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HIIAT Quality of Life Grants

Past and Current Projects

Between 2015-2020, 27 grants have been awarded totaling $1,984,330.

See below for information on current projects and outcomes from previously
funded projects. You can contact the State AT Act program for more
information by using the
Find Your State Directory.

2020 Awards

CT Tech Act Project (CTTAP), Hartford, CT: $75,000

The Connecticut Tech Act Project will work with two hospitals, the Gaylord Specialty Healthcare and Hartford Hospital to provide patients with access to Assistive Technology services and devices through AT demonstrations and AT lending to allow them to experience how AT can enhance their quality of life and help them to maintain and/or increase their independence and quality of life as they return home after discharge.

Horace Mann Educational Associates DBA TechACCESS of RI (HMEA), Cranston, RI: $75,000

HMEA will provide home-based technology, training, and support to individuals with paralysis to allow them to maximize their independence at home and maintain communication with doctors, family members, friends, and colleagues during the pandemic and beyond.

SC Assistive Technology Program (SCATP), Columbia, SC: $74,542

SCATP provides mobility aids to people living with paralysis. Mobility is the very essence of community living. Providing mobility equipment through short-term loans while individuals with disabilities are waiting for their permanent devices to arrive or providing mobility during a brief recovery period from an accident or surgery will allow people to maintain their mobility and independence in their home and community. These devices allow people with paralysis to stay connected with people in their spiritual communities at houses of worship or individual’s homes and to have access to public buildings, including gyms, stores, museums, and even outdoor spaces such as parks.

Wyoming Assistive Technology Resources (WATR), Laramie, WY: $75,000

This HIIAT grant will help to support the sustainable state-wide residential ramp loan and education program. The WyRamp Project will have an immense direct and significant impact on Wyoming residents with newly acquired or progressive conditions causing paralysis, enabling them to return to living in their homes faster, remain living in their homes longer, and increasing independence in daily activities and community participation.

2019 Awards

Assistive Technology for Kansans (ATK), Parsons, KS: $75,000

Accessible Recreation: Playing Electronic Games Independently to Increase
Health & Social Connection

This High Impact Innovative Assistive Technology (HIIAT) grant will increase
access to electronic gaming through the creation of an accessible gaming
equipment loan program. Grant funds will support the development of the
accessible gaming equipment loan program in three of ATK’s locations
throughout the state. Demonstrations and device assessments will be made
available in-home to ensure compatibility with the player and their home.
ATK will deliver the equipment, set it up, and provide training and support
throughout the loan period. This statewide program will serve a minimum of
30 Kansans with paralysis and 60 caregivers and family members in all 105
counties; many of the residents that are impacted by this program are likely
to be from low-income households, with many being children, active duty
soldiers and veterans with disabilities. These funds will not only increase
ATK’s impact but will create an awareness of the value of assistive gaming
technology for those living with disabilities.

Office of Vocational Rehabilitation, Louisville, KY: $75,000

My New Kentucky Smart Home

This High Impact Innovative Assistive Technology (HIIAT) grant supports a
program that will provide smart home AT equipment loans to Kentuckians
living with paralysis to enable them to begin automating various functions in their home that will increase and enhance independence, promote safety and
help make informed smart home AT decisions to affect their quality of life.
My New Kentucky Smart Home project will seek to remedy the lack of
availability and information among the disability community in Kentucky by
loaning Smart Home Starter Kits individualized to persons with paralysis and
their family members. Equipment for each kit will be selected based upon
each individual’s specific needs and compatibility. Approximately 60
Kentucky residents with paralysis and their family members and caregivers
will benefit from this grant. Many will be from low-income, rural households
with limited access to resources and information. Not only will people with
paralysis have greater access to life-changing technology and information,
they will also experience a greater quality of life, with a new level of both
safety and independence.

