Paul V. Sherlock Center on Disabilities
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Access for All Abilities Mini Grant Initiative
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The Sherlock Center is in its fourth year of the Access for All Abilities Mini-Grant initiative. To date, 14 businesses and organizations received a total of $30,000 to increase access to social, leisure, recreational and cultural activities for individuals with disabilities.
The mission of the Paul V. Sherlock Center on Disabilities is to promote membership of individuals with disabilities in school, work, and community. Partners in this mini-grant initiative are Accessible Rhode Island and VSA Arts of Rhode Island.
The Sherlock Center, Rhode Island's University Center for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities (UCEDD), receives funding for this initiative through the United States Department of Health and Human Services Administration on Developmental Disabilities.
Support efforts of Rhode Island leisure businesses and organizations to include more people with disabilities in scheduled activities, alongside people without disabilities.
Increase access (physical, financial, programmatic) for people with various disabilities to existing social, leisure, recreational and cultural activities in the community.
AAA Grant applicants* must be businesses or organizations offering social, leisure, recreational, and/or cultural activities to the public in Rhode Island. Non-profit organizations, businesses, city or town government agencies are encouraged to apply.
*Rhode Island College departments not eligible to apply.
A panel of representatives from the Sherlock Center, Accessible Rhode Island and VSA Arts of Rhode Island, including individuals with disabilities, will evaluate applications according to the following criteria:
- Degree to which proposal will increase long-term accessibility for people with disabilities to leisure activities.
- Degree to which proposal will result in increased integration of people with disabilities into existing community activities alongside people without disabilities.
- Degree to which proposed strategies or projects have a long-term impact or demonstrate sustainability
- Presence of an effective plan for outreach to people with disabilities, which includes marketing strategies promoting the increased accessibility. Applicants may use a portion of the funds requested for outreach.
- Degree to which proposal meets a demonstrated or unmet need.
- Creative and innovative ideas for combining grant funds with other existing resources for maximum impact.
Examples of supportable projects: purchase or development of specialized equipment or product to enhance accessibility; sensitivity or specific skill training for employees; modifications to an existing activity to accommodate people with disabilities; seed money for a larger project or strategic planning. These are just a few suggestions. We encourage innovative thinking!
AAA grants will not fund:
- Development of a disability-only program (e.g., "karate for kids with autism," "dance classes for adults with disabilities," "hiking for the visually impaired," etc.)
- Proposals from entities whose primary client base is already people with disabilities
- A service or product which will only benefit a single individual (e.g., equipment needing to be custom fit for a particular person, funding a one-on-one assistant, etc)
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