The Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation Paralysis Resource Center (PRC) announced today that it has awarded a total of $342,483 in High Impact Innovative Assistive Technology Grants, strengthening the Reeve Foundation’s dual mission of Today’s Care, Tomorrow’s Cure.

Funding for this new cycle of grants was made possible through a cooperative agreement with the Administration for Community Living (ACL).

Over the years, the PRC has provided a wealth of educational resources, established programs like the Peer & Family Support Program, and has championed initiatives to improve quality of life for individuals living with paralysis. The Reeve Foundation introduced the High Impact Innovative Assistive Technology Grants to commemorate the 14th anniversary of the PRC by increasing support to organizations and projects rooted in technology.

“Christopher and Dana’s vision for the PRC was to increase the amount of support and resources so individuals living with paralysis could transition fully back into their lives — economically, emotionally and socially,” said Maggie Goldberg, Vice President of Policy and Programs, Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation. “As we continually shift into the advancing digital age, we felt that funding projects that focused on assistive technology and durable medical equipment would continue to fulfill our namesakes’ vision of allowing those living with paralysis to have more independence.”

The High Impact Innovative Assistive Technology Grants program was created and launched with expert technical assistance and guidance from the Rehabilitation Engineering & Assistive Technology Society of North America (RESNA).

“These grants are awarded in memory of Joey Wallace, Ph.D., who served as the Technical Expert for this program,” said Donna Valente, Director of Quality of Life Grants. “Assistive Technology can be a powerful tool to increase the independence of people with disabilities by allowing them to participate fully in the communities they are a part of, as well as enhance their social, employment, education, and finance-related quality of life. Dr. Wallace helped shape and guide the program, with the needs and dignity of the client’s paramount in his input. We are proud to award these grants in his honor.”

The recipients of the inaugural High Impact Innovative Assistive Technology Grant include:

*The University of Delaware Center for Disabilities Studies, Newark, Delaware -$75,000

The University of Delaware Center for Disabilities Studies project “Nowhere Else to Turn: Home Safety & Comfort for People with Disabilities and Their Caregivers,” will modify homes for individuals living with paralysis who have limited financial resources so they can remain living in their own residence.

*Louisiana Assistive Technology Access Network (LATAN), Baton Rouge, Louisiana-$75,000

LATAN’s project, “Stand Up, Louisiana” will purchase assisted-standing equipment with the accessories that meet specific needs of individuals with spinal cord injury, that will be provided on a loaner basis to individuals living paralysis. The project will also focus on educating the paralysis and caregiving communities on the many health benefits of standing and work to help people access permanent standers.

*Maryland Department of Disabilities Technology Assistance, Baltimore, Maryland-$43,560 

The “Statewide Portable Ramp Access Project” will work closely with independent living centers to provide extended loans of portable ramps. These ramps will serve as temporary solutions for families and individuals who require ramps to safely access their homes and vehicles, while long-term solutions are sought and secured. The grant will support the purchase of a variety of portable ramps of different lengths and for different uses, including bariatric ramps, adjustable threshold ramps, rear door wheelchair van ramps, and track ramps.

*University of Montana Rural Institute for Inclusive Communities, Missoula, Montana-$75,000

The “Wheels Across Montana” project targets adults aging with disabilities and chronic diseases who are facing health and social barriers due to living in rural areas. Through this project, “Wheels Across Montana” will offer equipment like handcycles to promote physical activity, as well as improve social engagement and independence.

*Utah Assistive Technology Program, Logan, Utah- $73,925

The “Utah Assistive Technology Lab, Roosevelt Branch,” will provide services related to assistive technology to children and adults with disabilities. The project will also offer training to professionals, disseminate 50 assistive technology devices on loan, as well as provide reutilized devices to individuals living with a disability who cannot afford assistive technology, have no insurance or are unable to locate the equipment they need.

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