Oklahoma ABLE Tech, Stillwater, OK: $75,000


This High Impact Innovative Assistive Technology (HIIAT) grant supports a
program that will purchase, store, and provide short-term loans of portable
ramps, thresholds and other equipment to Oklahomans with paralysis.
#Oklahoma4Ramps seeks to provide free, safe equipment to allow
individuals with paralysis and cross disabilities to leave their homes,
participate in community activities and live a more active, independent
lifestyle. ABLE Tech staff will work with each recipient, teaching safety and
proper use of each piece of equipment and provide educational information
about additional loans, non-HIIAT related purchase and gift programs
available to them, such as free smoke alarms and specialized alert
equipment, device reuse programs, and nutrition assistance and food
delivery services. During the grant year the increase in ramp loans and
information will impact approximately 118 people living with paralysis that
currently lack access to these necessities and will greatly improve their
quality of life.

West Virginia University Foundation, Morgantown, WV: $75,000

Pay It Forward WV: Assistive Technology Device Reuse Project

This High Impact Innovative Assistive Technology (HIIAT) grant supports a
loan closet and device reuse program that provides youth aged 3-12 with
mobility assistance and other durable medical equipment not covered by
West Virginia Medicaid or private insurance. Pay It Forward WV places
assistive technology directly into the hands of children and families in West
Virginia who would otherwise be unable to access such equipment. The
developmental growth period of children, especially with disabilities, is
critical and providing equipment to assist with increasing strength and
mobility can reduce the potential for secondary injuries to the child and decrease the amount of strain on families and caregivers. By providing them
with this equipment, children can continue to receive interventions that
directly impact their physical abilities and opens access to recreational and
community options for families. With over 19% of the West Virginia
population living at or under poverty level, a large portion of those
benefitting from this equipment will be low-income, rural residents. Funding
for the loan closet aspect of this grant is expected to improve the lives of at
least 17 children living with paralysis.

2018 Awards

North Dakota Assistive, Fargo, ND: $75,000

The Smart Home First Project

This High Impact Innovative Assistive Technology (HIIAT) grant will increase
the number of smart home AT equipment demonstrations and equipment
loans provided to rural North Dakotans with paralysis to help them control
entire home environments, give independence and promote safety as well as
make informed smart home AT decisions to affect their quality of life. Grant
funds will support the creation of two state-of-the-art Smart Homes within
existing Home First Demonstration Centers in Fargo and Mandan.
Demonstrations will be made available on site and virtually via video
conferencing. Funds will also support the expansion of an assistive
technology loan library. The grantee/agency, Assistive will deliver the AT
loan equipment, set it up, and provide training and technical support
throughout the loan period.

The Center for Independent Living (CIL), Alameda, CA: $75,000

The CIL Residential Access Program for Victims of Violent Crime

This High Impact Innovative Assistive Technology (HIIAT) grant supports an
innovative and important program that provides assistive technology support
to people who have been paralyzed due to a violent crime. The aim of this
project is to provide residents living in/near northern Alameda County, CA
who have been paralyzed as a result of a violent crime with the home
modifications, household durable medical equipment (DME), and/or vehicle
hand controls they need in order to effectively avail themselves of existing
services, reintegrate into their communities, and regain financial
independence. The residents the CIL will serve through this project will be
individuals who acquired their disability recently enough that they still
struggle to identify and access the resources they need to live
independently. Not only will newly paralyzed individuals experience greater
ability to retain employment and access to their community through these
modifications, they will also experience greater quality of life, experiencing
both safety and independence.

2017 Awards

Assistive Technology Resource Centers (ATRC) of Hawaii, Honolulu, HI : $75,000

This HIIAT grant supported the expansion of ATRC’s assistive technology
demonstration and lending library to include a wider variety of available
assistive technology. Hawaii’s remote island geography presents myriad
significant challenges to getting assistive technology to residents with
paralysis living outside of the metropolitan area of Honolulu. There are few,
if any, assistive technology and/or durable medical equipment vendors
physically located in Hawaii, which makes it impossible for individuals to try
equipment unless it is available for demonstration at ATRC. Through the
grant program ATRC conducted six assistive technology demonstrations on
Oahu, Maui, Hawaii, and Kauai. They are currently collecting and reviewing
data and will share those results in October 2019. In providing the
demonstrations, ATRC collaborated with 14 partnering organizations,
including Aloha Independent Living Center, Rehabilitation Hospital of the
Pacific, Center for Disability at University of Hawaii Manoa, Hawaii Aging and
Disability Resource Center, and the United Cerebral Palsy Association of

