The AHRC New York City Foundation’s grant making is strategic and targeted. We make grants for projects and programs that have clearly defined goals and directly benefit people with disabilities. Sometimes the grants are for innovative programs that advance methods of delivering services. Sometimes they sustain valuable programs when government funds are cut.
Among recent grants are the following:
- The Foundation has contributed more than $1 million toward the operation of AHRC New York City’s two summer camps, Camp Anne, which serves children and adults who have moderate to profound disabilities, and Isaacson/Gordon Lodge, a supportive vacation venue for adults who want to make independent choices.
- A grant of more than $500,000 over two years is underwriting job-coaching and counseling services for approximately 100 people each year who have completed six months of training and have stable employment but have not yet qualified for ongoing supported employment funded by government. This transition period lasts, on average, six months. Government funds that previously covered transition services have, in effect, been reduced.
- The Foundation made a $400,000 grant to AHRC, which led to the agency’s accreditation by the Council on Quality and Leadership, the primary accrediting agency in the field of intellectual and developmental disabilities.
- A grant of more that $300,000 is supporting an innovative speech and language therapy program at AHRC Middle/High School and Brooklyn Blue Feather Elementary School. Traditionally, children receiving speech and language therapy at school work one-to-one with therapists and pathologists. However, AHRC’s speech and language specialists collaborate with classroom teachers to integrate therapies into each student’s classroom learning experience. Research suggests AHRC’s method produces better outcomes.
- The Foundation made a grant to provide stopgap funding for certain AHRC residences. New York State funds ordinarily cover fixed capital expenses–such as leases, mortgage payments and maintenance fees in cooperative apartments–and operating expenses for essential items such as food and utilities. Because New York State lacked sufficient funds, it recently cut the amount it had committed for these residences by a third.
- AHRC is training staff across all departments in the best evidence-based methods for teaching people with autism. The staff training will allow people with autism to move seamlessly across programs, for example, from school to work or to a residence.
- New furniture for AHRC Middle/High School was underwritten by the Foundation. The sturdy and attractive student desks and chairs, cafeteria seating and other pieces replaced furniture unsuitable for the older kids who now attend the school along with recent elementary school graduates.
- A Foundation grant is underwriting the start-up costs for a “wheelchair clinic” at an AHRC adult day center in the Bronx. Wheelchairs frequently need repairs and adjustments. The process of obtaining them through Medicaid or Medicare is lengthy, if they are covered at all. Meanwhile, the wheelchair user is unable to attend his or her day program, missing enjoyable activities and opportunities to socialize. The wheelchair clinic will increase the speed and efficiency of wheelchair repairs and reduce day-program absences for AHRC’s 200 wheelchair users.
- The Foundation made a grant to enhance AHRC’s Family Education Series. The series consists of 20 to 25 sessions each year that are intended to help relatives and caretakers of people with intellectual and developmental disabilities learn about regulatory changes and new services; plan for life transitions; and deal with issues such as behavioral challenges, sexuality and connecting with others.
- The Foundation is supporting AHRC’s Individualized Supports Program. The program helps people with intellectual and developmental disabilities who live in a group residence or with family, but who want to live independently, find housing and create a support system.
- The Foundation has fully funded since its inception 17 years ago a therapeutic program for siblings of children with special needs. In weekend workshops, the siblings find other kids who are experiencing both the joys and the stress of having a brother or sister with special needs.
- A multi-year Foundation grant is supporting AHRC’s efforts to nurture leadership for the self-advocacy movement. Historically people with intellectual and developmental disabilities have been discriminated against and denied their human rights in most aspects of life. The self-advocacy movement aims to empower people with disabilities to assert their own needs and rights.