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COVID-19: Addressing Social Isolation Quality of Life Grants

2021 COVID-19: Addressing Social Isolation Quality of Life Grants

21 Grants totaling $580,934

Abilities of Northwest Jersey, Inc.

Washington, NJ 07882

$10,860 – COVID-19: Addressing Social Isolation

Abilities Social Isolation Reduction Loan Closet

This grant supports virtual day programming including music and art, education, exploration of community, exercise and stretching, cooking and food fun, science, geography, and other topics for individuals living with paralysis who have been impacted by COVID-19 and have been isolated in their homes without technology to assist them. Funds will be used to purchase 10 iPads and accompanying assistive technology devices that will be loaned to potentially 86 individuals throughout the grant year.

Ability First Sports

Chico, CA 95927-4235

$30,294 – COVID-19: Addressing Social Isolation

Ability First Connect!

This grant provides programming to individuals living with paralysis through four program methods. A whole-person approach will be utilized that focuses on eight wellness domains including: physical, social, emotional, intellectual, vocational, financial and spiritual wellness. Programs include 1) Ability First Youth Virtual Summer Sports Camp; 2) Virtual Youth & Adult Weekly Programming & Special Events; 3) In-Person Small Group Sports & Recreation; and 4) Lending Closet of sports equipment including sports chairs and handcycles. Partnerships include Butte County Public Health, Boys & Girls Club, and Paradise Parks and Recreation, and the National Charity League. Approximately 70 individuals will be served.

Arizona Board of Regents, University of Arizona

Tucson, AZ 85721-0158

$49,999 – COVID-19: Addressing Social Isolation

Expressive Arts Based Virtual Support Program for People Living with Paralysis

This grant supports a virtual expressive arts-based program to facilitate social connection and provide peer support and promote peer engagement for adults living with paralysis. To start, a 10-week pilot program will be developed to provide 1) step-by-step visual art instruction, 2) step-by-step movement instruction, and 3) free form process painting and discussion that are adapted by input and feedback from the pilot participants, with approximately 24 individuals served. Participants will be evaluated on decreased perceived social isolation, increased sense of belonging, increased size of social network, increased number/quality of social contact, and increased confidence in using creative art media.

AXIS Dance Company

Oakland, CA 94612-4067

$33,700 – COVID-19: Addressing Social Isolation

AXIS At Home

This grant supports AXIS at Home, a free online series, that offers videos featuring guided movement, dance, meditation, and more, all taught by artists living with paralysis. A series of 12 videos will include seated/wheelchair-based workshops on bringing movement into the body and will be led by artists living with paralysis. AXIS’s national and international programming reaches over 20,000 annually. The series will potentially reach approximately 2,500 people living with paralysis.

Bay Area Outreach & Recreation Program (BORP)

Berkeley, CA 94703-2578

$33,880 – COVID-19: Addressing Social Isolation

COVID Response Project

This grant provides programming addressing the need for social connection and physical and mental health support of people living with paralysis. Activities will include: Virtual fitness classes including seated yoga, dance, tai chi, and strength & conditioning, and cardio fitness; A weekly Wellness Support Group; Virtual group outings; Online virtual birding classes & socially distanced group outings to local birding sites. Other planned activities include (if safe to do): Outdoor fitness classes including seated strength & conditioning, and functional fitness; Group and family/friends adaptive cycling rides; Kayaking trips; Small group outings to places such as parks and trails. The project will serve a total of at least 230 individuals living with paralysis during the grant period.

Casa Colina Hospital and Centers for Healthcare

Pomona, CA 91767 6001

$45,100 – COVID-19: Addressing Social Isolation

Assistive Technology Support for an Adaptive Recreation Program to Prevent Social Isolation

This grant provides avenues for social engagement using assistive technology support to benefit individuals with spinal cord injury (SCI) by improving quality of life and decreasing social isolation. An Adaptive Recreation Program will introduce participants to adaptative hobbies including gaming, art, gardening, book and film clubs, language classes, cooking, fitness, and other recreational activities including gaming tournaments. The program will serve 40 individuals with SCI as well as their families, children and caregivers.