Crossroad Rehabilitation Center, Indianapolis, IN: $74,881

This HIIAT grant supported the Assistive Technology Mobile Unit (ATMU), a
specially outfitted Fort Transit Van equipped to provide free device
demonstrations to individuals referred through the Rehabilitation Hospital of
Indiana (RHI). The ATMU offered one-on-one technology device
demonstrations that helped to improve the way individuals living with a
spinal cord injury experience life activities. Bringing the ATMU directly to RHI
or to an individual’s home eliminated the added stress, cost and time
traveling to and from a dedicated facility. The Center met with 3-4 RHI
referrals each month and exceeded projected number of individuals to serve
from 100 to 200: 25 of those were individuals with SCI/paralysis, 100 family
were members and 75 were caregivers.

Assistive Technology trainings were provided to 180 attendees and included
40 Rehabilitation Hospital of Indiana Staff, 40 Community Rehabilitation
Hospital Staff, and 100 Easterseals Crossroads Staff.

Many individuals are discharged from rehabilitation and are unaware of their
particular assistive technology needs until they are home for a while. And,
these needs may change as an individual increases their post-injury activity
and begins to set new goals. To serve the needs of those individuals, the
ATMU was equipped with a standard set of assistive technology devices
commonly used by people with spinal cord injury and other conditions.
These devices ranged from basic feeding, grooming, and self-care items;
home automation technology; and computer access solutions for socialization, employment and education (note taking systems, positioning
equipment, switches). For each visit, the equipment on board was
supplemented with assistive technology specific for the individuals visited,
for the purpose of demonstration and trial of the most appropriate and
effective devices. The van also included a variety of carts and tables to
facilitate the movement of equipment from the van into an individual’s
home, public venues for awareness activities, or other locations that are
accessible to program participants. Crossroads is able to ensure
sustainability through federal funding from INDATA which pays for the
library, staff and adding equipment to existing library.

Florida Alliance for Assistive Services and Technology, Inc. (FAAST), Tallahassee, FL:

This HIIAT grant supported an initiative to broaden opportunities for
increased physical activities to individuals living with paralysis that reside in
rural areas of Florida, where access to health and wellness programs can be
difficult to find or simply are not available. Access to these kinds of programs can be even more difficult for individuals living with disabilities.
This project focused on the three areas of Florida that consist of several
congruent rural populated counties and penetrated areas of state where
quality of healthcare, hospitals, resources, opportunities, etc. were lacking.
FAAST partnered with the Florida Disabled Outdoor Association (FDOA) to
offer a series of three outdoor activity events focusing on exercise and
outdoor recreation to individuals living with spinal cord injury; providing
access to both land and water sporting equipment for those individuals
living in the more rural areas of the state. The three events held focused
on: adaptive wheelchair activity including hand-cycles, lever powered chairs
and wheelchair sports; water activity including adaptive paddling; wheelchair
accessible outdoor activity (archery, hunting, disc golf); and alternative
outdoor activity (track chairs, accessible boating, beach access mats, and
chairs)The events also included both active participation and educational
materials to provide hands-on experiences for participants while at the
events, allowing them to leave with a better understanding of how activity
and fitness can play an important role in their overall health and
independence. In total, the events impacted 298 individuals: 96 people with
spinal cord injuries, paralysis or other mobility-related disabilities, 112
family members and care-givers, and 90 volunteers & staff members. FAAST
is in a position to maintain sustainability of this project and is financially
poised to continue these events annually & improve/modify them based on
evaluation results & indicators. Purchased equipment use will be ongoing
throughout the state for similar events and through its device loan program.
Since the assistive technology is already purchased through this grant, the
largest recurring expense is travel cost. FAAST budgets this cost annually
which will enable this program to continue. Reliance on electronic media will reduce marketing cost. FAAST sees great opportunity for collaboration with
other organizations throughout the state to share these resources and
continue to increase health and wellness.

