The idea for the Ataxian Athlete Initiative (AAI) adaptive cycling equipment grant program came when Kyle received a grant from the Challenged Athletes Foundation, which he used to purchase a Catrike recumbent trike. That purchase changed his life: while on it, he didn’t feel as physically limited as he felt most times. Realizing how impactful that grant was for him, he created a grant specifically for people with FA, to purchase adaptive cycling equipment, which is often times cost prohibitive for someone with a disability.
Since 2009, the Ataxian Athlete Initiative has provided 32 individuals with adaptive cycling equipment. The application for 2017 is available now until May 1; any person with ataxia can apply by clicking “Apply for an AAI Grant” at curefa.org/aai, giving information on the applicant and what kind of equipment would work for them. Please remember that this is a competitive application process and funds are limited.
Some tips to consider when applying to the AAI:
- Try out various adaptive equipment. Sit in different equipment. Take a spin. Determine what is most fitting and most comfortable for you.
- Be honest. Tell us how you, individually, would benefit from receiving funds from the AAI, and what impact it would have on your life.
- Be unique. Make your application far above general – make it personal. Speak from the heart. And remember to focus on what you can and will do.
And don’t forget that even those who don’t receive full or partial funding from the AAI will receive tips on how to make their application stand out more for other equipment grant programs or for the AAI again in the future.
Some of the links we talked about in this episode:
- Ataxian Athlete Initiative: http://curefa.org/aai
- Kyle’s blog post on getting started with your search for adaptive cycling equipment: http://www.curefa.org/rideataxia-blog/a-guide-to-beginning-search-for
- Challenged Athletes Foundation grant program, Access For Athletes: http://www.challengedathletes.org/programs/grants/