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Stoughton Area
Community Foundation

Stoughton, WI 53589
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The Stoughton Area Resource Team, Inc. (START) provides a safety net for those in crisis. Recently, a 30-year old single father of two struggled to find work, to pay for daycare for his children and to secure a home; so much time was spent homeless and hopeless.

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Access Ability Wisconsin Inc

P.O. Box 930422
Verona, WI 53593

Phone: 608-886-9388
Contact Name: Ronald French
Grants Manager
Organization Profile
Grants Info
Making the Outdoors Accessible for Older Adults - 2023 Amount Funded: $3,000.00
Older adults deserve to age with dignity and have equitable access to the outdoors, regardless of race, sexual orientation or gender identity, disability, or socioeconomic status. Our mutual goal is to provide opportunities for people living with mobility challenges to access nature and the great outdoors. Most organizations dont understand these same people are underserved and represent the entire face of society living in urban & rural communities. We will share how it is important to include everyone, regardless of ability, as leaders and participants at the forefront of planning instead of as an afterthought or not at all. AAW accomplishes this by facilitating access to the outdoors for people of all ages, abilities, cultures, ethnicities, and income levels. Creating a timeline for project implementation involves several steps that include visiting senior centers, planning activities/events, and assessing the positive impact on the Stoughton area residents/community. After receiving grant funding, our first step will be to assemble an internal AAW team to plan proposed activities to be conducted under this grant. Additionally, we will meet with representatives from area community health organizations (e.g., Stoughton Health) to discuss our “Outdoors Access 4 All!” (OA4A) Program to identify key departments (geriatrics, physical therapy, recreation therapy, and community outreach) that can demonstrate the positive impacts of accessing the outdoors on older adult’s physical/mental health, and how they can integrate accessibility in their programs and sharing this information with family members and loved ones. In the first quarter after being awarded the grant, AAW will meet with representatives from health community organizations. Also, we will reach out to the Stoughton Area Senior Center to share with them on how they can incorporate OA4A into their programs and events, particularly those programs that focus on seniors living alone at home. During the second quarter, AAW will collaborate with local outdoor activity providers (Stoughton Parks and Rec Dept), such as parks, nature reserves, and recreation centers to discuss programming accessibility into their programs. During the third quarter, AAW will host a workshop at Viking County Park in Stoughton that focuses on getting older adults getting outdoors with their social connection and making our adaptive equipment available providing intergenerational experiences for all abilities. AAW will coll
Spending time outside isnt just an enjoyable experience its also an important component in maintaining physical and mental health. In fact, getting back to nature is an age-old trick to staying young. The numerous benefits include improved mood and behavior, reduced stress, and increased boosts of Vitamin D. It isnt easy for everyone to access the outdoors. This includes those people with dementia and Alzheimers who may walk somewhat steadily indoors however, need safe access to the uneven terrain of the great outdoors. AAW makes the process of immersing in nature easier by providing all-terrain outdoor wheelchairs (OWC) and working with community leaders and healthcare providers to train and provide programming support to help them make their outdoor activities and events accessible. AAW resources (OWCs with enclosed trailers for towing) provide a means by which people with mobility issues can accompany family members and friends or even independently gain access to nature, which is difficult to access with conventional mobility equipment. Our goal for this project is to introduce AAW expertise and resources to help older adults who live independently in their homes gain opportunities to immerse in nature and explore the parks and preserves in the Stoughton area. AAW staff will demonstrate and launch an outreach campaign about AAW resources in the Stoughton area that will create opportunities for seniors, their family members or caregivers who live with mobility issues to access the outdoors together. AAW will provide training and programming support for community organizations (e.g. Stoughton Health, Aging and Disability Resource Center of Dane County) to learn about our hosting program and Outdoors Access 4 All! (OA4A) model for their programs with the primary focus on outreach to seniors living at home. The outreach campaign will use various channels to raise awareness about the benefits of outdoor activities for seniors with mobility challenges, with a focus on those older adults that live at home. To accomplish this, AAW will design visually appealing flyers, posters, and brochures that highlight the benefits of our OA4A program. Our distribution strategy for these materials will include identifying high-traffic locations frequented by older adults, such as senior centers, gardening clubs, fitness centers, coffee shops, restaurants, and places of worship. It is estimated that our efforts will reach over 100 individuals and over five com