and families both with and without paralysis. Now, 23 years later, the first accessible playground in Kansas is in dire need of revitalization and renovation, with new pieces of play equipment on which people of all ages and levels of abilities can play together. Quality of Life grant funds will support the installation of one Burke Cruiser playground apparatus, an accessible car-like piece of equipment that enables people of all ages and abilities to play together. Playgrounds are great equalizers: they provide exercise, fresh air and social engagement for children and families. Contributing to the improvement of this community treasure helps to ensure the ongoing physical health and well-being of Lawrence-area residents with paralysis and their families for the next 20 years. The playground is centrally located in Lawrence, and although located on a school property, it is a community playground, used by a variety of community members each week. This type of equipment empowers children with paralysis to fully participate on the playground like their peers without paralysis. Not only will the Cruiser provide a fun experience, it is a key apparatus for engaging in integrated play for people with mobility impairments.

Linking Employment, Abilities and Potential (LEAP)
Cleveland, OH
$7,190 - Consumer Education
This Quality of Life grant will help to support the Creative Education Center, which provides pre-vocational and community inclusion services to persons with disabilities. Individuals will develop work and life skills utilizing the program's available assistive aids and devices in the assistive technology center to facilitate their learning, select learning opportunities of their choosing, and make the most of the Center's diverse neighborhood to participate in real world experiences in inclusive settings. Quality of Life grant funds will support session materials and personnel costs for the Assistive Technology Instructor, Independent Living Specialist, and Employment Specialist.

MAB Community Services, Inc.
Brookline, MA
$2,641 – Therapeutic Horseback Riding
This Quality of Life grant will help to support a therapeutic horseback riding program for students of Ivy Street School, who are non-traditional students, and at-risk of never realizing their full potential, largely due to the complexity of their disabilities and the associated learning and functional challenges. Students may have neurological conditions such as brain injury, spinal cord injury, and other paralysis-causing conditions. Quality of Life grant funds will support programmatic staff time to supervise the therapeutic horseback riding program and transportation to and from the therapeutic horseback riding facility.

Medstar NRH
Washington, DC
$23,725 - Fitness and Wellness
This Quality of Life grant will help to support the Adaptive Sports & Wellness program, which provides opportunities to participate at the recreational or elite level in sports and recreation. Newcomers to the wellness program exercise with para-athletes, and learn about opportunities available in the community. Spinal Cord Injury peer mentors participate in the program, providing support and encouraging participation. Quality of Life grant funds will help to fund the acquisition of the RT-300 SLSA FES cycle for the outpatient gym. This equipment can be used for upper and lower extremity involvement, and has been proven to promote increased circulation, respiration, muscle mass, bone density and possible improvements to sensory and motor aptitude. It will be utilized by current patients as well as members of the community wellness programs.

Memorial Foundation
Hollywood, FL
$7,384 – Adaptive Sports
This Quality of Life grant will help to support the Memorial Handcycle Club that meets two times a month for rides at different local parks. Participants must bring their own handcycles, which means that many who could benefit from riding cannot participate due to the high cost of the cycles and the challenges of transporting them. Quality of Life grant funds will support the acquisition of one XLT upright handcycle, one Tandem cycle, an equipment trailer to transport the handcycles to local parks, and replacement tires. The cycles will be loaned to individuals that do not own their own equipment, enabling them to participate in handcycling rides in the community with other riders.

Michigan State University
East Lansing, MI
$11,358 – Adaptive Sports
This Quality of Life grant will help to support the addition of wheelchair rugby to the Michigan State University Adaptive Sports and Recreation Club. Although on the surface the MSU Adaptive Sports & Recreation Club may look like it is all about sports, the most important aim of the program is increasing independence and improving the quality of life of individuals experiencing paralysis by using sports as a vessel to achieve those goals. In the process of participating in the program, athletes with disabilities gain transferable independent living skills as they improve their balance, fine motor skills, hand-eye coordination, and range of motion. Progress in these areas leads to increased independence and, in turn, improved quality of life. Participants experience increased confidence and positive concept of self, as well as the social peer support network gained in the process of participating in the program. The program actively promotes inclusion and integration by engaging individuals with physical disabilities and able-bodied volunteers in all adaptive sports activities and building mutual understanding and reciprocal respect for diversity in ability, by making the complex concept of disability tangible. Additionally, by holding weekly practices at multiple MSU locations, the MSU Adaptive Sports & Recreation Club raises awareness about the abilities of individuals experiencing paralysis. For its contributions to inclusion and diversity on campus, the program received the MSU Excellence in Diversity Award in the team category. Quality of Life grant funds will help to support the acquisition of 2 offensive rugby chairs and 2 defensive rugby chairs.

Mickee Faust Alternative Performance Club, Inc.
Tallahassee, FL
$7,852 - Facility Accessibility Modifications
This Quality of Life grant will help to transform the back yard of the Mickee Faust Club into a safe and welcoming outdoor communal space, where people with mobility impairment and other disabilities can feel at ease, secure in the knowledge that the surfaces upon which they are moving will not trip them or tip their chairs, and a performing area that is safely ramped, well lit, and sturdy enough to accommodate them. The Mickee Faust back yard is at the center of a vibrant arts district in Tallahassee, Florida—Railroad Square. As noted in the Huffington Post, "Railroad Square Art Park in downtown Tallahassee is a community of artists and craftspeople who live and work in a 10-acre park close to Florida State University and Florida A&M University. Once a lumberyard and industrial railroad park, Railroad Square began to take shape as an artist's community in the mid-1970s. Today, the lively First Friday Gallery Hop draws an eclectic crowd." The manager of Railroad Square estimates that during the monthly First Friday Gallery Hop, an average 4,000 of the most varied segments of the Tallahassee community eat at food trucks, listen to live music and other entertainment, browse the galleries, and shop around the square. Twenty-five percent of the vehicles that come in for First Friday have disability placards. The Mickee Faust Club is one of the most popular of those First Friday venues. Quality of Life grant funds will support costs to modify the outdoor stage to make it safe and accessible for several performers using wheelchairs at once, and safety lighting for the accessible back yard space.