North Carolina Assistive Technology Program (NCATP), Raleigh, NC: $71,618

This HIIAT grant purchased, stored, and provided short-term loans of 43
portable ramps across the state of North Carolina, with particular emphasis
on rural areas. Portable ramps were purchased and placed in each of the
nine NCATP centers or partner agencies, ensuring that individuals with
newly-acquired mobility impairments, and individuals with established
mobility impairments who have been displaced from their homes due to
adverse weather or emergency events, have safe access to their homes or
the facility where they are sheltering. The project’s primary objectives were
to ensure that individuals have a safe and timely transition from a
healthcare facility or emergency shelter to their home or community by
providing short-term ramp loans when the lack of a ramp is a barrier to the
individual’s discharge or return home; reduce the transition time by
providing access to short-term loans (up to three months) of portable ramps
during the transition period; increase education around the use of and need
for ramp access across North Carolina by providing awareness events of
NCATP services, including the portable ramp loan program, within the
medical discharge planning, emergency preparedness, and the disability
service communities. Twenty outreach events were held in which NCATP
distributed information to 13,200 individuals statewide. In addition, they
provided direct information to 1,250 people, 250 of those were people with
spinal cord injuries, 375 with other mobility impairments, and 625 family
members/caregivers. 19,000 copies of the RAMMP brochure have been

South Carolina Assistive Technology Program, University of South Carolina School of
Medicine, Center for Disability Resources, Columbia, SC: $74,808

This HIIAT grant supported Eye Gaze Communications Solutions, a project
that improved access to eye gaze devices focused on improving
communication for individuals living with paralysis caused by spinal cord
injury, stroke, traumatic brain injury, ALS, and cerebral palsy. The project
focused on underserved, low-income South Carolinians with these
conditions, and was accomplished by creating partnerships with agencies to
identify individuals for which eye gaze technology was appropriate, training
these individuals to use the devices through a personal demonstration, and
by providing training for caregivers and professional staff who provided care
for the individuals with paralysis. A goal of this project was to capture the
entire lifespan of the process to identify barriers to success and, more
importantly, the strategies used to overcome these barriers to ultimately
lead to increased communication, independence, and socialization as well as furtherance of additional life goals. Device loans were made to 23 individuals
and hands-on training was provided not only to those individuals, but to 136
people representing: 28 family members/caregivers, 62 professionals, and
46 attendees. The project allowed for a longer loan period of the devices – 2
months instead of 2 weeks. Assistive equipment purchased is now part of
loan closet program which will enable key activities of this project to

2016 Awards

Massachusetts Rehabilitation Commission, Boston, Massachusetts: $74,878

The Massachusetts Rehabilitation Commission’s award funded “The Weight
and Seating Independence Project,” which provided wheelchair accessible
scales and digital pressure mapping technology to four Independent Living
Centers in rural and/or low-income communities throughout the state to
enable people with spinal cord injury to proactively control their weight and
prevent skin breakdown; both essential to staying healthy and maintaining
their independence. The CILs included the Stavros Center for Independent
Living in both Amherst and Springfield, the Center for Living and Working in
Worcester (which runs a support group and early intervention program for
SCI community members), and AdLib in Pittsfield. 46 device loans have been
made. The project also provided six two-hour pressure mapping trainings
and demonstrations with a total of 110 participants. A webinar presentation
on Pressure Mapping Technology systems was provided to 35 participants.
The PMT trainings were expanded to include education on pressure injuries
and a hands-on opportunity with the range of cushions available. A training
was also provided to a local school system in the Berkshires to help raise
awareness of proper seating and positioning to educators, families and
clinicians. Since the end of the grant period, MRC has continued the grant
activities under the program and expanded its geographic area. They are
also partnering with the Berkshire Medical Center (BMC) which is borrowing
the PMT system for use in their Wound clinic and Wheelchair Seating Clinic.

Northern Arizona University-Institute for Human Development, Flagstaff, Arizona:

The Institute for Human Development of Northern Arizona University created
“Up a Go,” a project to facilitate early mobility and assisted walking of young
children with physical challenges so that they can engage in age-appropriate
activities. The project significantly expanded the inventory of available early
mobility equipment to loan out to families, provided training to therapist and
service providers, and offered a hands-on DIY workshop for parents to
create customized cost-effective mobility equipment. Through the grant 58
devices were purchased to increase and diversify inventory. Most of these
devices were distributed among 4 partners locations. Remaining devices
were placed in AzTAP’s inventory for demonstration and loans. A total of 63 children and their families were served. Four trainings were provided to 44
participants. DIY workshops were achieved through restructured format –
“pick up” & delivery event at which 16 power scooters were constructed and
11 participant families were able to take home customized scooters. Five
scooters were placed at partner sites to be used with children receiving
ongoing therapy. Since the grant closed, families and service providers
continue to have access to the 58 pediatric mobility items that were
purchased with grant funds. This equipment is available for demonstrations,
trial use and short-term loans to help family and therapists determine if
access to these types of devices supports improved levels of independent
mobility for their children or clients respectively. An additional 53 children
and their families have been served.

