Access for All Abilities Mini Grant Initiative
2009 Mini-Grant Recipients
The Paul V. Sherlock Center on Disabilities at Rhode Island College awarded 2009 "Access for All Abilities" mini-grants to four Rhode Island organizations.
Recipients of the $2,500 grants were the Bristol Historical and Preservation Society, the Providence Public Library, the Rotary Club of Chariho and The Steel Yard, Providence.
The award to the Bristol Historical and Preservation Society, housed in the former Bristol Town Jail, used the funds to acquire video and audio technology to make the Society's collections available as a video tour for individuals with disabilities who are currently unable to access the historic building's second floor. The technology will also assist those involved in historical research.
The Providence Public Library utilized the grant funds to conduct a series of workshops designed to help librarians and program presenters become more effective at inclusion of children and adults with disabilities or mental illness in library programs. Videotapes of the workshops are available in digital form from the Providence Library website. Funds were also set aside to provide American Sign Language interpreters at programs at Providence Public Library and throughout the state.
- Hands on Literacy, October 21, 2009 - Presented by Wendy Kirchner of Meeting Street Schools
- Brown Bag Panel Discussion: Serving diverse populations in library programming, March 25, 2009 - Presented by Carolyn Davis, Manny Martin and Andy Egan, the workshop was attended by six librarians and library students
- Understanding the Patron with Mental Illness, April 8, 2010 - Presented by Charles Gross, Jen McCarthy, and Penny Ferrara.
The Rotary Club of Chariho used grant money to help defray the cost of crushed stone and equipment at the Sarah Jane McCullough Play Area, which serves children and adults in Richmond, Hopkinton, Charlestown, Westerly and Exeter. The crushed stone is part of a subsurface for a "poured in place" rubber surface, which allows complete wheelchair access. The equipment is not only accessible but also useable by people in wheelchairs. The play area, located at Richmond Elementary School, is an inclusive playground available to all individuals and families. The playground provides a location for individuals who are in wheelchairs to play with siblings, friends and family members. Parents can take their children of all abilities to one playground. Families can enjoy creating new memories with their family as they participate in play and picnic together.
The playground is also the location of a special needs program offered by the Chariho School District at the Richmond Elementary School. The Chariho School District has accepted this playground as a donation. The Sarah Jane McCullough Play Area was dedicated on June 20, 2009.