Miracle League of Delray Beach
Delray Beach, FL
$2,700 – Accessible Playground / Ballfield
The Miracle League's mission is to provide opportunities for all children to play baseball regardless of their ability. For over 10 years, the Miracle League of Palm Beach County has made it possible for children all over the county with physical and mental disabilities to achieve the same dream as their healthy peers -- to play ball. The field is complete with a cushioned synthetic turf to help prevent injuries, wheelchair accessible dugouts, and a completely flat surface to eliminate any barriers to players that use wheelchairs or walkers or are visually impaired. All players are given a uniform and are placed on a team with his or her teammates, coaches and even a team Mom. Volunteerism is the foundation of the league. Every Saturday, over 150 community members come out to create a truly beautiful showing of support. Every game day is a soul-satisfying event. The Miracle League of Delray Beach has now grown to 12 coaches, 6 team moms, 8 cheer buddies and 85 baseball buddies affectionately known as Angels in the Outfield. Grant funds will help to support the cost of team uniforms.

Muscular Dystrophy Association of Nevada
Las Vegas, NV
$3,400 – Camp
For over 60 years, MDA Summer Camp has given kids with muscular dystrophy and related diseases a chance to discover new interests while gaining self-confidence, making lifelong friendships and experiencing the independence of being away from home in an environment where barriers don't exist. For parents and guardians, MDA Summer Camp provides a brief break from their roles as full-time caregivers. They can rest assured their child's medical and physical needs will be met by a team of dedicated health professionals and trained camp volunteers. Aided by personal care from volunteer counselors who are by their sides day and night, campers get to do all the fun activities that regular life doesn't always allow. The independence and life skills campers acquire are more important than ever, as more kids and teens affected by neuromuscular disease are living longer, growing stronger and prospering into adulthood. During camp there are a variety of activities our campers can participate in and two of the most rewarding and popular are the challenge course and horseback riding. For many campers, being able to ride a horse or reaching the top of the challenge course is an experience they would never have if not for MDA Summer Camp. These activity costs are separate from the normal facility fee and operating costs of Summer Camp. Quality of Life grant funds will help to support the costs of the horseback riding and the challenge course for 45 campers, so that they can enjoy a special and one of a kind camp experience.

Back to top of page

2016 1st Cycle N - R Direct Effect Quality of Life Grants

Oklahoma ABLE Tech

Stillwater, OK
$3,693 - Assistive Technology Initiative
This Quality of Life grant will support Adaptive Baby Care Equipment for Parents with Disabilities, a project that will introduce to parents with disabilities adaptive baby care equipment, provide valuable information, and create options for them as a family. Trained staff including occupational therapists support parents' desires to perform baby care tasks, while helping them to reduce the possibility of additional or secondary injury to their own bodies. The use of adaptive baby care equipment can have a dramatic impact on families and their independence in baby care, offers parents more options, and reduces ergonomic strains. The equipment also increases parents' confidence and satisfaction in caring for their babies. Most importantly, adaptive baby equipment supports the parent-child relationship. Quality of Life grant funds will support parent training sessions and the following programmatic baby care equipment: Front Carrier; Lifting Harness; Adapted Boppy; Nursing Pillow; Rollator with added Bouncy Seat & Cradle & Swing; Walker with Feeding Seat added; Safety Kit: Tot Lok; Pacifier Thermometer; Rubberized Bibs; Easy Hold Bottle; Toddler Tub; Accessible Changing Table & Playard; Changing Pad; One-Hand Release Safety Gate; Crib Adaptation Parts; and additional adaptive baby care items plus shipping.

Operation Ward 57
Seattle, WA
$3,750 – Service Animal Program
This Quality of Life grant will help to support the Standing Guard Service Dog Program, which provides financial and material support for veterans and their service dogs in order to help restore their physical and emotional independence. Services include assisting with covering costs of vests, training, transportation, vet bills, etc. This program also partners with several non-governmental agencies to help find and place service animals with disabled veterans. Grants are provided to active duty military personnel, career or medically retired military, or those honorably discharged from service who have been injured, wounded or acquired a disease during service (VA rating of 30% or higher). The program focuses on post-9/11 Veterans but will extend services to other eras as long as the individual has a professionally trained service animal. Veterans who are post-9/11 who do not have a service dog are provided with case management services in order to help the Veteran seek out other nonprofits that train and donate service dogs to Veterans or provide other assistance such as education, vests and supplies. For financial support, Veterans are required to complete an online or paper application and must provide their DD214 military discharge papers and their VA Rating letter. Additional documentation from a service dog agency or trainer may also be required. Grant money is paid directly to the person or company owed the debt, such as a veterinary clinic, obedience school or airline whenever possible. Quality of Life grant funds will enable the Standing Guard Fund program to respond to critical needs for five wounded Veterans with whom service dogs have been placed to enable them to live more independently in the community.

Options Center for Independent Living
Bourbonnais, IL
$5,540 - Home Accessibility Modifications
This Quality of Life grant will help to support the Ramp Assistance Program, which seeks to minimize barriers to individuals with disabilities who utilize a wheelchair or other assistive mobility devices for mobility. Individuals who require the use of a wheelchair or scooter face issues of isolation and are at risk for other health and safety complications. The device necessary to be mobile within their home becomes a source of imprisonment should they need to leave their residence and do not have a ramp. Currently, there are no services for ramps available in the Kankakee County region, which has a poverty rate of over 16% that leaves many persons vulnerable to their mobility impairment issues without the resources to resolve them. Numerous requests for this assistance are received, but there is no funding in Kankakee County for ramps. Quality of Life grant funds will support the acquisition of ten portable metal ramps for the Ramp Assistance Program. Ramps are provided to community members on a loaner basis, and must be returned to the Options Center for Independent Living when no longer required by the recipient.