Temple University, Institute on Disabilities, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania: $75,000

Temple University’s project entitled Adaptive Design of Greater Philadelphia
improved access to assistive technology focused on improved seating,
positioning and access that facilitated inclusion and education for individuals
with paralysis, particularly very young children, ages birth to 6 years old.
Further, staff and area service providers were trained in methods for
designing and fabricating low-technology, low-cost solutions that are
customized, safe, and durable. In total, over 120 children with paralysis
received 155 adaptive devices. Temple also trained 172 individuals in the
basics of cardboard carpentry and 34 people in extensive adaptive design.
The philosophy behind this project was to create inclusion throughout the
steps of creating Assistive Technology. Temple found that parent
involvement from design to fabrication prevents abandonment of technology
after acquisition. All stakeholders were given a “buy in” & knowledge.

Continued collaboration with core groups of committed stakeholders,
leveraging a contract with Philadelphia Intellectual disAbility Services to
provide AT technical assistance to intervention groups, using trained
individuals to train others, using the Adaptive Design Association (NY City)
model to develop other sources of labor (high school & vocational students),
etc. are some of the ways through which this project will be sustained.

University of New Hampshire – Assistive Technology in New Hampshire, Durham,
New Hampshire: $75,000

The University of New Hampshire – Assistive Technology in New Hampshire’s
project entitled I CreATe for Paralysis developed a self-sustaining open-
ended loan program to increase awareness of types of low-cost solutions
that can be made in minutes to support individuals with paralysis that reside
in rural areas.

Inadequate or non-existent access to residences may result in longer and
otherwise unnecessary stays for individuals in hospital or rehabilitation
facilities, and can ultimately force individuals to move into long-term care
facilities, removing them from their families and communities. Lack of access
may cause undue hardship on caregivers who must struggle physically to get
individuals into and out of their homes, severely limiting independence and
community involvement and increasing risk of injury for both the person
with paralysis and the caregiver. Finally, lack of accessibility presents a
serious and potentially fatal safety hazard if it causes a person to be stuck in
their home with no way out. This project mitigated the basic but critical
problem of lack of home accessibility. Over 200 individuals were identified
and received a minimum of 1 device. A total of 1,248 devices were provided
to people with paralysis. UNH conducted 18 statewide workshops with 156
participants and 1,335 devices were fabricated. 90% of participants showed
an increase in their knowledge and skills using tools and materials for
creating AT. Based on follow up responses to a survey, all individuals who
received the device increased their independence and autonomy. UNH
Partnered with 10 organizations – state and community organizations such
as Granite State Independent Living, service delivery partners, suppliers,
churches, libraries, schools, etc. One of these partners, Zoo New England
donated thousands of dollars’ worth of corrugated plastic, material used to
create over 114 different AT products. Sustainability of this project is
guaranteed due to the vast number of partners, ability to leverage
resources, and unique history of delivering low-cost innovative approaches
to creating solutions in a timely manner.

Illinois Assistive Technology Program, Springfield, Illinois: $74,935

The Illinois Assistive Technology Program’s Temporary Ramp Project
alleviated barriers to independence by providing long-term loans of
temporary metal ramps to low-income adults with paralysis living in rural
counties of Illinois for their residences. Twenty-one ramps were purchased.
IATP partnered with CILs throughout the state to provide loans to 28
individuals living with paralysis. IATP participated in three conference calls
with the other two ramp program grantees during which they discussed
common barriers such as difficulties in purchasing and distributing the
ramps, understanding ramp safety and how to better conduct better
outreach. In addition, they discussed issues faced by the target populations
such as rural environment, home design (raised porches with raised steps),
injury to the caregiver from carrying the person with paralysis and/or
wheelchair up and down steps, transportation, financial resources, etc. They
also shared with the group that they had faced challenges in getting the
program off the ground due to administrative procedures. The group also
discussed state funding impacts. The project is being sustained through
Illinois Assistive Technology Program’s Reutilization Program.

