The Independence Center Fund
The mission of The IC Fund is to provide increased independence and accessibility for people with disabilities. The IC fund grants funds to local nonprofits within the six-county Pikes Peak region that have existing or propose new projects to help increase independence for people with disabilities.
The Independence Center is seeking Letters of Interest for grants to fund specific projects that are designed to increase independence for people with disabilities. Awards will range between $5,000 and $10,000. Please see the attached letter for more information.
The IC Fund Is Making a Difference
The IC Fund awarded recipients a total of nearly $75,000 in 2015.
- Rocky Mountain Rural Health (RMRH) (Fairplay): $5,000; Funds will pay for a needs assessment regarding the size and location of the Park County disabled population to address service gaps.
- Prairie Family Center (PFC) (Burlington): $5,000; Funds will allow PFC to continue conducting several daily living skills classes for people with disabilities.
- Pikes Peak Urban Gardens: $5,780; Funding will make the Harlan Wolfe Ranch accessible by improving pathways, building an accessible greenhouse, toolshed, picnic area and more.
- Amblicab: $10,000; Funds expand the “Engage and Explore” program, by providing nearly 350 recreational trips for disabled adults and children living in the Pikes Peak Region.
- Colorado School for the Deaf and Blind: $10,000; Grant will buy equipment and uniforms for the athletic department, including Special Olympics, goalball, volleyball and football teams.
- Lincoln Community Hospital Care Center (Hugo): $10,000; Funding will provide an accessible door that will allow residents to access the new “Healing Garden” independently.
- Community Transit Coalition, submitted by Women’s Resource Agency: $8,000; Funds an economic impact study to frame transit as not only a community need but an economic driver.
- Colorado Springs Amateur Hockey Association (CSAHA): $5,000; Funds allow CSAHA Jr. Tigers Sled Hockey to purchase equipment to extend their program to more people with disabilities.
- Hearing Loss Association of America (HLAA)/ Colorado Springs Chapter: $10,000; Funds an educational outreach program and the extension of an incentive program for businesses that install a loop or other assistive listening device or captioning program.
- Rocky Mountain Wildlife Foundation (Guffey): $6,830; Funds improving walkways between animals’ enclosures to make traversing easier for those with walkers, wheelchairs or crutches.
- Educating Children of Color: $5,000; Grant will fund CART (Communication Access Real-time Translation), American Sign Language interpretation services, and tactile interpretation services for those who are deaf/blind at the 9th Annual Educating Children of Color Summit to be held at Colorado College on 1/16/16.
The IC Fund began granting monies in 2014. Recipients in 2014 were:
- Amblicab: $25,000 to help purchase a new wheelchair accessible van.
- Blue Star Recyclers: $20,200 to purchase a conveyor belt that sped up recycling of electrical equipment and allowed the hiring of two additional staff members (Blue Star’s staff is make up almost entirely of people with disabilities.)
- Friends of El Paso County Nature Centers: $20,000 repaired the boardwalk of the popular Songbird trail located at the Nature Center. The new Trex planks, railing and signage made the trail easily accessible to wheelchair users, seniors, and visually impaired visitors.
- Lake George Community Park: $3,875 covered two picnic table areas in Lake George and built an ADA compliant concrete walkway to the Park pavilion.
- Colorado Veterans Resource Coalition (CVRC): $5,000 (along with our Home Modification fund giving $10,000 for a total of $15,000). The CVRC’s Health Care for Homeless Veterans and Substance Abuse Treatment Program had a residential facility with five showers in disrepair. The grant paid for the showers on the first level to be made more accessible for those with physical disabilities.
History of the IC Fund
The Board of Directors of The Independence Center (The IC), in a desire to honor the memory of Ted Skoog as well as to honor the great work of our founder Vicki Skoog, developed a fund called The IC Fund.
The mission of The IC Fund was crafted by a committee of people with a variety of disabilities. The committee considered multiple potential focus areas for the fund. This mission was agreed upon with the recognition that a variety of types of projects and proposals are desirable in leading to the goal of increasing independence for people with disabilities.
History of the fund dates back to 2011 when $1,000,000 was set aside in a board-restricted account, and the interest from this account (estimated to be between $50,000 and $75,000/year) was designated to be used on an ongoing annual basis to fund the granting program. Oversight for the fund occurs by an independent committee. The committee receives oversight from The IC board. In 2013, The IC Fund committee went through training and worked with a foundation consultant to set up the rules. The first competition and awards totaling $75,000 occurred in 2014.
Grant funds for 2015 were distributed September 30, 2015 in a private ceremony at The IC where a light lunch for grant recipients was served. Projects supported by the funds will benefit citizens with disabilities in El Paso, Park, Kit Carson, Cheyenne and Lincoln counties.
The application process for The IC Fund begins in June of each year, when letters of intent are submitted. The committee of eight community members with disabilities then decides upon the proposals that will be sent to the board for approval. In September The IC board approves recommended proposals. All nonprofit organizations in the six county Pikes Peak region are eligible to apply for grant funds to support specific projects. Due to the limited amount of funds available, general operating support grant requests will not be funded.
To learn more about The IC Fund, contact our Development Director at 719-471-8181 or via email.