Disability Advocates in GR announces effort to construct region’s first accessibility showroom

    Disability Advocates of Kent County, the region’s leading voice for persons with disabilities, announced the Building Opportunities, Creating Independence campaign, an $2.5 million fundraising effort to move their headquarters to the new Special Olympics campus in Byron Township. The effort was announced at a special public campaign launch event at the future headquarters, 160 68th Street SW, Grand Rapids, MI 49548.

    Launched earlier this year, the Building Opportunities, Creating Independence campaign has raised more than $1.75m over the last several months, thanks to lead gifts from area business and community leaders.

    The public campaign, a first in 40 years for Disability Advocates, aims to raise another $750,000 to help cover construction and campaign costs, new programming, and the organization’s Home Accessibility Center program.

    Currently under construction, the new headquarters will cover 8,600 SF, with a move in date anticipated for April 2022. The organization has allocated 40% of its construction budget on engaging with local minority-owned contractors.

    Disability Advocates will be one of nine disability organizations occupying the former South Christian High School, which is currently being transformed into the largest Special Olympics training and inclusion center in the world. The new space will also allow the organization to build the area’s first Occupational Therapy (OT) home accessibility center.

    The Home Accessibility Center will be a place where people with disabilities explore ways to renovate and retrofit their homes so they can be more independent. It will serve as a “test space” showroom where persons with disabilities, their families, health care, and design professionals and building contractors can explore options for a safer home, including models and adaptive equipment, something that is not offered anywhere in the region.

    Visit https://www.dakc.us/donate/ for more information.