Penn State University
University Park, PA
$6,000 – Adaptive Sports
This Quality of Life grant will enable Penn State University to field a competitive sled hockey team next season in the Eastern College Athletic Conference. This will add to the assortment of recreational sports that are offered to the Wounded Warriors and Paralympians. The addition of sled hockey will draw more Paralympians to the program, and will continue to grow the services offered. Quality of Life grant funds will be used to support the purchase of new ice hockey sleds and equipment, and support the continued success of some of the more established sport and recreation programs. This equipment will be used to support the training of Wounded Warrior and Paralympic athletes, as well as the sport and recreation programs for members of the University community living with disabilities. Specifically, Quality of Life grant funds will help to support the acquisition of the following sled hockey equipment: sleds, sticks, pads, helmets, neck guards, gloves, blades, picks, tape, and powder for twelve skaters; and sticks, pads, helmets, etc. for goalies.

Prancing Horse, Inc.
Southern Pines, NC
$3,000 – Therapeutic Horseback Riding
Prancing Horse is dedicated to providing children and adults with disabilities access to a high quality therapeutic riding program in a safe, secure, and educational environment. It is the only PATH International Premier Accredited Center program in Moore County and the surrounding areas. Quality of Life grant funds will help to support the salary of a PATH-certified therapeutic riding instructor, enable Prancing Horse to continue to offer customized therapeutic riding sessions to children from five Moore County public schools, to three to six year old children from Sandhills Children's Center, and to Wounded Warriors and their families through the Freedom Reins program.

Project MEND
San Antonio, TX
$10,270 – Durable Medical Equipment
This Quality of Life grant will help to support a project that empowers individuals to become active members of their communities by providing medical equipment or assistive devices that bridge barriers for independent living for individuals with disabilities and their families and enable clients to become active again. The program serves children with disabilities, as well as their parents, family members, and caregivers by providing the equipment necessary for them to take care of their child's daily needs, and also transport their child with a disability more easily so that the family can continue to engage in community and family outings. For senior individuals living with disability or paralysis, the proper piece of durable medical equipment such as a wheelchair, hospital bed, bedside commode, etc. may mean the difference for them to be able to remain at home or in the care of a family member/caregiver rather than placed in a nursing home. Project MEND also serves a large population of veterans and Wounded Warriors. Thirty-two percent (32 % in 2015) of the clients in need of medical equipment are veterans or Wounded Warriors whose veterans benefits do not cover the equipment they need to be mobile, or assist their family member or caretaker to address barrier challenges, or they are on a waiting list that will not allow them to have access to the medical equipment for 6-12 months. Project MEND is able to provide the items they need until their insurance finally provides for their disability, mobility, or access equipment needs. This project will enable Project Mend to begin to meet the demand for the most commonly needed items and enable those living with disabilities to reach a new normal of mobility, access and independence. Quality of Life grant funds will help to support 20 adult manual wheelchairs and 25 bariatric manual wheelchairs.

Ranken Jordan - A Pediatric Specialty Hospital
Maryland Heights, MO
$9,597 – Durable Medical Equipment
Ranken Jordan is the first pediatric bridge hospital in the country and the only hospital of its kind in the entire St. Louis region, providing rehabilitation and sub-acute medical treatment for children with medically complex conditions, including paralysis due to spinal cord injury, stroke, spina bifida, cerebral palsy, multiple sclerosis, brain trauma, and birth conditions. Quality of Life grant funds will support the acquisition of a new Series 2 FES leg cycle, Sage 10 controller, and Battery Pack Kit, and will be used immediately upon arrival to treat both inpatients and outpatients, ages 2 to 21 years of age, with paralysis and other medically complex conditions. This equipment improves cardiovascular health, strength, and blood circulation; supports neuroplasticity; maintains joint range of motion; decreases muscle atrophy, and reduces spasticity. The goal for many of the patients is to progress from using the FES cycle specifically for therapy to using the cycle as a healthful activity. The improvements that patients experience as a result of this treatment will help them to make the transition from hospital to home and to participate in activities of daily life, such as dressing themselves, eating at the family table, and going to school with their peers.

Ronald McDonald House Charities Northern CA
Sacramento, CA
$3,000 – Accessible Playground / Ballfield
Now in its 25th summer camp season, Camp Ronald McDonald at Eagle Lake provides confidence building experiences for campers who are "at-risk," disadvantaged and or living with physical, developmental and emotional disabilities. The fully accessible site removes all physical barriers and programs to promote individuality and self-esteem through the challenges of outdoor group living and teamwork in a supportive environment. This Quality of Life grant will expand accessibility at this camp facility's lake for campers that use wheelchairs or other mobility devices. Specifically, grant funds will support the acquisition of an ADA-compliant beach access mat to enable campers that use wheelchairs to more safely and independently navigate the beach into the water.

RSVP of Weld County
Greeley, CO
$7,000 - Home Accessibility Modifications
Retired and Senior Volunteer Program (RSVP) of Weld County, sponsored by the University of Northern Colorado in Greeley, has been given a building in which to run its Seniors Helping Other People (SHOP) program. This handyman SHOP program is unduplicated in Weld County and consists of 12 volunteers with a cumulative experience of over 20 years building and installing ramps and handrails for Weld County residents. These volunteers give freely of their time and talents, working to create safer homes for older adults and people who are disabled and cannot afford to hire a contractor or service provider to complete the home modification. Weld County Colorado RSVP is the lifeline hub for addressing community needs in more than 22 communities in a 4,000-square mile county. Once renovated, the building will enable SHOP volunteers to increase the number of ramps and handrails provided by at least 15 percent. Quality of Life grant funds will support renovation of a building that houses the volunteer-run ramp building program that empowers seniors to help others in their community, including a new front safety door, repair of the roof, accessible shelving, and acquisition of a generator.

