Eight Iowa cities are getting modest but useful state grants to pay for projects that are designed to help better integrate people with disabilities into their communities. Janet Shoeman, with the Iowa Governor’s Developmental Disabilities Council, says each city is getting $3000 in seed money and technical assistance. She says the projects are fun because the people come up with their own grassroots ideas, pulling together all sorts of folks to make their communities more inclusive. The projects are wide-ranging. Shoeman says the most unusual effort called “Access to Waves” in Davenport and will help people with disabilities take part in one of the area’s popular activities — waterskiing. They’ve purchased some equipment with the grant money, including a large water ski, shaped sort of like a surf board, which the person can sit on and be towed by ski-boats. Shoeman says the Sac County town of Odebolt is also getting a grant for a water-based project — installing a lift at the city pool. Elsewhere, the town of Burt is installing an accessible swing set and making other park improvements that will create an area for social interaction, relaxation and conversation. Mount Ayr is putting in an accessible gazebo in a city park. Money is also going toward projects in: New Hampton, New Hartford, Oskaloosa and Waverly.
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