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Independent Living News & Policy from the National Council on Independent Living

Craig H. Neilsen Foundation Announces 2018 Funding Opportunity for Nonprofit Organizations that Create Opportunities and Independence for Individuals Living with Spinal Cord Injury

The Craig H. Neilsen Foundation is pleased to announce its 2018 funding opportunity for qualifying nonprofit organizations that strive to improve the quality of life of individuals living with or affected by spinal cord injury (SCI).

The Neilsen Foundation’s Creating Opportunities & Independence (CO&I) Project Grants are one-year grants, ranging from $25,000 – $100,000, targeting innovative approaches that empower individuals with SCI to live independently and enjoy improved emotional and physical well-being.

The funding priorities for CO&I will continue to support innovative projects to improve independence for individuals with spinal cord injury. The six areas of emphasis include: Assistive Technology, Employment, Independent Living, Rehabilitation, and Arts, Sports and Recreation. For the 2018 funding cycle, note that the definition of “Education” has been clarified as a means to promote the return to school/university following injury, education readiness, literacy interventions, GED courses and tutoring programs. Other educational activities used as a tool to advance employment, independent living or rehabilitation will reside in these respective areas of CO&I. 

CO&I grants support a variety of projects that include, but are not limited to: adaptive driving, adaptive sports, assistive technology devices, artist’s residencies, education readiness, General Education Development courses, home modifications, housing initiatives, patient navigator/assistance programs, rehabilitation services and equipment, SCI-related mentoring and vocational training programs.

The one-year Project Grant application process begins with submission of a Letter of Intent (LOI). The 2018 Project Grant LOI application process will open on proposalCENTRAL on Monday, December 4, 2017. The 2018 Application Guide and deadline information will also be available at by December 4. Contact Jane Otto, Program Officer, at for further information.

About the Craig H. Neilsen Foundation: The Craig H. Neilsen Foundation was established as a private foundation in 2002. The Neilsen Foundation received its full endowment in 2011 and since then has significantly expanded its staff and grantmaking activities in accordance with its strategic plan. In light of this expansion, the Neilsen Foundation has evolved into the largest private funder of spinal cord injury research, rehabilitation and clinical training in the United States. The Neilsen Foundation funds scientific research (preclinical, translational, clinical and psychosocial research); opportunity and independence programs; scholarships for students with SCI; postdoctoral and SCI medicine fellowships; and other projects to support the SCI community throughout the United States and Canada.

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