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Sherlock Center at RIC Announces Recipients of Access for All Abilities Grants

The Town of Westerly received an Access for All Abilities grant to purchase a Mobi-Chair that will allow persons with disabilities to participate in water activities at the beach.

The Town of Westerly received an Access for All Abilities grant to purchase a Mobi-Chair that will allow persons with disabilities to participate in water activities at the beach.

The Paul V. Sherlock Center on Disabilities at Rhode Island College has awarded a total of $9,895 in “Access for All Abilities” (AAA) mini-grants to four Rhode Island organizations.

Recipients of the 2014 grants are the Audubon Society of Rhode Island, the Providence Public Library, the Town of Westerly and Yawgoo Valley Ski School.

The Sherlock Center’s mini-grant initiative funds projects that increase access for people with disabilities to social, leisure, recreational and cultural activities in the community, with the goal of increasing long-term accessibility and inclusion of people with disabilities alongside those without disabilities. Since the initiative’s inception in 2009, more than $57,000 has been awarded to 26 businesses and organizations.

  • The Audubon Society of Rhode Island will use its grant to fund the resurfacing of a trail from the Environmental Education Center at the Claire D. McIntosh Wildlife Refuge to Narragansett Bay, allowing access to those who use wheelchairs and other aids to mobility.
  • The Providence Public Library will use its funding to create a Sensory Access Toolkit, containing easy-to-use technology supports to assist patrons who have visual or auditory needs. The kit will include assistive listening systems, personal magnifiers and high-intensity lamps.
  • The Town of Westerly will use its award to purchase a MobiChair beach wheelchair, which floats and reclines, allowing participation in water activities. The chair also provides a smooth transition from boardwalk to beach to water.
  • Yawgoo Valley Ski School will use its grant to provide specialized training for 10 experienced ski instructors in working with individuals who have developmental disabilities or are on the autism spectrum. The training is provided by the Professional Ski Instructors of America (PSIA).

The Sherlock center receives funding for this initiative through the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Administration on Developmental Disabilities. Founded at Rhode Island College in 1993, the center is a University Center on Excellence in Developmental Disabilities Education, Research and Service. The mission of the center is to promote membership of individuals in school, work and community.

Guest contributor: Janet Iovino