Ruth Meiers Hospitality House
Bismarck, ND
$19,810 - Facility Accessibility Modifications
Ruth Meiers Hospitality House was established in 1987 as a seven-bed emergency shelter to provide emergency and transitional services to those experiencing homelessness in the region. Since that time, it has expanded to provide over 200 shelter beds to men, women and children. It is currently the only permanent men's shelter and one of two family shelters between Fargo, North Dakota and Billings, Montana. In 2015, 34,694 nights of shelter were provided to over 2,000 different individuals. Along with shelter, Ruth Meiers provides direct case management, a full nutrition program, children's learning center, salon, free healthcare clinic, prescription program and re-employment training. As the only permanent shelter in over 300 miles (in all directions), there has been an influx of clients with a multitude of needs, including individuals that use wheelchairs for mobility. There are currently four clients who are wheelchair users; two live in affordable housing, one lives in transitional housing, and the other lives in the transitional shelter. Quality of Life Grant funds will help to support accessibility modifications to enable the shelter to accommodate more guests with paralysis; specifically, ADA accessible shower rooms and shelter rooms.

Back to top of page

2016 1st Cycle S - T Direct Effect Quality of Life Grants

Saint Bernard Academy

Nashville, TN
$5,000 - Facility Accessibility Modifications
St. Bernard Academy has served students in the Nashville community for 150 years, and has made numerous accessibility improvements over the years. Quality of Life grant funds will help to support the installation of an elevator that will ensure that all students, alumni, staff and community members have complete access to all of the areas of the facility so that they can participate in all school and community programs and activities.

San Diego Adaptive Sports Foundation
dba Adaptive Sports and Recreation Association (ASRA)
San Diego, CA
$3,080 – Adaptive Sports
This Quality of Life grant will help to support the ASRA Competitive Wheelchair Basketball Program. Wheelchair basketball was one of the first sports that ASRA offered in the San Diego community, and it continues to be popular among older youth and adults. Currently, ASRA provides three levels of basketball: Recreation (under age12), Varsity (youth ages 10 to 18) and Adult (18+). Varsity and Adult are competitive teams and have opportunities to play against other teams only 2 to 3 times per year when the team travels to another city. Additionally, there are currently 8 adult players who are not playing on a team. Grant funds will help to support the creation of two additional teams; one Prep and one Adult. The Prep team is for younger youth, ages 10 to 13, and gives the athletes the opportunity to get ready for Varsity and high school basketball. The additional adult team will allow 8 or 9 players who are currently not on a team to join one, and the two Adult teams will be able to compete against each other as well as travel to tournaments on the West coast. Quality of Life grant funding will be used to support team recruitment, travel, referees fees, and facility fees.

Sarpy County Ag Society
Springfield, NE
$2,000 – Facility Accessibility Modifications
This year will mark the 80th anniversary of the Sarpy County Fair at the current facility. The Fair has played a huge part in the lives of so many families in the area. Over the past few years, there has been a growing demand for ADA-compliant seating areas. There are people in the community that would enjoy coming to out to the Fair and spending time with their families and friends, but there are no picnic tables that accommodate a person using a wheelchair. Quality of Life grants will support the installation of three ADA-compliant picnic tables in the Kersten Memorial area of town. This area is located along the main street of the town, and along a well-traveled walking and bike path. The picnic tables will create a safe and welcoming area for people that are wheelchair users and their families, enabling them to be a part of the Fair, and engaged in the community year-round.

Shepherd Public Schools
Shepherd, MI
$7,000 – Accessible Playground / Ballfield
This Quality of Life grant will help to support The Play Zone, an accessible playground that will be located adjacent to the boys' Varsity Baseball field and the girls' Varsity Softball field at Shepherd High School. This playground will serve all visiting and local community children who attend these games, who are often looking for something interesting to do halfway through the game (and often there are a minimum of two games, and during tournament time, three), in addition to local and visiting community members. The Play Zone will be the only inclusive playground in Shepherd and will provide play opportunities for community children, ages 2-12. It will enable all children – including those with physical, developmental, cognitive and sensory disabilities – to experience accessible, independent, self-directed play and increased health and fitness, each at their own highest level of ability. Not only will it allow children with disabilities to participate, but it will enable people who do not have disabilities to play alongside those who do, building new relationships across all generations. Quality of Life grant funds will support the wheelchair accessible swing set and raised sand table.

Sixth Day Dance
Kirkland, WA
$2,500 – Fitness and Wellness
Adaptive Dance is specifically designed to reach out to people with paralysis and movement disabilities and engage them in a physically and artistically robust, collaborative environment where they will be mentored by a professional choreographer and an artistic director. It consists of 10 weeks of classes and a public performance. Throughout the classes, dancers explore their relationship with their physicality and choreograph their performance. Participants will experience considerable physical improvements in areas such as gross and fine motor control, balance, flexibility, range of motion, and respiratory control. Skills like procedural memory chaining, self-esteem, self-image, and relationship building will be encouraged through Art Therapy techniques. Dance, as opposed to other forms of physical training, compels unique movements in the body that cannot be predicted or directed. Dance movement is instigated from parts of the brain that are not stimulated during other kinds of training and opens the door to specific nerve pathways. Through their well-attended performances, student dancers expose their communities to the potential and beauty of this group and create better acceptance and understanding of the contributions individuals with disabilities can make to the community. Quality of Life grant funds will support dance instructors and facility rental space for the adapted dance program.

SoCal Trykers of National AMBUCS
Huntington Beach, CA
$6,990 – Fitness and Wellness
This Quality of Life grant will help to support the SoCal Trykers Amtryke program, which assists in providing adaptive tricycles to children or adults with a disability. Recipients must be first evaluated by a physical or occupational therapist that recommends the adaptive tricycle, and then are placed on the wish list. Adaptive tricycles enable children and adults with disabilities opportunities to participate in activities that promote independence, social interaction, mobility, strength, self-esteem and quality of life. Quality of Life grant funds will support acquisition of adaptive trykes (plus shipping costs) for eight children and adults with paralysis-causing conditions.