Connections for Independent Living (CIL)

Greeley, CO 80631-4601

$25,000 – COVID-19: Addressing Social Isolation

Connections with Friends

This grant supports the creation of a new technology program for people living with paralysis in the rural area of High Plains of northeastern Colorado. Six nine-week sessions include still photography and photovoice connectivity to facilitate discussion, video photography, and artistic pursuits ranging from painting to sculpture to poetry, online and home platform gaming, genealogy, and armchair travel planning. In addition, to assist interested persons who wish to participate in the program, Connections will purchase ten Android tablet computers with cellular hotspot units. These devices will be available at no cost from a loan closet to registered consumers who do not have their own equipment. The project will serve potentially 52 individuals.

Empower Spinal Cord Injury

Boston, MA 02114-0036

$36,737 – COVID-19: Addressing Social Isolation

Empower SCI Virtual Program and Continuing Social Connections

This grant supports a virtual program that will serve 94 participants with Spinal Cord Injury (SCI) and engage over 40 volunteers, who specialize in working with individuals with SCI, as well as peer mentors who are living independently with SCI of varying levels. Participants will receive one-on-one and group counseling and peer mentoring; as well as engage in education on mobility, daily living tasks, recreational activities, and a myriad of topics led by experts in spinal cord injury care. Equipment will be loaned to easily and efficiently engage in virtual program and technology support to improve participants’ experience during the Virtual Program.

Endless Highway, Inc.

Rochester, NY 14604

$19,700 – COVID-19: Addressing Social Isolation

Game On Virtual Reality (GO-VR)

This grant supports a project to increase social connectedness and physical activity for a population of youth living with paralysis and co-occurring disabilities in Greater Rochester. Offerings include twenty free-of-charge gaming sessions. The program will also cover the purchase and installation of 12 at-home VR kits to be loaned out on a 10-week rotation, extending these benefits to individuals with comorbidities that pose additional threat to their health amidst the ongoing COVID-19 crisis. If restrictions ease, up to eight participants will visit an ADA accessible VRcade on a bi-weekly basis where they can “get their game on” in individual, socially-distanced stations. The program will serve 72 youths living with paralysis.

Fast Feet NYC

Brooklyn, NY 11222

$16,100 – COVID-19: Addressing Social Isolation

Fast Feet Social Skills Virtual Program

This grant provides health equity programming that includes virtual physical movement classes, cooking classes and nutrition webinars, and social skills development classes. With over three hours of weekly virtual programs free of charge, families across the country, as well as individuals receiving support in assisted living facilities in NYC will be targeted. Fast Feet aims to provide programing to 120 individuals living with paralysis.

Great Lakes Adaptive Sports Association

Lake Forest, IL 60045-5114

DUNS #: 023156412

Virtual GLASA

This grant provides social interaction and connectedness for people living with paralysis through the provision of virtual programming including adaptive physical activity, mental health support, social events, and educational sessions. Participants have access to GLASA’s loan closet of adaptive equipment at no cost. Virtual GLASA also supports families by connecting them to other families and resources. The program provides year-round virtual programming for 77 individuals living with paralysis for an average of 7-8 hours each week, at least 5 days per week. Sessions are led by certified instructors and coaches as well as staff who have extensive experience and expertise in administering adaptive sports programming.

Independence Care System

Bronx, NY 10458-5059

$22,440 – COVID-19: Addressing Social Isolation

The Virtual Social Wellness Program

This grant will support a social wellness program for 20 individuals. The program will be offered for two hours, twice weekly, for ten months and will include yoga, exercise, mindfulness practice and social activities, and will reduce isolation and offer a point of entry for individuals needing referral to/connection with additional services. Funding supports: a wellness instructor and coordinator, and two movement/yoga instructors; a loan closet of ten chrome books, protective cases and hot spots for participants who lack their own equipment.

