Sherlock Center announces recipients of mini-grant awards

The Paul V. Sherlock Center on Disabilities at Rhode Island College has awarded 2009 Access for All Abilities mini-grants to four Rhode Island organizations.

Recipients of the $2,500 grants are the Bristol Historical and Preservation Society, the Providence Public Library, the Rotary Club of Chariho and The Steel Yard, Providence.

The Sherlock Center’s mini-grant initiative funds projects that increase access for people with disabilities to existing social, leisure, recreational and cultural activities in the community.

The award to the Bristol Historical and Preservation Society, housed in the former Bristol Town Jail, will be used to acquire video and audio technology to make the Society’s collections available as a video tour for individuals with disabilities who are currently unable to access the historic building’s second floor. The technology will also assist those involved in historical research.

The Providence Public Library will utilize the grant funds to conduct a series of trainings designed to help librarians and program presenters become more effective at inclusion of children and adults with disabilities or mental illness in library programs.

The Rotary Club of Chariho will use grant money to help defray the cost of crushed stone and equipment at the Sarah Jane McCullough Play Area, which serves children and adults in Richmond, Hopkinton, Charlestown, Westerly and Exeter. The crushed stone is part of a subsurface for a “poured in place” rubber surface, which allows complete wheelchair access.

The Steel Yard offers free industrial arts classes and job training for low-income students aged 13-18, and produces street art for local neighborhoods and communities. Its grant money will be used for safety equipment and a digital projector, allowing students with disabilities to access class demonstrations.

The mission of the Paul V. Sherlock on Disabilities is to promote membership of individuals with disabilities in school, work and community. Partners in this mini-grant initiative are Accessible Rhode Island and VSA Arts of Rhode Island. The Sherlock Center, Rhode Island’s University Center for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities (UCEDD), receives funding for this initiative through the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Administration on Developmental Disabilities.

For more information about the Sherlock Center, go to