We believe in empowering those affected by paralysis with the best knowledge, resources, support, and community.
I recently attented the American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA) Conference in Philadelphia on behalf of the Reeve Foundation's Paralysis Resource Center (PRC). (Read about my experience at AOTA.)
At the conference, I was able to meet dozens of thriving individuals in the occupational therapy field. One of these individuals was Elizabeth Ridgway, Occupational Therapy Supervisor, at the Children's Evaluation and Rehabilitation Center, part of the Albert Einstein College of Medicine of Yeshiva University in New York. Elizabeth approached the PRC booth just to say thanks for a recent Reeve Foundation Quality of Life grant they received for their project "Adults with Spina Bifida Group Outings."
The project was granted in order to "increase social engagement and community participation for adults with spina bifida living in the New York metropolitan area through participation in desired community activities." This was achieved through three objectives:
Objective 1: Increase group member's quality of life and social participation through the use of community based activities.
Objective 2: Enable the adults in the group to overcome barriers and obstacles with increased independence using self-advocacy and self-determination skills.
Objective 3: Improve the knowledge and attitudes of community workers about the needs of individuals with spina bifida and other physical disabilities.
A few days after meeting us at AOTA, Elizabeth followed up with an email:
I was so happy to see you at the AOTA national conference. It was great for me to have the opportunity to thank you and the Reeve Foundation again for the Quality of Life grant we received last year. The grant changed all of the lives of the individuals involved in the group: group members, families, caregivers and healthcare providers. It has been amazing!
When I think of "Making a Difference," I think of Elizabeth and what she told us.
More on the Reeve Foundation's Quality of Life Grants program.