sasi announces the receipt of a $15,000 grant from Garman Family Foundation to support its Adaptive Fitness Program in West Seneca benefiting those with physical and developmental disabilities living in Western NY.
sasi, a human services agency supporting individuals with physical, developmental, emotional and intellectual disabilities since 1975, opened its adaptive fitness center last summer on Union Road, West Seneca, inside the Southgate Plaza.
“Our goal is to provide opportunities for fitness of body and mind for individuals who are differently abled within a social, structured, specialized exercise program,” explains adaptive fitness program director Sheila Dollas. “Many of the individuals we support would not be able to work out or receive the individual guidance needed in a traditional gym setting. sasi offers an inviting and comfortable space where participants want to work out to achieve fitness goals, get into shape and improve their overall health while socializing with their peers.”
The $15,000 grant awarded through the Garman Family Foundation will support program staff salaries as well as tuition assistance to participants in financial need.
Dollas explains that the need and benefit of becoming fit are universal for those with or without disabilities. It is the execution of a fitness plan which dictates the difference for those with special needs. Physical activity and exercise are beneficial for everyone, but for someone with a disability, opportunities to participate in a fitness program and reach goals tailored to their abilities are extremely rare. Avoiding exercise increases risk of heart disease, osteoporosis, diabetes, fatigue and obesity. All of these risks have the potential to limit independence and quality of life.
“We are very pleased with the progress made inside the gym so far,” says Dollas. “Fitness instructors are seeing quicker than expected responses. Participants who were initially reluctant are responding with enthusiasm and using what they’ve learned in our studio to inspire their workout routines at home. They are making fitness a life choice, and they are seeing the benefits of these efforts.”