The Summit on the Park's Aquatic Center is the recent recipient of a High Impact Priority Quality of Life Grant from the Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation National Paralysis Resource Center (PRC). The $10,831 award was one of several grants awarded by the Reeve Foundation as part of its Seven High Impact Grants totaling $232,266 and 73 Direct Effect Quality of Life Grants totaling $1,244,263. The Quality of Life Grants Program supports nonprofit organizations that empower individuals living with paralysis. Since the Quality of Life Grants Program’s inception, 3,153 grants totaling over $26 million have been awarded. Funding for these new cycles of grants was made possible through a cooperative agreement with the Administration for Community Living (ACL grant #90PRRC0002-01-01).
The Summit on the Park Aquatic Center has used this grant to purchase four aquatic wheelchairs, as well as adaptive swimming aids. These new features will enable individuals with special needs to independently enter and exit pool areas without using their own wheelchairs, which could potentially become damp or wet. Additional adaptable water items will also be available, all free of charge, to members of the public with disabilities to assist with water navigation.
"These aquatic wheelchairs are an incredible resource for Summit on the Park guests with disabilities, who will now be able to access our aquatic environment, including pools and showers, and not get their own wheelchair wet,” said Brad Chiasson, Aquatic Recreation Specialist. The aquatic adaptive equipment will also enable individuals with disabilities to take advantage of additional water activities by making their water experience more comfortable for them.”
A special staff in-service training was held in August 2019 with Polly Swingle, PT, from the Recovery Project in an effort to prepare Summit Aquatic Center staff to work with individuals with disabilities on accessing swimming areas, as well as aquatic safety.
The Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation is dedicated to curing spinal cord injury by funding innovative research and improving the quality of life for people living with paralysis through grants, information, and advocacy. The Paralysis Resource Center (PRC) is the support side of the Reeve Foundation’s twin missions to provide “Today’s Care” and to strive for “Tomorrow’s Cure” and offers a free, comprehensive, national source of informational support for individuals living with paralysis and their caregivers.
“There are several components that go into these projects,” said Mark Bogosian, Director, Quality of Life Grants Program. “If we can provide programmatic and other financial supports, even in the short term with the Direct Effect grants, these organizations can now focus on executing their mission, leading to greater success, expansion, and sustainability.”
The Reeve Foundation funded a wide variety of projects from employment programs to accessible playground projects and adaptive sports programs. This foundation meets all 20 of the Better Business Bureau’s standards for charity accountability and hold the BBB’s Charity Seal. For more information, please visit www.ChristopherReeve.org or call 800-539-7309.
The Summit on the Park's 65,000 square-foot indoor Aquatic Center, located at 46000 Summit Parkway, in Canton, MI 48188, offers a full complement of swim lessons for all ages and abilities. Year-round swim lessons are available for parent/child, preschool, youth and,adults - all with convenient schedules progressive instruction, and small class size ratios. To learn more about the Summit on the Park Aquatic Center's programs, classes and events, visit www.summitonthepark.org or call 734/394-5460.