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Mitsubishi Electric America Foundation Announces Grant Recipients


Grants Focus on Full Inclusion of Young People with Disabilities

WASHINGTON, DC, January 5, 2006 — The Mitsubishi Electric America Foundation has announced $508,000 in new and renewal grants for six national projects that serve young people with disabilities. Continuing multiyear projects will receive $207,000 in 2006 funds. An additional $148,000 will be given in matching grants and matching gifts to organizations selected by Mitsubishi Electric US employees in the communities where they live and work.

The Mitsubishi Electric America Foundation is dedicated to helping young people with disabilities maximize their potential and full participation in society. With its new round of grants, the Foundation is building on its Inclusive Initiative begun two years ago. The initiative focuses on helping “mainstream” organizations, such as Boys and Girls Clubs of America, make their programs more accommodating of and attractive to disabled youth, while working to change attitudes among people without disabilities.

“As the Foundation embarks on its fifteenth year, we believe that proactive inclusion is one of the best ways to ensure that youth with disabilities can reach their full potential and realize their dreams,” says Rayna Aylward, executive director of the Mitsubishi Electric America Foundation. “Our goal is to help organizations move away from the practice of having separate activities for youth with disabilities toward a model of activities that are open to all young people, making for a richer experience and stronger program overall.”

In this second phase of the Inclusion Initiative, the Foundation has awarded a two-year/$112,000 renewal grant to the Boys & Girls Clubs of America, headquartered in Atlanta. Boys & Girls Clubs will work in partnership with the San Diego-based, Kids Included Together (KIT), which has received a two-year/$100,000 grant. KIT, a premier provider of inclusion training in the US, will assist Boys & Girls Clubs in implementing an inclusive program. Partners for Youth with Disabilities, based in Boston, has received a two-year/$176,000 grant to develop a statewide model of inclusive mentoring in Massachusetts. The Rockville, Md.-based Disabled Sports USA has been awarded a one-year/$50,000 grant for its “If I Can Do This, I Can Do Anything!” program. This innovative program will train young, disabled veterans returning from the Iraq and Afghanistan to serve as mentors to young people with disabilities. It uses sports as a way of developing skills and self-confidence, helping both mentors and mentees to become full participants in society.

In addition to these grants, a number of multi-year projects continue. Project SEARCH, based in Cincinnati at Children’s Hospital Medical Center, has been awarded a three- year/$60,000 renewal grant, to continue its successful model of training and placing young people with severe cognitive disabilities in careers in the healthcare and banking industries. Wilderness Inquiry, a Minneapolis-based recreation service provider for people with and without disabilities, is in the second year of its three-year project to help the Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts promote inclusion. Easter Seals, with headquarters in Chicago, is continuing to help its affiliates partner with community-based mainstream organizations to recruit and include more youth with disabilities. The Washington, DC-based American Association of People with Disabilities (AAPD) will conduct the fifth year of the Mitsubishi Electric America Foundation Congressional Internship Program, which provides summer internships on Capitol Hill to college students with disabilities. AAPD has also been awarded a three-year/$30,000 renewal grant for its Paul G. Hearne Leadership Award given annually to emerging leaders in the disability field. [A summary of the grants follows.]

The Mitsubishi Electric America Foundation, based in the Washington, DC area, was established in 1991 by Mitsubishi Electric Corporation of Japan and the Mitsubishi Electric U.S. companies, which produce, sell and distribute a wide range of consumer, industrial, commercial and professional electronics products. With a current endowment of $19 million, the Foundation has contributed more than $7 million to organizations assisting young Americans with disabilities to lead fuller and more productive lives.

For more information, please visit the Mitsubishi Electric America Foundation’s fully accessible website at

Mitsubishi Electric America Foundation

New Grants

Disabled Sports USA (one-year grant) $50,000
Supports the creation of If I Can Do This, I Can Do Anything!, a mentoring program matching youth with disabilities at Disabled Sports Clubs across the US with young disabled veterans returning from Iraq and Afghanistan.

Kids Included Together (KIT) (two-year grant) $100,000
Funds the development of an inclusion training program for the Boys & Girls Clubs of America.
American Association of People with Disabilities (AAPD) (three-year grant) $30,000
Helps fund the Paul G. Hearne Leadership Award, recognizing outstanding young leaders in the disability field.

Renewal Grants
Boys & Girls Clubs of America (two-year grant renewal) $112,000
Funds enable BGCA to continue its initiative to provide awareness, staff training and outreach to youth with disabilities, working in partnership with KIT.

Project SEARCH (three-year grant renewal) $60,000
Funds support Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center in implementing training programs in the health care and banking fields, aimed at increasing the independence and productivity of young people with severe cognitive disabilities.
Continuing Grants

AAPD (second year of three-year grant) $74,000
This grant funds the Mitsubishi Electric America Foundation/AAPD Congressional Internship Program, which provides summer internships on Capitol Hill for college students with disabilities.

Easter Seals (second year of two-year grant) $20,000
This grantee coordinates and provides training and technical assistance to participants in MEAF’s Inclusion Initiative, a national project that assists mainstream organizations in adapting their programs and facilities to be fully inclusive of young people with disabilities.

Easter Seals (second year of two-year grant) $31,000
Partnerships between community-based recreation providers and six Easter Seals affiliates will develop model inclusion strategies to be replicated throughout the Easter Seals national network.

Wilderness Inquiry (second year of three-year grant) $82,000
Funds will support inclusive outdoor educational and recreational activities for youth with and without disabilities in Girl Scouts and Boy Scouts groups in Minnesota’s Twin Cities, to be followed by national replication and dissemination.


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