CHICAGO, June 30, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- Easterseals today announced it has received a grant of $325,000 from Comcast NBCUniversal to provide assistive technology solutions addressing challenges faced by people with disabilities, veterans and seniors during and throughout the recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.
"Assistive technology has helped to break down barriers for people with disabilities for decades, providing them with greater opportunities to participate in their communities," said Angela Williams, President and CEO of Easterseals. "But during this unprecedented time, these technology resources are even more critical so that people with disabilities, veterans, seniors, their families and caregivers have access to health care, education and employment opportunities. At this time, many of our clients cannot do that in person because of social distancing guidelines, and so we are grateful to Comcast NBCUniversal and its Foundation for this nearly decade-long partnership which has helped change so many lives."
The partnership addresses the immediate needs resulting from the pandemic's disruption to everyday life, as well as the recovery efforts and long-term solutions. More than 1.5 million people rely on the services and supports of Easterseals annually.
"We have long championed inclusion for individuals of all abilities, and now more than ever, integrating technology in more ways can support needs for Easterseals at both the National and local Affiliate levels to be a resource for their clients to improve the way they experience the world," said Juan Otero, Vice President of Diversity and Inclusion for Comcast Corporation and a member of the Easterseals National Board of Directors.
The grant will be distributed across Easterseals' national network. Part of the funding will support a program to enable Easterseals to provide training to government agencies and other organizations on how to become compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act, as well as to fund a platform for Easterseals Affiliates and clients to connect digitally.
Each of the following Easterseals Affiliates will receive $40,000 grants that will enable them to continue delivering critical services for their clients with the help of technology and digital solutions:
- Easterseals Serving DC, MD and VA will incorporate telehealth into the delivery of early intervention, mental health and adult day services as well as educational workshops for parents of children enrolled in the organization's early childhood programs.
- Easterseals Massachusetts will provide assistive technology services, equipment and mentoring to elevate their e-learning experiences and outcomes for students with disabilities.
- Easterseals Southeastern Pennsylvania will deliver critical home- and community-based services through technology to the young children and families who rely on these therapies and education, ensuring limited loss of developmental achievement during the pandemic.
- Easterseals North Georgia will purchase an early education learning platform with proven efficacy to deepen and scale engagement between families and educators to produce heightened outcomes for young children and leverage the platform to measure outcomes.
- Easterseals Greater Houston will replace devices loaned from its assistive technology labs so low-income families of children with disabilities can begin receiving telehealth visits for therapies as well as nutrition and case management services. The grant will also support the tech training of staff, community partners and clients on tools, including COVID-specific videos, to advance health and wellbeing through early intervention, clinical, mental health, and veterans services.
Since 2011, Easterseals has partnered with Comcast NBCUniversal to implement innovative technology solutions to advance digital literacy, improve the capability to communicate, as well as to accelerate employment success among its clients. To date, Comcast NBCUniversal has provided $44 million in cash and in-kind support.
For more than 100 years, Easterseals has served as an indispensable resource for individuals with disabilities, veterans, seniors and their families. Together, our 68 Affiliates in communities nationwide serve 1.5 million people annually through high-quality programs and services including early intervention, workforce development, adult day care and more. In schools, workplaces and communities, we're fostering environments where everyone is included and valued – making a real and positive impact on us all. Join us in ensuring that everyone – regardless of age or ability – is 100% included and 100% empowered. Learn more at www.easterseals.com.
About the Comcast NBCUniversal Foundation
The Comcast NBCUniversal Foundation invests in programs intended to have a positive, sustainable impact on the communities the company serves. Its mission is to empower communities to thrive by helping to provide access to technology, relevant digital skills and training, and inspiring volunteerism and service. More information about how Comcast NBCUniversal supports the communities it serves is available at https://corporate.comcast.com/values/community-impact.
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