Special Equestrians, Inc.
Indian Springs, AL
$2,000 – Therapeutic Horseback Riding
This Quality of Life grant will support the Therapeutic Horseback Riding Program at this Professional Association of Therapeutic Horsemanship (PATH) International Premier-Accredited center for riders ages four years old and up with conditions such as cerebral palsy, spina bifida, multiple sclerosis, Down's syndrome, autism, brain injury (including stroke), and many other physical and developmental disabilities. Therapeutic riding is taught in small groups of up to six riders to allow for shared experiences with peers that may have similar disabilities and to encourage social interaction before, during, and after class. Approximately 15% of the riders in the Therapeutic Horseback Riding Program receive either partial or full financial assistance through the scholarship program. Special Equestrians never refuses services to individuals due to an inability to pay. Quality of Life grant funds will support the horse trainer, who will provide regular skills training to all of the therapeutic riding horses, as well as ongoing training for staff and volunteers to ensure the highest quality experience for all.

Spina Bifida Association of Alabama
Gadsden, AL
$4,124 – Camp
This Quality of Life grant will help to support the 2nd Annual VIP (Victory, Independence, and Possibilities) Weekend Retreat for Adults with spina bifida. The Adult VIP Retreat offers an amazing weekend catered around the needs of adults with SB and their family members. The Retreat is hosted at Children's Harbor on Lake Martin in Alexander City, Alabama, a state-of-the-art facility with cabins, meeting rooms, and recreation facilities. Children's Harbor is designed to be completely accessible, which ensures each adult is able to participate in all activities. The activities include exciting opportunities that take participants out of their comfort zone and allow for fun, socialization and learning. Each individual who attends the Retreat can choose to participate in water activities such as water skiing using a sit ski, tubing, swimming, kayaking, and fishing. Other activities include arts and crafts, and evening recreation activities including a campfire, and a ‘Casino Night' party. Finally, an important part of the Retreat is the educational/informational group and individual sessions for both the adults with SB and the parents/caregivers. The Adult VIP Retreat is one of the first in the country to focus solely on adults with SB and their family members and many other US SB Association chapters are interested in using the program as a model. Quality of Life grant funds will help to support water skiing expenses and camp counselors.

Stable Hands, Inc.
Wausau, WI
$6,984 – Therapeutic Horseback Riding
This Quality of Life grant will help to install a SureHands Lift System in the new indoor arena and to train all staff and volunteers who will participate in its use. The lift will be used to expand therapeutic riding services to people who were previously ineligible due to disabilities which interfere with safe transfer to and from the horse or to and from a driving cart. And, it will enable Stable Hands to continue to provide therapeutic riding services to long-time riders whose conditions are progressive or who have grown too large or too heavy for safe transfers without a lift. Riders will be able to participate in their lift transfers by learning how to operate the lift's hand control unit (when possible) and will raise and lower themselves (with stand-by assistance). Riders using the lift will be integrated into classes with other riders of all levels of ability. Stable Hands is the only PATH-certified program in a 37-mile radius. No other programs in the region offer the same services and no other programs have a lift to safely transfer severely involved riders.

Stay-Focused, Inc.
New York, NY
$2,340 – Adaptive Sports
Stay-Focused is the fiscal sponsor for Rochester Adaptive Adventures (RAA), a new nonprofit organization whose mission is to partner with the community to ensure individuals with disabilities and medical conditions, and their families, have access to and choice of adaptive sports and inclusive recreation opportunities. Through collaborative partnerships with Rochester Spinal Association and with Erie Canal Boat Company, RAA has become determined to increase awareness of and access to adaptive cycling and adaptive kayaking. The Rochester area is replete with waterway systems and bike paths, and RAA seeks to ensure these are accessible to individuals with paralysis. RAA will use the Access the Erie Canalway project to increase access points to individuals and families, by providing in-hospital and outpatient clinics as well as community-based events. In order to further maximize client participation, RAA's Canal Pal program will augment the adaptive kayaking and cycling services. Canal Pals will be individuals thoroughly trained in RAA's kayaking and cycling services. These Pals will provide individuals with a companion on the waterway or on the bike trails, to provide directions, traffic monitoring, and time awareness, in addition to the very important social connection. Cycling Canal Pals will be versed in on-trail bike maintenance and safety protocols, and will also provide the cyclist motivating encouragement and even maintain time/distance records so the riders may set goals and track their progress. Kayaking Canal Pals will be able to provide safety protocols and on-the-water training to the paddler, as well as motivation and tracking. While not all participants will need a Canal Pal, there are many individuals who do not have family/friend supports available during times they can kayak or ride, and having someone to assist and to support is critical to their being able to access the Canalway. Canal Pals will enable many more individuals to access these trails. Quality of Life grant funds will help to support the launch of the kayak program; specifically, funding adaptive kayak equipment and accessories.

Suburban Adult Services, Inc.
Elma, NY
$4,110 - Facility Accessibility Modifications
Suburban Adult Services (SaSi) clinic provides physical and occupational therapy, speech/language therapy, social work services, psychological and psychiatric counseling as well as vocational rehabilitation counseling to individuals of all ages with conditions such as cerebral palsy, spina bifida, multiple sclerosis, epilepsy, spinal cord injuries, and other conditions. Many of these individuals utilize wheelchairs or other mobility devices. SASi also provides employment services, residential opportunities and therapeutic recreation though Moving Miracles therapeutic dance and High Hurdles therapeutic horseback riding. Quality of Life grant funds will support the installation of automatic electric doors at the front entrance of the facility, enabling clients to independently enter and exit the building for programs and events.

