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Controls for Control

Funder: Craig H Neilsen Foundation

Funding period
USD 45 K
Funding amount
Grant funds from the Neilsen Foundation will be utilized to establish Controls for Control, a program that will provide an opportunity for individuals with Spinal Cord Injuries (SCI) in Middle Tennesee to gain (or regain) the ability to drive their own vehicle by providing funding to purchase and install hand controls in a motor vehicle that they currently own. We will contract with two other organizations; The Bill Wilkerson Rehabilitation Center at Vanderbilt University Medical Center and Mobility Works a national vendor of adapted motor vehicles with two locations in our service area, to establish and operate this program. Eligible program applicants will be assessed by the Wilkerson center Adapted Driving program to not only determine what adapted equipment their vehicle requires but also confirm that they possess the ability to drive safely. In addition, the Wilkerson Center will provide instruction in the use of hand controls to drive and ensure that the applicant is safe to drive after the installation. Mobility Works will provide and install the recommended equipment. Grant funds will be dedicated to funding both of these partners’ activities so there will be no cost to the applicant/recipient. We expect that participants in Controls for Control will see a dramatic increase in their self-perceived quality of life as a result of gaining/regaining the ability to drive. Studies have shown that individuals with SCI who are independent drivers are more likely to be employed, access their community, become less isolated and engage in sports and recreational activities. Our service area is a mix of urban, suburban and rural areas and transportation, especially in the suburbs and our rural areas is a major barrier for individuals who do not drive. Unless a person is a Veteran or actively involved in a Vocational Rehabilitation program there is no funding support for vehicle modifications and with an average cost of $3,000 to $4,000 dollars for the equipment and instruction, many individuals with SCI cannot afford the cost of adapting a vehicle they may own. This proposal is a natural fit for the Independent Living funding category as well as the overall mission of the Neilsen Foundation by providing a "tool" with which the person with SCI can construct or reconstruct their life and can go to work and not worry about the availability of paratransit, or go to the grocery store or run an errand for their spouse. We take for granted how much we depend on our cars to live our lives and we know of a number of people with SCI who have a perfectly functioning vehicle sitting in their garage gathering dust, all for the lack of hand controls and it's owner sitting at home doing nothing. We hope to change that, at least for 15 people to begin with and many more in the future with your help.

(CHN: COandI chn:wdg)
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    1117 Public Health and Health Services

  • RCDC

    Injury (total) Accidents/Adverse Effects

  • RCDC

    Clinical Research

  • RCDC