Missouri Assistive Technology

Blue Springs, MO 64015

$20,916 – COVID-19: Addressing Social Isolation

Combating Social Isolation through Accessible Online Gaming

This grant will support a project to provide alternative access methods to online gaming to address the effects of social isolation. These methods will include eye gaze, head tracking, mouth, and chin control, bite switch, and sip/puff control. Participants will be provided with an initial consultation with an assistive technology specialist in which a variety of input methods and gaming systems will be evaluated. Each participant will be provided with a one-month loan of equipment, training, and support. Potentially 60 people living with paralysis will be served during the grant year. Funding will be used to purchase all loan closet equipment.

Move United

Rockville, MD 20850-5106

$34,225 – COVID-19: Addressing Social Isolation

Overcoming social isolation through Move United OnDemand adaptive fitness classes

This grant will support a virtual, web-based program, offering individuals living with paralysis a wide range of no-cost adaptive fitness classes focused on strength, cardio and yoga, with beginner, intermediate and advanced classes available. Classes will be offered via an OnDemand portal accessed through to reduce isolation, increase physical activity and increase connectedness. Move United expects to reach at least 100 unique individuals living with paralysis in the first six months of the OnDemand program.

Sabrina Cohen Foundation

Miami Beach, FL 33139-1425

$41,000 – COVID-19: Addressing Social Isolation

SCF Adaptive Fitness & Recreation Programs

This grant supports virtual fitness classes for participants across the country with five to six classes per week, with an additional two sessions every month geared towards quality of life workshops focused on removing the barriers of social isolation. In addition, as restrictions ease, activities will include individual and group offerings in new areas of adaptive fitness in safe, outdoor spaces such as wheelchair tennis events and all-inclusive fitness events to take place at various locations across South Florida. These programs will continue to address barriers resulting from the pandemic, encouraging a broader sense of community and will serve 476 people annually.

Spina Bifida Association

Arlington, VA 22209-2510

$25,000 – COVID-19: Addressing Social Isolation

Keeping the Spina Bifida Community Connected through SBA’s Adaptive Fitness Club

This grant supports SBA’s Adaptive Fitness Club, created to help members of the Spina Bifida community stay fit, healthy, and connected during the pandemic. Activities include virtual offerings such as chair yoga, adapted dance, and weight training. A private Facebook group will be utilized so registrants can communicate between sessions and keep each other motivated. SBA anticipates over 100 individuals living with paralysis to partake in the programming that will educate participants on the importance of exercise in their overall health and well-being; demonstrate a variety of exercise methods that participants can incorporate into their daily lives at home; and provide regularly scheduled social events.

TBI Warrior Foundation

Boerne, TX 78015-5133

$25,000 – COVID-19: Addressing Social Isolation

Health and Wellbeing Support Program

This grant supports a health and wellbeing program that includes respite care for family caregivers consisting of virtual seminars and workshops and virtual coffee/teatime (support group for caregivers). Seminars and workshops include Filling Up Your Cup: Self-Care for the Caregiver; Caregiving Adaptation/Transition: Navigating healthcare and the caregiving role; Cognitive Skills Seminar: Understanding cognitive impairments and managing disability; and Business Development and Working from Home. TBI proposes reaching and serving 275 households of people living with paralysis.

The ALS Association of Texas

Dallas, TX 75254

$23,525 – COVID-19: Addressing Social Isolation

Community Engagement Series

This grant supports a multi-dimensional program for people living with ALS, their caregivers and families which includes caregiver support groups, a youth caregiver training series, trauma-informed yoga, virtual cooking classes, free sessions of grief counseling for caregivers and families, and a virtual candlelight remembrance event in December for families unable to hold funerals or memorial services due to pandemic. The series will serve 150 living with paralysis.

The Michigan State University Community Music School

East Lansing, MI 48823-5312

$25,000 – COVID-19: Addressing Social Isolation

Increasing Access to Foster Engagement and Social Connectedness During COVID-19 Times

This grant support provides virtual engagement and social connectedness for individuals living with paralysis through virtual music-making, virtual group, and individual music sessions. Lyric interpretation and songwriting groups will discuss and explore similar themes and feelings shared by members. In addition, recordings of music, dance, and movement sessions will be available for individuals to use as needed for daily exercise regimens. The program expects to serve approximately 60 people with paralysis during the grant year and foster a sense of community and social connectedness for about 80 clients total, including caregivers, family members, etc. Funds will be used to support virtual programming and audio/visual equipment.