The House Student Leadership Center
Woodbridge, VA
$1,000 – Peer Mentoring and Support
Quality of Life grant funds will help to support the eleventh annual National Capital A Cinderella Ball in Washington, DC, an event that fosters involvement in the community and improves quality of life and celebrates children of America's men and women in uniform affected by disabilities or life-threatening illnesses, helping change attitudes and break down barriers that exclude these students from the mainstream of the community. This daytime event features a banquet, entertainment, awards, and an after-party Ball for children who otherwise may not experience this type of social engagement. The Ball is a year-round, ongoing program with the completion date of the annual gala. A Cinderella Closet precedes the annual event, where each student guest receives his or her choice of prom apparel from more than 1,000 formal gowns and tuxedos. The formal attire is a gift, not a rental. Student members of the Center plan for this event year round as part of their service-learning curriculum through colleting formal attire, fundraising, and event coordination. Joining these students, invited through the military's Exceptional Family Members Services Office, are soldiers from Walter Reed's Wounded Soldier Brigade who will arrive, too, on the red carpet at the Willard's Pennsylvania Avenue entrance. This project is designed to merge and honor paralyzed service members during the time between active duty and their transition to civilian life, with an opportunity to uniquely mentor these young students and their families. Quality of Life grant funds will help to support ADA-accessible stage equipment with ramp accessibility for wheelchair users.

The World Institute on Disability
Berkeley, CA
$15,000 – Employment Program
This Quality of Life grant will support CareerACCESS, a project that aims to unleash the potential of young adults with disabilities (ages 18- 30) to work, develop skills, generate wealth, become entrepreneurs, and strengthen self-sufficiency and economic independence by providing them with incentives to enter the workforce while still receiving social supports for their costly disabilities. CareerACCESS will establish the elements and benefits (through the ROI model) of an expanded employment and career path for young people with disabilities. In addition to enabling young adults with disabilities to have an economic future filled with promise and purpose, CareerACCESS has the added objective of reducing government dependency and social support costs as income and skills grow. To succeed in the workplace, young adults with disabilities need ongoing support services that they can afford while they contribute and grow their income. Quality of Life grant funds will help to support costs for the Return on Investment researcher for the implementation of the pilot CareerACCESS program in three to five states.

Think Beyond the Chair
Flint, MI
$2,375 – Fitness and Wellness
This Quality of Life grant will help to support the 5th Annual Party in the Park: Health & Fitness, Adaptive Sports, Social Integration Festival. Party in the Park is completely accessible and eliminates the obstacles that prevent people with disabilities from enjoying life and engaging with their communities. This event focuses on health, wellness, sports and recreation in addition to social integration. Participants can enjoy a class of Tai-Chi, personal massage, healthy eating education, Zumba, pressure sore prevention education, the right-to-work seminar, sports, carnival games and activities. Quality of Life grant funds will help to support the following programmatic costs for the event: portable ramps, accessible bouncy house rental, wheelchair massage, and instructors for Zumba, Tai Chi and Fitness classes.

Back to top of page

2016 1st Cycle U - Z Direct Effect Quality of Life Grants

University of South Florida

Tampa, FL
$17,884 – Adaptive Sports
This Quality of Life grant will enable University of South Florida's Outdoor Recreation program to expand its current regular paddling programs to include individuals with mobility impairments. Due to its innate ability to leave the paddler feeling free and completely in control, adaptive paddling has grown substantially in recent years among the people with disabilities in the community Additionally, paddling equipment modifications are small if needed and paddling instructions are pretty much the same for everyone. Paddlers are able to engage in a diverse range of environments ranging from whitewater kayaking to coastal paddling. The skills used in paddling are usable all over the world. Paddling trips offer engaging opportunities to learn, enjoy, and experience amazing scenery together with other students, staff/faculty, and community members. Quality of Life grant funds will support the acquisition of a base set of equipment, initial training for staff, and staff hours to create unique programming aimed at establishing inclusive and engaging programs and services as for students, staff/faculty, and community members who may live with physical disabilities and are interested in paddle sports. Specifically, grant funds will support: trip leaders/instructors for kayak trips and programs; 2 Student Kayak instructor trainers for 4-week kayak skills training course each semester; 2 student interns for marketing events and promotions; 2 Current Designs Kayaks - Outfitted with adaptive equipment; 10 ACA foam outfitting kits; 2 Current Designs Phantom GX Graphite lightweight paddles; 2 pairs of Back of hand paddle adaptations; 2 pairs Wrist paddle adaptations; 2 Paddle pivot systems; ACA Adaptive Paddling certification for 10 staff; ACA Kayak Instructor Level 2 certification for 10 staff.

UPWARD for Children and Families
Phoenix, AZ
$4,822 – Durable Medical Equipment
This Quality of Life grant will help to improve the physical therapy experience for children and young adults with severe disabilities who are medically fragile, and the most vulnerable in the Phoenix area. Grant funds will support the acquisition of two therapy wedge systems to augment the one wedge system that Upward currently has to use in its classrooms, therapy rooms and the adult day treatment areas. Benefits of the wedge system include improving respiration and reducing respiratory complications; building head, neck, trunk and shoulder strength; improving range of motion; providing lower extremity weight bearing positioning opportunities; improving engagement in classroom activities; pressure relief to reduce skin breakdown complications; and relief of stress and pain help to enhance overall comfort and health. The addition of two more systems will allow the systems to be used by more clients more often and over a longer period of time as wear and tear will be reduced significantly.

Ventfort Hall Association, Inc.
Lenox, MA
$10,000 - Facility Accessibility Modifications
This Quality of Life grant will help to support accessibility modifications in Ventfort Hall, an historic Gilded Age mansion built by Sarah Morgan as a summer home in 1893 in Lenox, Massachusetts. Ventfort Hall serves as a historic house museum and venue for cultural and educational programs. Ventfort Hall is on the National Register of Historic Places and is an official project of Save America's Treasures. It is open to the public year-round, seven days a week, and is operated by a small staff of part-time employees (approximately 4.5 full time equivalents) and a substantial group of volunteers. Programs and events at Ventfort Hall include lectures, dramatic performances, concerts and children's activities, which take place on the mansion's fully accessible first floor. There are also daily guided tours of Ventfort Hall. Ventfort Hall is an irreplaceable piece of local architectural history from the days when Lenox was known as the “inland Newport” and is one of the few Gilded Age mansions in Lenox still open to the public. It is also the only historic house museum in the area that is open daily year-round, providing consistent value as cultural destination during the winter and shoulder seasons. Grant funds will help to support the installation of the elevator to enable individuals with paralysis and other mobility challenges to gain access to all parts of the historical building. The elevator will not only enable Ventfort Hall to provide the same quality experiences for all visitors, regardless of their level of mobility, but will make it possible for individuals that cannot navigate stairs to become volunteer museum docents.

