Non-profit Foundations and government initiatives seek to help people diagnosed with paraplegia and other spinal cord injuries. Such foundations donate money for research aimed at finding a cure for paraplegia, and they also provide money to not-for-profit organizations to buy equipment or to build specially adapted homes for paraplegic individuals. Some of these foundations have their own online websites, where individuals may also help by donating.
Travis Roy Foundation
The Travis Roy Foundation was established in 1997 to aid people plagued with spinal cord injuries. The life of Travis Roy inspired the creation of this foundation, which provides grants for low-income paraplegics. The money is to be used for wheelchairs, shower chairs and other necessary items for normal daily activities. The foundation also provides grants that help fund research programs that aim to find a cure for paraplegia. See resources to download an application.
Specially Adapted Houses
The United States Department of Veterans Affairs provides financial grants to paraplegic veterans using wheelchairs due to spinal cord injuries. As reported in 2010, veterans receiving these financial grants can use the money to renovate or modify their homes to facilitate movement and function in daily life. Paraplegic veterans may qualify for grants of up to $63,780 or the value of half the price of the house they are considering, whichever is less. Veterans who are not approved to receive this specific grant may be eligible to receive smaller amounts.
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Based in San Francisco, California, GiveTech.org offers financial help to provide computer and technical aid to individuals suffering from disabilities such as paraplegia. GiveTech.org realizes that people with disabilities may find it hard to use computers in a normal way. With the help of Boost Technology, the organization has conceptualized the Tracer, a gyroscopically-controlled mouse that the individual wears on his head. GiveTech.org targets its services towards disabled individuals experiencing financial difficulties. Its aim is to help those who are lucid but have too many physical inhibitions to use a computer as others do.
Mike Utley Foundation
Inspired by spinal cord injury victim Mike Utley, this foundation aids victims of spinal cord injuries such as paraplegia. In 2009, the foundation gave $25,000 to Shepherd Center's Therapeutic Recreation for physical therapy and occupational therapy. This hospital uses the grants to help their paraplegic rehabilitating patients learn the necessary techniques to navigate their wheelchairs in various terrains. According to the Shepherd Center, Utley still provides grants to help the rehabilitation programs of not-for-profit hospitals.