Wright State University has received a $13,000 Quality of Life grant from the Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation to purchase 15 new wheelchairs for adaptive recreation. The award was one of 76 grants totaling almost $427,000 awarded by the Reeve Foundation to nonprofit organizations nationwide that provide more opportunities, access, and daily quality of life for individuals living with paralysis, their families, and caregivers.
Replacing outdated wheelchairs with newer, safer equipment will enhance the recreational and wellness opportunities for Wright State’s students with disabilities. “Our students with disabilities have always appreciated the chance to play alongside their friends in wheelchair sports activities, and the new wheelchairs will allow for that to happen,” explained Drew Corbett, associate director of campus recreation. “We are extremely thankful to the Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation for their generous gift and are excited to impact the lives of our students for years to come.”
The wheelchairs purchased with the Reeve Foundation’s Quality of Life Grant will offer an additional fifth wheel that will increase stability and lessen the chance of tipping and associated injuries. Approximately 550 to 650 people are expected to benefit from the new wheelchairs each year, including students and alumni with disabilities, able-bodied students engaging in wheelchair sports with their friends, and local elementary school students who are introduced to the wheelchairs to learn more about the daily challenges for people with disabilities.
Wright State’s Office of Campus Recreation offers one of only a dozen university wheelchair sports programs in the country. With opportunities for both competitive sports and noncompetitive recreation, students and alumni may participate in wheelchair basketball, wheelchair track and field, wheelchair rugby, fitness and conditioning, and aquatics.
In his book College Success for Students With Physical Disabilities, Chris Wise Tiedemann ranks Wright State as one of the top five universities in the country for accommodating students with disabilities and moving them toward optimal independence.
“The Reeve Foundation’s Quality of Life Grants program has always been a cornerstone of one of our core beliefs, the power of we. By supporting these organizations that align with the same beliefs as ours, we are better able to help our community members live more independently,” said Peter T. Wilderotter, president and CEO of the Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation. “We are pleased to reward a number of tremendous organizations for their efforts.”
The Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation Quality of Life grants program was conceived by the late Dana Reeve to address the myriad needs of children and adults with paralysis and other mobility impairments and their families, and has awarded over $16 million since 1999. Grants support critical life-enhancing and life-changing initiatives that improve physical and emotional health and increase independence. Funded projects offer a diversity of services and approaches: improving access; providing education and job training; sponsoring organized sporting activities; and much more. Quality of Life grants are funded through a cooperative agreement with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.