Victory Therapeutic Horsemanship
Bellwood, PA
$8,000 – Therapeutic Horseback Riding
This Quality of Life grant will help to bring private, individual therapeutic riding sessions directly to wounded veterans that are not able to participate in therapeutic riding at a traditional center setting. Grant funds will help to fund the acquisition of a horse trailer to facilitate mobile therapeutic horseback riding for veterans that have traumatic brain injury and PTSD, many of whom are isolated and may be suicidal. Victory Therapeutic Horsemanship was founded in 2015 by United States Army, Sargent 1st Class, John Zanella. After living and working in Washington State as a therapeutic riding instructor for veterans, Sargent Zanella moved home to Central Pennsylvania where he saw the need for a similar riding program. He had participated in a therapeutic riding program in 2011. Suicidal at that time, Sargent Zanella credits the riding program with saving his life. After being discharged from the Army for medical reasons (multiple physical injuries, five traumatic brain injuries, and severe PTSD), Sargent Zanella states that working with him as an instructor is a rarity. Not only does he have medical reasons and 20 years of service with 11 deployments to which veterans can relate; nationally, he is the only service member who went through a therapeutic riding program to go on to found and run one. He knows where veterans are coming from. He knows he can save lives. VTH is the only therapeutic riding program for veterans in the service area of Blair, Centre, and Huntingdon counties in Pennsylvania.

Virtual Photo Walks
Washington, DC
$7,200 - Assistive Technology Initiative
Virtual Photo Walks (VPW) is a nonprofit organization in the United States and Canada that uses smart phones and video conferencing to enable people isolated by illness or disability to travel the world in real time. VPW plans to partner with the British Columbia Mobility Opportunity Society (BCMOS) to provide a series of summer virtual hikes throughout Canada for members of the disability community. While VPW volunteer photographers and videographers are usually able-bodied individuals that create the virtual walks, this summer hiking program will involve photographers/videographers who are VPW and BCMOS members that live with significant physical disabilities, who either have or are seeking a greater connection with nature. The members have a wide range of conditions including spinal cord injury, multiple sclerosis, cerebral palsy, stroke, and muscular dystrophy. Grant funds will help to support the acquisition of a TrailRider (a modified wheelchair which will enable individuals that use wheelchairs to hike) and a TrailRider arm to hold a smart phone to allow the hikers with disabilities using the TrailRider to stream and guide walks through video-conferencing. Once completed, the virtual walks will be available to experience on the VPW website.

Volunteers in Medicine, Inc.
Great Barrington, MA
$6,000 - Facility Accessibility Modifications
This Quality of Life grant will help to support accessibility modifications to this community health clinic, including a wheelchair ramp at the main entrance and a wheelchair lift. The clinic provides access to quality health care, broadly defined, in a respectful and caring manner for income-qualified, uninsured and under-insured residents of the Berkshire region, many of whom are at or below 300% of the federal poverty level. This is a rural area with inadequate public transportation and a paucity of healthcare providers. VIM enables local physicians, dentists, and others to give back to the community by volunteering as healthcare providers to those in need. The clinic building also hosts community programs such as the only Spanish-language Alcoholics Anonymous group in the Berkshires.

VSA Texas
Austin, TX
$8,500 – Arts Program
This Quality of Life grant will help to support the Re-Integration Project, which increases opportunities for veterans with disabilities and Wounded Warriors to find creative and fulfilling community options post military service. Since 2009, VSA Texas has annually curated a show of new work by veterans with disabilities and Wounded Warriors and exhibited this work at galleries and museums across Texas. The artist roster has increased to 150 veterans, the majority of whom are visual artists. Through the Re-Integration project, the roster will expand to include writers and musicians, as well as reach new visual artists. Project goals are three-fold: 1) A series of writing workshops for veterans with disabilities and Wounded Warriors; 2) Art/music created by artist veterans from diverse disciplines and backgrounds in response to individual writings; 3) A public exhibition of the collective body of work that includes an exhibit catalogue. Quality of Life grant funds will support marketing (print advertising, social media and press kits); exhibit space rental for the exhibition and reception; duplication of music compact discs for inclusion in the exhibition catalogue; and framing costs for display of selected prose and poetry for the exhibition.

Warriors and Quiet Waters Foundation
Bozeman, MT
$12,500 - Facility Accessibility Modifications
Warriors and Quiet Waters Foundation (WQW) is a recreational therapy program that provides exclusive six-day therapeutic fly fishing experiences (FX) to traumatically injured veterans and their families. The FX program has proven to be an innovative approach that interrupts negative patterns of thinking, improves mood, and enhances motivation to make positive change. This is done in by treating them with abundance of love, camaraderie, respect, joy, and through the therapeutic outdoor sport of fly fishing. FX's are unique in that all expenses are paid for, including travel, accommodations, top-of-the-line fishing gear, guided fly fishing trips, and instruction from world-class professional guides for participating veterans. Upon completion of the six-day program, warriors get to keep all their fishing equipment, enabling them to continue the healing activity of fly fishing at home. It is the only all-inclusive program of its kind in Montana that also offers programming for warrior couples and an alumni companion model. The week in Montana provides a respite from the stresses of war and their medical treatment, and has a positive impact on the negative trends of suicide, divorce, unemployment and, alcoholism, all of which translate into increased independence, self-confidence, and spiritual and physical connections to their families and communities. Quality of Life grant funds will support accessibility modifications to the Quiet Waters Ranch (acquired after a capital campaign in 2015) to ensure that all barriers to complete inclusion are removed, so that no families are prevented from full participation in programming for wounded veterans and their families. Specifically, grant funds will support the installation of a platform lift, widened doorways and handrails. Previously, rental accommodations were used, which caused numerous problems that are obviated by having a completely accessible home for the program and participants, ensuring safety, continuity, and inclusion for years to come.

