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Easterseals Southwest Florida Receives COVID-19 Emergency Response Grants (4/17/20)

Easterseals Southwest Florida is grateful to have been selected to receive emergency response grants from local foundations to fund teletherapy and virtual schools for its clients. The 74-year-old agency pivoted to new digital platforms in response to COVID-19 closures and social distancing mandates for delivery of occupational, physical, behavioral and speech therapies as well as school classroom lessons for its K-12 students.

The grants will be used to purchase devices, secure tech support and continued training for the new digital service models. The funding comes from local community foundations that include: COVID-19 Response Initiative collaboration of the Charles & Margery Barancik Foundation and the Gulf Coast Community Foundation; COVID-19 Community Response Fund of the Manatee Community Foundation; and, the William G. and Marie Selby Foundation.

“We are excited to connect with even more of our clients and their families now,” Easterseals Southwest Florida President and CEO Tom Waters said. “Our staff worked quickly to create effective online tools for therapies and education in order to prevent backsliding in our client care. We’ll now be able to add devices into homes as well as digital support for the families, both technical and emotional.

“This quick response from these community leaders will make a key difference in the lives of people who normally face tremendous challenges because of their unique health abilities,” Waters said. “The lack of contact and unexpected new roles for parents and caregivers in facilitating therapies and school lessons are adding additional stress. Now, with devices connecting families to teachers and therapists, we know our clients are getting the best care possible under these circumstances.”

Easterseals Happiness House provides exceptional therapies and services for persons with disabilities and their families across a lifetime by empowering individuals to live their lives to the fullest. The agency began serving the Southwest Florida region in 1946.