Quality of Life Grants Spotlight: The Garrison Redd Project

During the COVID-19 pandemic, the Reeve Foundation’s National Paralysis Resource Center created a special grants category (COVID-19: Addressing Social Isolation) for non-profit organizations to address social isolation by providing programs and projects to support the physical and mental health of people living with paralysis.

robbie and Garrison tennis

The COVID-19 pandemic highlighted the lack of access to social and wellness programs for those with disabilities. To address the lack of access, organizations throughout the United States began to provide various programs remotely with the help of grants.

Garrison Redd created the Garrison Redd Project to offer services to those with disabilities, including paralysis. The project provides a chance to attain independence by showing the need for inclusivity, diversity, and accessibility. Garrison Redd, the founder, states, “People of the disabled community are often subject to limited opportunities due to physical mobility. Our foundation seeks to address this issue by creating a wellness initiative that returns that sense of mobility by providing active sports and workshops to improve health and well-being.” The Garrison Redd Project seeks to reduce the feeling of being restricted by a disability. With 1 in 4 people identifying as a person with a disability, the need for inclusive, tailored programs for those with disabilities is vital.

The Reeve Foundation Quality of Life Grant helped the Garrison Redd Project provide much-needed remote wellness services during and after the pandemic. A grant of $25,000 supported the program in developing multiple wellness-focused classes for people with disabilities.

The Reeve Foundation’s grant allowed a connection between the Garrison Redd Project and individuals who needed social connections. The emphasis of these classes is on helping people with disabilities access well-informed, easy-to-access wellness tips. One participant says their life changed dramatically when they obtained a spinal cord injury. “At that moment, I faced a new reality filled with uncertainty and challenges. When I joined the Garrison Redd Project virtual fitness program, it gave me a new sense of hope. Working with other individuals with similar injuries provided me with a sense of encouragement that I wasn’t alone.”

The Garrison Redd Project aims to restore and increase self-efficacy within the disabled community by offering nutrition and exercise classes. The program also includes peer mentoring. Peer mentoring allows a person to receive help from someone with more experience and an understanding of disabilities.

Virtual programming was crucial during the COVID-19 social isolation regulations. When The Garrison Redd Project began, 4-5 people attended virtual programs. However, because of the accessibility of the remote classes, the virtual sessions soon had 20-25 people attending a session. Now, there can be over 40 people in a session.

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When a person decides to participate in the Garrison Redd Project, they can choose from classes such as:

  • Adaptive climbing
  • Adaptive yoga
  • Hack-a-thons
  • Corporate training partnerships that give a business recognition

The ease of access also includes YouTube videos.


People can take classes whenever they wish. The Garrison Redd Project posts its sessions on YouTube. There have been over 1,000 viewers of these classes since they began posting them. People participating in the program say, “They are stronger because The Garrison Redd Project assisted them in increasing their independence.”

The Garrison Redd Project believes in providing a social outlet while engaging people in healthy, inclusive classes. The Garrison Redd Project allows those with disabilities a safe place to ask questions while socializing and learning.

To learn more about the Reeve Foundation’s Quality of Life Grants Program, please see www.ChristopherReeve.org/QOL.

Christina Sisti, DPS, MPH, MS, is a bioethicist and health care policy advocate. She works to create awareness and improve healthcare policy for those with long-term health issues.

About the Author - Reeve Staff

This blog was written by the Reeve Foundation for educational purposes. For more information please reach out to information@christopherreeve.org

Reeve Staff

The opinions expressed in these blogs are the author's own and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation.


This publication was supported by the Administration for Community Living (ACL), U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), as part of a financial assistance award totaling $160,000 with 100% funding by ACL/HHS. The contents are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily represent the official views of, nor an endorsement by, ACL/HHS or the U.S. government.