• Meg McCall

Grants for Adaptive Sports Equipment

At Angle Oar, we’re driven to help as many people as possible experience the transformational and healing powers of the outdoors. We’re constantly looking for ways to improve our designs, adding new products to the mix, and pointing people to other adaptive resources that will get them out on the water.

Two paddlers in adapted kayaks

The design and materials that go into manufacturing adaptive sports equipment can be expensive, however. Fully adapting a kayak can cost upwards of $3,000 and that doesn’t even include the cost of transportation or transfer devices. These expenses put non-profits, community groups, and individuals at a disadvantage when it comes to adding adapted sports equipment to their gear collections.

One of our co-founders spent 15 years in the non-profit sector, and a major part of her responsibilities was raising funds on behalf of charitable groups through individual and corporate donors, grant writing and events.

Fundraising can be a daunting, never-ending and often thankless job. With that in mind, we’ve put together a list of grant resources for 2020 that may help you in your quest to secure funding for adaptive equipment, whether that be for adapted kayaking, handcycles, wheelchair skiing, adaptive soccer or any other recreational activity.

1. Adaptive Recreation & Equipment Grants

As with any grant, the eligibility criteria, funds available and application deadlines for the grants that follow will vary. Some are open to all organizations, some only to veterans, and others only to program participants. Please review the eligibility requirements carefully to make sure it’s a good fit for both parties before you apply.

Kelly Brush Foundation – The Active Fund

Provides grants for individuals with paralysis caused by spinal cord injury to purchase adaptive sports equipment.

Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation – Quality of Life Grants

Awards grants to non-profit organizations that impact and empower people living with paralysis, their families and caregivers.

Travis Roy Foundation

Focuses on empowering spinal cord injured survivors through adaptive equipment grants and funding SCI research to benefit people with chronic injuries.

Triumph Foundation – Keep Moving Forward Grant & Employment Achievement Award

Assists people with spinal cord injuries in getting necessary equipment, supplies and services.

Challenged Athletes Foundation

Grants to individuals with permanent physical disabilities worldwide for travel and competition expenses, coaching and training expenses, and adaptive sports equipment.

Hive Fives Foundation

Focuses on providing resources to people who were injured participating in outdoor sports.

I AM ABLE Foundation - Equipment Grants

Provides adaptive sports gear and group fitness programs to individuals with disabilities in the Mid-Atlantic region.

accessible kayaking

Spinal Cord Opportunities for Rehabilitation Endowment (SCORE) Grants

Provides modest financial grants to people paralyzed while participating in sports or recreational activities.

Disabled Sports USA - Chapter Grants

Distributes grants to its member chapters each year for adaptive sports programs and equipment.

Road Runner Sports – Athletes Helping Athletes Foundation

Adaptive bicycling grants for children 18 and under who have a permanent physical disability or severe mobility impairment.

Getting Back Up

Provides select individuals with funding for participation in exercise-based recovery programs and the purchase of adaptable products.


Offers financial and equipment grants to visually impaired and mobility impaired athletes for costs related to competing in the world of adaptive sports.

Craig H. Neilsen Foundation Grants

Supports organizations conducting SCI research, training in spinal cord medicine, and providing services to assist individuals and families affected by spinal cord injury.

Outdoor Ability Foundation

Grants to purchase adaptive equipment (e.g., crossbow cocking devices, portable hunting blinds, fishing or skiing equipment) to provide outdoor experiences for the disabled.

For Veterans

U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs - Adaptive Sports Grants Program

Gives veterans the opportunity to improve their independence, well-being and quality of life through adaptive sports and therapeutic arts programs.

The Independence Fund – Adaptive Sports Program

Ensures that our most catastrophically wounded, ill or injured veterans are becoming involved in sports.

Semper Fi Fund

Grants for specialized equipment to help service members with injuries or illnesses.

2. Adaptive Technology & Targeted Grants

In our research, we came across a number of other grant resources that may not be geared to adaptive recreation equipment but which may be suitable for other types of assistive technologies, such as mobility aids (e.g., wheelchairs, scooters, prosthetic devices), hearing aids, computer software or vehicle adaptations. In other cases, eligibility for these particular grants is limited to a geographic area or to participants already involved in a given program.

3. Additional Grant Resource Pages

We also found a couple of comprehensive resource lists that may be helpful as you drill down to grants or other funding sources available in your state.

4. Local Funding Sources

In addition to the many opportunities above, nearly every community offers funding to local non-profit groups or scholarships to individuals.

United Way: United Way funding priorities will differ by region and will usually be in the form of annual or multi-year funding for entire programs. Occasional “special” grants may be available for one-time needs, such as purchasing adaptive equipment.

Community Foundation: Many local foundations offer scholarships and small grants to area organizations and individuals.

Government: Many city and/or county municipalities will offer funds for inclusive programming, whether it be through human services or parks and recreation divisions.

Businesses: Check the websites of the large employers in your community to find out what types of grants they might make available to the community.

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Of course, there are dozens of other strategies for raising funds besides grants, including corporate sponsorships, hosting events, conducting fundraising campaigns, and even utilizing crowdfunding platforms. We hope, however, that this list of grant sources will get you off to a good start.

If you would like additional ideas or advice, or need Versa or Gamut product details for your grant application, please don’t hesitate to contact us at info@angleoar.com!

Note: We have published an updated list of grant resources for 2021. See them here.