NEW YORK, Jan. 4, 2018 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- United Spinal Association today announced that it has received a $500,000 grant from the Craig H. Neilsen Foundation to support weather related disaster relief efforts for the spinal cord injury and disease (SCI/D) community.
Wheelchair users and other people with disabilities are among the most vulnerable from severe weather and natural disaster events such as the recent hurricanes and floods in Puerto Rico, USVI and Houston.
"This significant grant from the Craig H. Neilsen Foundation will benefit people whose needs United Spinal is uniquely in a position to help," said James Weisman, United Spinal's president and CEO.
"Wheelchair users and other people living with disabilities face additional challenges in the aftermath of weather related disasters, including loss of accessible housing, mobility equipment, and medically necessary supplies that pose great risks to their well-being," added Weisman.
Funds from the grant will be utilized for United Spinal's Resource Center to add dedicated disaster relief staff, a call in number, an online portal, and specific SCI/D case management services.
The grant will allow increased and targeted outreach to the SCI/D community in affected areas and increase participation in, and coordination between, regional relief efforts.
United Spinal's regional chapters impacted by the recent hurricanes and floods will also receive funds to provide local hands-on assistance and resources and services toward rebuild efforts.
Micro-grants will be made available to individuals (both United Spinal members and SCI/D community members at large) to close the "FEMA" gap – which includes funding for accessible housing, equipment and general subsistence needs.
As part of these efforts, United Spinal sent a delegation to Toa Baja, Puerto Rico on December 16 to provide disaster relief from Hurricane Maria to wheelchair users and other people with disabilities. This relief included distributing essential supplies and care items, including inverters to load wheelchairs; solar lamps; batteries; containers for loading gasoline; as well as other necessary medical equipment.
About United Spinal Association
United Spinal is a national 501(c) (3) nonprofit membership organization formed in 1946 by paralyzed veterans and is dedicated to improving the quality of life for all Americans with spinal cord injuries and disorders (SCI/D), including multiple sclerosis, spina bifida, ALS and post-polio. It played a significant role in writing the Americans with Disabilities Act, and made important contributions to the Fair Housing Amendments Act and the Air Carrier Access Act. Membership is free and is open to all individuals with SCI/D. United Spinal was instrumental in getting New York City to create sidewalk curb ramps and accessible public transportation that has been used as a model for many United States cities.
About Craig H. Neilsen Foundation
The Craig H. Neilsen Foundation's funding is dedicated to supporting both programs and scientific research to improve the quality of life for those affected by and living with spinal cord injury. Craig H. Neilsen established the Foundation in 2002 to award grants to a broad spectrum of charities, including those that benefit spinal cord injury efforts. Today, the vision of the Foundation is such that individuals with spinal cord injuries, and those who care for them, live full and productive lives as active participants in their communities.
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SOURCE United Spinal Association