The Painted Turtle

Santa Monica, CA 90401

$12,458 – COVID-19: Addressing Social Isolation

Medical Specialty Camp Program

This grant provides a year-round, life-changing camp experience to children ages 6-18 living with paralysis and their families. The program will provide children with virtual programming and accessible and empowering activities that promote self-confidence, communications skills, teamwork, problem-solving, creativity, and physical health. It offers opportunities to further campers’ experiences through a variety of leadership training activities that provides community, education, and growth for teenagers at a critical stage of transition to adult independence. Addressing the impacts of COVID-19, the Painted Turtle will create a community that allows campers to feel safe, build lasting friendships, and feel included and connected. Funds will purchase 20 iPads and accessible accessories for use through a loan closet. The Painted Turtle projects to serve around 142 children living with paralysis through the camp program.


Brooklyn, NY 11208-5262

$25,000 – COVID-19: Addressing Social Isolation

The Garrison Redd Project Adaptive Fitness Program

This grant provides adaptive fitness sessions through a range of exercises using stretches and resistance bands, yoga movements, and dance choreography. The program employs five individuals with a spinal cord injury to teach the adaptive courses three times a week. The program will have two components, virtual and in-person. The virtual component will be a live stream version of the in-person sessions and will be uploaded to YouTube, Facebook, Instagram, and the GRP website for accessibility. In addition, there will be lifestyle videos ranging from outdoor to indoor experiences for individuals with wheelchairs. Lifestyle skills are equally as important as adaptive fitness because they can increase an individual’s mobility and independence, especially for someone who is new to using a wheelchair or a mobility device. The Garrison Redd Project projects to reach an estimate of 300 people living with paralysis.

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2020 COVID-19: Addressing Social Isolation Quality of Life Grants

11 Grants totaling $314,200

Childrens Hospital of Alabama

Birmingham, AL 35233

$13,010COVID-19: Addressing Social Isolation

Addressing Social Isolation and Inactivity for Alabama Children with Paralysis

This grant provides active virtual reality gaming opportunities for children and youth with various diagnoses that result in upper and/or lower extremity paralysis. Virtual gaming can be used to promote/increase physical activity and activity tolerance and decrease pain. The project will be carried out by establishing a Virtual Reality gaming loan closet with “Oculus Quest 2” VR systems and games so that patients can get active and increase their heart and respiratory rates while at home.

Clemson University

Clemson, SC 29634

$42,604COVID-19: Addressing Social Isolation

Clemson University: Tutor, Talk and Train

This grant supports a program offering continuous opportunities for social connections and improved mental and physical health benefiting 15 military veterans with paralysis and their caregivers throughout the 2021 calendar year. The program will provide 1-2 hours of programming per day throughout the year and will address the increased potential for social isolation and loneliness, physical and mental health challenges as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic and the added health risks this particular population may face. Core activities include: MHFA certification, elementary school tutoring, adaptive yoga, adaptive strength training, additional adaptive sport opportunities, a book and movie club, and group Zoom dinners.

Disability Partnership Project

Rockville, MD 20850

$25,000COVID-19: Addressing Social Isolation

Health and Wellness 4 All

This grant will support the Health and Wellness 4 All program. Health and Wellness 4 All is a series of existing activities combined to create a health and wellness program for persons living with spinal cord injuries and paralysis. The virtual program results from the partnership between Independence Now, Adventist HealthCare Rehabilitation, and Disability Partnerships and is free and will include a minimum of one activity per week that allows for networking and social interaction. Exercise classes will occur twice a week in 4 six-week sessions throughout the year.