Waterford Recreation and Parks
Waterford, CT
$5,350 – Durable Medical Equipment
This Quality of Life grant will help to increase accessibility for individuals with mobility challenges at the Waterford Beach. Quality of Life grant funds will support the acquisition of two beach wheelchairs that will enable individuals that use wheelchairs or other mobility aids to access the community beach park with their families. Due to environmental restrictions, the parking lot is a long distance from the beach, and covers a variety of terrains: asphalt, grass, packed stone dust, a wooden bridge and, finally sand. Typical wheelchairs are almost impossible to push on sand, and canes and crutches do not provide reliable balance in sand. The beach wheelchairs are designed for moving through sand and other bumpy, unstable surfaces, and can be rolled into the water. The wheelchairs will make it possible for individuals that use mobility devices to go to the community beach with their families and friends and to enjoy the beach and water together.

Western New York Independent Living
Buffalo, NY
$5,700 - Assistive Technology Initiative
This Quality of Life grant will assist WNY Independent Living to upgrade the assistive technology which is currently offered in its model home and three equipment loan closets. This project will also allow the agency to provide education about the model home and loan closets to organizations and the general public about what is currently available at no cost. The goal of the project is to also create a virtual tour of the model home and learning modules which will be available at no cost to physical and occupational therapists, rehabilitation centers, surgery centers and independent living specialists, to use as an educational outlet at no cost. This project will assist individuals with paralysis and mobility impairment caused by spinal cord injury, brain injury, multiple sclerosis, cerebral palsy, etc., by providing physical tours of the model home so they may utilize and “test drive” assistive equipment, and borrow equipment from the loan closet at no cost. The how-to videos and community collaboration will offer opportunities for ongoing referrals, which will increase the user's knowledge, confidence and ability to live independently in the community. This program will also serve as a natural referral source to the Independent Living specialists, who can support the population without any medical costs to the individual. The education and outreach will also serve as the vehicle for new referrals, model home tours, and loan closet use. Quality of Life grant funds will help to support the acquisition of the following assistive technology devices for the loan closets: Bathroom Related Assistive Devices (Grab Bars, Shower Stools, Commodes, etc.); Mobility Related Equipment (Walkers, Canes, Rolling Walkers, Gait Trainers, Bariatric and Standard Wheelchairs); Bedroom-Related Assistive Equipment (Lifts, Wedges, etc.); Technology (Ipad with Voice Enabled - JAWS Enabled; JAWS Voice Reader Programs for Computers); Assistive Technology (Reachers, Kitchen Aids, and Living Room Aids).

Women's Studio Workshop
Rosendale, NY
$5,502 – Arts Program
Women's Studio Workshop is expanding its campus to include a publicly accessible gallery of work created by Artists in Residence, who are recruited by a blind jury from across the United States and around the world. When the expansion project is complete, WSW will be the only cultural institution of its kind in Ulster County, the only gallery for competitive professional artists in the rural village of Rosendale, NY, and the only public cultural facility on the Wallkill Valley Rail Trail. The recently purchased, adjacent historic building is being renovated to allow wheelchair access for residents with mobility challenges of Ulster County and beyond to attend WSW community events and exhibitions. WSW will need to reconfigure the historical property to allow wheelchair access. Full accessibility will enable inclusive access to regular exposure to professional level visual art, including conversations with professional artists about their work, connections with local business owners, local farmers, and community members, and free and nutritious meals in a beautiful, historic setting. These elements combine to make an unparalleled social, cultural, and educational experience, completely free of cost. Quality of Life grants will support accessibility renovations in the first floor restroom in the newly acquired historical building that will be open to the public.

Worcester County Horticultural Society/Tower Hill Botanic Garden
Boylston, MA
$8,826 – Education Program
This Quality of Life grant will support the educational programming of Tower Hill Botanic Garden's newly opened garden, The Court: A Garden Within Reach (GWR). The GWR is a universally accessible garden featuring raised garden beds and planters of varying heights, vertical gardens, a tactile planter, a tool display, and water features designed to accommodate those of all levels of ability and mobility. Located right at the entry of the education and visitor center, the Garden makes no compromise in aesthetics, showcasing how an accessible garden can be beautiful and functional at the same time. The Garden Within Reach is a space for everyone – a beautiful focal point for every visitor to the garden to enjoy as well as a platform for awareness and programming. It is a flexible, inclusive space, whether guests choose simply to spend time by the fountain, take a class on wellness, or are made aware of specific features such as gardening in a range of containers that make gardening available to more people. It is also a space for use by people who do not have a garden of their own yet still want to experience plants in a hands-on way. Adaptive gardening provides many benefits to gardeners, including an active lifestyle, connection with nature, a renewed connection with others, and engagement in the community. Quality of Life grant funds will support acquisition of adapted gardening tools and the horticultural therapist that will design and run the adapted horticultural programs.

YMCA of Southwest Washington
Longview, WA
$11,256 - Facility Accessibility Modifications
The YMCA of Southwest Washington provides the only year-round indoor aquatics facility in the entire county, offering aquatic rehabilitation programs and a physical therapy clinic that provides additional aquatic therapies in the facility's Activity Pool and Warm Water Therapy Pool. A partnership with local school districts uses the pools for their students with high needs. Partnerships with early-childhood therapy centers bring therapists and clients to the YMCA for occupational and physical therapy. About half of the YMCA members are senior citizens who rely on pool access for their physical well-being. The YMCA has three pool lifts that need to be replaced to ensure safe, dignified access to the pool for individuals with mobility challenges. Quality of Life grant funds will help to support the installation of one IGAT-180 Chair Lift/Pool Lift, Headrest, Removable Armrests, and additional seatbelt; and one 5176 Aquatrek wheelchair ramp in the facility's warmest water pool.

Back to top of page

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.