Virginia Assistive Technology System, Henrico, Virginia: $75,000

The Virginia Assistive Technology System’s PAKD! – Portable Accessibility
Kits on Demand project provided loans of temporary ramps, accessible
pathways and raised thresholds to individuals with newly acquired paralysis
and their caregivers, as well as older Virginians and their caregivers that
develop barriers to mobility. VATS purchased 28 ramps, 12 thirty-foot
accessible pathways and 24 thresholds serving 23 people living with
paralysis. VATS reports that the program is set up to self-sustain. Ramps
and pathways will be used multiple times with no additional cost but the
incidental maintenance. Additionally, they observed that there has been
more of a demand in the more rural southwestern part of the state vs the
heavily populated area of Northern Virginia.

Office of Vocational Rehabilitation, Frankfort, Kentucky: $71,257

The Office of Vocational Rehabilitation’s project entitled Ramp Up Kentucky
provided temporary ramp solutions to individuals with recently acquired
disabilities and people aging in their homes so that they are not confined to
their homes while waiting for a long-term solution to accessibility to be put
into motion. OVR purchased 150 ramps and 27 building kits and collaborated
with 18 distribution sites, including regional assistive technology resource
centers, CILs, and other state and community organizations at which
trainings were conducted with the site personnel. A marketing plan was
developed, and the program was marketed through a press release from the
Governor’s Office, organization website, social media, etc. 1,500 brochures
and marketing material were distributed. Throughout the grant year, OVR
provided 138 loans.

2015 Awards

The University of Delaware Center for Disabilities Studies, Newark, Delaware:

This High Impact Innovative Assistive Technology grant supported “Nowhere
Else to Turn: Home Safety & Comfort for People with Disabilities and Their
Caregivers.” The singular goal of this project was to assist people whose
interactions with their environment are compromised by paralysis-causing
conditions to live more safely and comfortably in the community via use of
assistive technology and home modifications. Support was made available to
four people living with paralysis who needed assistive technology and/or
home modifications, did not have the financial means to acquire them, and
who could not acquire them through insurance or another agency or
organization. Assistance included stair lifts, transport chairs, and ramps. The
project objectives were as follows: finalize all application and evaluation
protocols and documents; promote the value of assistive technology and home modifications and address the means for acquiring them; expand the
existing DATI equipment inventory to include more home automation
products that individuals/families may try before making acquisition
decisions; individualized needs assessments for individuals/families for
assistive technology and assistive technology and/or home modifications;
procurement and installation of assistive technology and/or home
modifications and instruction to individuals/families in their use; and
evaluation of impact.

Louisiana Assistive Technology Access Network (LATAN), Baton Rouge, Louisiana:

This High Impact Innovative Assistive Technology grant supported the
“Stand Up, Louisiana” project, which purchased 12 standers that were
provided on a loaner basis to 10 individuals with paralysis throughout the
grant year. Adult (upper teen & older) residents of Louisiana with onset of
paralysis between one and five years, due to spinal cord injury, traumatic
head injury, or stroke, were the specific population on whom this project
focused. The project also included upgrading and then marketing The AT
Marketplace database to provide a higher quality of service for members of
target population; educating members of target population, caregivers,
family, and rehab professionals on the benefits of stander use; and assisting
members of target population to gain access to permanent standers. LATAN
developed a stronger working relationship with its vendor partner Mobility
Depot who supported the project by assisting in the delivery and set up of
the standers. This resulted in transportation cost savings which facilitated
the purchase of 3 additional standers. Collaboration was also increased –
more rehabilitation facilities and hospitals were incorporated then initially
anticipated. Sustainability is guaranteed as the key activities of this project
align with LATAN’s core services, i.e. device reutilization, device loans and

Maryland Department of Disabilities Technology Assistance, Baltimore, Maryland:

This High Impact Innovative Assistive Technology grant supported the
“Statewide Portable Ramp Access Project,” which worked closely with four
statewide independent living

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.