Lakeshore Foundation

Birmingham, AL 35209

$22,490COVID-19: Addressing Social Isolation

Online Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction for Individuals with Paralysis

This grant supports online Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) programs for individuals with paralysis living locally and nationally, including injured military and veterans. The Zoom-based program will bring together online up to 18 participants per program course who will complete an orientation, eight weeks of weekly MBSR online classes, and a 6-hour full day retreat. Lakeshore will implement four of these eight-week program courses during the project year, reaching up to 72 people with paralysis.

Paralyzed Veterans of America – National HQ

Washington, DC 20006

$25,000COVID-19: Addressing Social Isolation

PVA chapter laptop loan closet

This grant supports the pilot of laptop loan closets at ten of PVA’s thirty-three chapters. The intent of the project is to provide technology training, access to laptops, and peer-to-peer training at the local chapters. PVA will engage Veterans who do not have the skills or equipment to access new PVA virtual opportunities. These new opportunities will generate new social interactions and virtual sports and recreation engagement.

Rochester Spinal Association

Rochester, NY 14642

$22,715COVID-19: Addressing Social Isolation

Keep it Together

This grant supports the “Keep it Together” program for people living with paralysis to facilitate groups, perform outreach, connect people with social and recreational opportunities, promote online fitness programs, execute a virtual health fair, and to collaborate with a local library for the lending of video gaming controllers.

Rocky Mountain MS Center

Westminster, CO 80031

$25,000COVID-19: Addressing Social Isolation

Empower Program

This grant supports the Empower Program, which will provide extensive online services including virtual social events, counseling, education and support programming, and various online classes that will serve 500 Rocky Mountain region residents. It includes: a) virtual social gatherings and activities; b) twice weekly online adaptive group exercise classes; c) virtual counseling sessions for individuals and families conducted by licensed clinical social worker and counselor; d) virtual peer-to-peer volunteering activities; and e) a continually updated online resource guide with information on wrap around services and resources for reducing anxiety, socializing, staying active and volunteering.

Sistema Infantil Teleton USA

San Antonio, TX 78233

$25,000COVID-19: Addressing Social Isolation

The Buddy Program

This grant supports The Buddy Program for children living with mild to severe neurological and musculoskeletal disorders which provides activities throughout the month including work outs, game sessions, social session, dances/karaoke events, art projects, STEM projects, and more that unite patients and participants from the safety of their own home.

Spina Bifida Association of Greater New England

Milford, MA 01757

$19,500COVID-19: Addressing Social Isolation

SBAGNE Connections

This grant supports virtual programing aimed at connecting adults and children living with Spina Bifida, their siblings, families, and caregivers to 1) improve physical health through educational programming from the national organization and virtual adaptive fitness programming, 2) improve mental health through programming with national partners and ongoing work with eight medical clinics across New England, and 3) increase resilience and independence, happiness, and an expanded social network post-pandemic.

University of Kentucky Research Foundation

Lexington, KY 40506

$50,000COVID-19: Addressing Social Isolation

Recharging Resiliency Together-Virtual Retreat

This grant will support a project to help people living with paralysis recharge their resilience and provide the necessary connections and supports that are needed to navigate in a COVID-19 environment through four week-long virtual retreats and group calls and peer-to-peer mentorship.

University of Miami – Miami Project

Coral Gables, FL 33136

$43,881COVID-19: Addressing Social Isolation

Remote Engagement and Reintegration of People with Spinal Cord Injuries During the COVID-19 Pandemic

This grant aims to develop a community‐based outreach program to support the activity, life-satisfaction, and physical/emotional health of individuals with SCI and related disabilities who have been marginalized by the COVID‐19 pandemic throughout the three-county area of Miami-Dade, Broward, and Palm Beach. The program provides exercise, nutrition, mindfulness, and peer-support programming and establishes a COVID CORNER offering medical, behavioral, and therapeutic information.

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The National Paralysis Resource Center website is supported by the Administration for Community Living (ACL), U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) as part of a financial assistance award totaling $10,000,000 with 100 percent funding by ACL/HHS. The contents are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily represent the official views of, nor an endorsement by, ACL/HHS, or the U.S. Government.