2021 Grants Challenge
🎉 Winner

Building Accessibility For Persons With Disabilities

Angel City Sports supports people with disabilities reaching their fullest potential to engage with their communities as well as help the community discover how to proactively and respectfully practice disability inclusion. To accomplish this, we create a broad spectrum of adaptive wellness opportunities for adults and children with physical disabilities to support their physical, mental, and emotional well-being. The general public has an opportunity to participate in these adaptive activities, creating greater connection and awareness.


In which areas of Los Angeles will you be directly working?

County of Los Angeles

What is the problem that you are seeking to address?

Today 22.6% of L.A. County adults (LA County Dept. of Public Health) and 3% of youth (KidsData) – a total of 2,560,000 members of our community - are living with a disability. Many are not fully participating in our community due to various barriers. The main five barriers to accessibility for persons with disabilities are: Attitudinal (how they are perceived by others and themselves); Systemic (policies, procedures, and practices); Physical (lack of adaptive modifications); Communications (lack of adaptions for sensory disabled); and Technological (lack of assistive devices). ACS works to reduce these barriers to help persons with disabilities reach their fullest potential to engage with their communities as well as help the community discover how to proactively and respectfully practice disability inclusion. By creating greater accessibility and inclusion for people with disabilities, the entire Los Angeles community becomes stronger.

Describe the project, program, or initiative that this grant will support to address the problem identified.

ACS creates a broad spectrum of adaptive activities and wellness programs for adults, children, and veterans who are living with physical disabilities and impairments. Through a holistic combination of year-round clinics, events, workshops, and classes, ACS supports the physical, mental, and emotional well-being for persons with disabilities so they can: 1) Maintain a positive mood and prevent depression; 2) Develop a greater sense of independence and self-efficacy; 3) Feel more included and empowered in their communities; 4) More readily access adaptive wellness activities; 5) Connect with positive mentors and peers with similar disabilities; and 6) Cultivate the positive mindset that supports obtaining and maintaining employment. ACS serves over 1,000 people with disabilities annually through its year-round programs which are currently virtual but will resume in-person when it is safe to do so. In addition, ACS provides opportunities for community members to develop greater understanding about disabilities through awareness events, volunteering, and opportunity to participate in adaptive activities. By learning more about and interacting with individuals with disabilities, people learn respectful terminology, to not make assumptions, and most importantly, to see the person before the disability and make a more conscious effort towards accessible actions.

In what stage of innovation is this project, program, or initiative?

Expand existing project, program, or initiative

Approximately how many people will be impacted by this project, program, or initiative?

Direct Impact: 6,600

Indirect Impact: 6,000

Describe how Los Angeles County will be different if your work is successful.

According to the CDC, communities that are attentive to the health of its members can reduce the inequality among their residents. By addressing the physical, mental, and emotional needs of people with disabilities, they are empowered to be engaged, contributing community members. In addition to their strengths and skills, people with disabilities often model creativity, resiliency, and a solution-based approach to challenges. Adults and youth, with and without disabilities, learning and working side-by-side helps everybody appreciate the talents and gifts everyone brings with them. As a community, we have the responsibility to promote the inclusion of our differences. Having a people-first mindset creates inclusivity where there have previously been barriers. This shared personal relatedness supports perpetual growth of ourselves, each other, and our community. ACS’ vision is that adults and youth with disabilities are healthy and embraced as equal members of their communities.

What evidence do you have that this project, program, or initiative is or will be successful, and how will you define and measure success?

The goals of ACS programs include: Removing barriers, promoting access, and encouraging participation in adaptive fitness and wellness activities; Promoting self-efficacy and independence; Addressing diverse regional needs and connecting people with disabilities with available resources; Creating an ecosystem that connects people with disabilities and partners to spark the adaptive sports movement; and Increasing awareness in the community around the importance and need for adaptive activities and opportunities through various types of media, volunteer opportunities, and participation in adaptive events alongside people with disabilities. ACS measures its quantitative impact through participation and engagement numbers. Qualitative impact data is primarily evaluation through comprehensive surveys that inquire about post-participation levels of confidence, esteem, and motivation to continue to engage in adaptive health/wellness activities.

Which of the PLAY metrics will you impact?​


Youth sports participation

Indicate any additional LA2050 goals your project will impact.

LA is the best place to CONNECT