June 18, 2024

by: Sarah Zarcone

Christopher and Dana Reeve Foundation Supports UCP

Grant Promotes Independence for Students in Alternative Education Program

UCP of Greater Cleveland is very grateful to have been awarded a Priority Impact Quality of Life grant in the amount of $27,013.00 from the Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation. This grant helps us provide access to Assistive Technology for our 23 Alternative Education Program students, specifically those living with paralysis, which in turn promotes their independence in their educational and community settings. More than 80 percent of students in the program are living with paralysis. 

With the funds, we purchased two adaptive tricycles, a PUMA body weight suspension system, multiple switch mounts, multiple switches, several mounting systems for devices, and accessible keyboards for the Alt Ed program.

With the emergence of the beautiful spring weather, having a wider variety of adaptive tricycles has allowed students to not only strengthen their bodies, but to participate in bike groups to enjoy a common leisure activity with their classmates. A PUMA body weight suspension system was purchased to allow students to stand, sit, kneel, and bounce without someone holding them. The smiles that turn to outright grins as students realize that they are moving their bodies for themselves, perhaps for the first time, are contagious.

The kitchen has also gotten an upgrade with the addition of multiple switch accessible pourers, switches, and switch mounts. Students engage in cooking activities weekly, participating in a collaborative activity to achieve a common goal. With the grant, a universal rolling mount was purchased so students can access multiple devices in any part of the building. Many students are also exploring the use of a variety of new communication devices, requiring specialized mounting to ensure access to their devices. 

We thank the Reeve Foundation for their support in making this access to AT possible for our students, which promotes their independence throughout their school day! 

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