HARTFORD, Conn.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--The Hartford, a leading provider of disability insurance with a long history of supporting people with disabilities, announced its new Ability Equipped program to significantly improve access to adaptive sports and provide adaptive sports equipment for youth and adults with disabilities across the country.
Approximately 40 million Americans1 have a disability and often face greater obstacles to healthy living and employment than the general population, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). The Hartford’s new Ability Equipped program will provide people with disabilities, who may be recovering from an injury or who would like to become more active, with access to sports programs and essential equipment.
“We’ve seen first-hand the power of adaptive sports as a catalyst for improved health and inclusion and we are honored to provide local sports clubs with the resources and equipment they need,” said Mike Concannon, head of Group Benefits at The Hartford. “Our business is driven by our long-standing conviction that people should be defined by what they can do versus perceived limitations. We believe people are capable of achieving amazing things with the right team, technology and support behind them.”
Partnership with DSUSA and Angel City Sports
The Hartford has been a longstanding partner of Disabled Sports USA (DSUSA) and is celebrating its 25th year as the title sponsor of The Hartford Ski Spectacular, one of the nation’s largest winter sports festivals for people with disabilities.
Through the Ability Equipped program, The Hartford is partnering with DSUSA to provide adaptive sports equipment and grants to more than 20 of its local chapters across the country. The donations will be based on the individual needs of each chapter that is selected and will include equipment such as sports wheelchairs, hockey sleds, kayaks, mono skis and hand cycles. The program will also assist individual members of DSUSA’s Elite Team – youth athletes with disabilities who are a pipeline for U.S. Paralympics – by providing adaptive equipment and scholarships through The Hartford’s Ability Equipped Youth in Excellence award.
“Adaptive sports equipment is an important investment that grows and sustains an athlete’s active sports lifestyle as well as their competitive opportunities. Unfortunately, this specialized equipment is expensive and with prolonged use it often needs to be repaired or replaced,” said Glenn Merry, executive director of DSUSA. “We are excited that The Hartford has partnered with us to help our local chapters purchase the equipment they need to outfit everyday athletes in our local communities.”
In addition, The Hartford is partnering with Angel City Sports and has been named presenting sponsor of the Angel City Games, an annual adaptive sports festival in the Greater Los Angeles Metropolitan Area that focuses on summer sports. As part of this partnership, The Hartford will also provide adaptive equipment to enhance the programs offered by Angel City Sports and scholarships to support individual athletes across the country who attend the Angel City Games.
The Hartford’s longtime history of supporting people with disabilities
As a leading provider of disability insurance, The Hartford has a long-held belief that sports are an important part of physical rehabilitation following a disabling illness or injury. The company began supporting athletes and events 25 years ago.
In 2003, The Hartford became a founding partner and official disability insurance sponsor of U.S. Paralympics, a division of the United States Olympic Committee (USOC), that is dedicated to recruiting and training elite athletes with physical and visual disabilities.
“The Hartford’s history of supporting athletes like myself helps raise awareness about what people with disabilities are capable of and helps change perceptions about disabilities,” said Keith Gabel, U.S. Paralympic snowboarder, silver medalist and member of Team Hartford. “It is inspiring to see that children and adults who may be in the first stages of their recovery will have access to programs and equipment that can help get them back to their active and productive lives.”
About The Hartford
The Hartford is a leader in property and casualty insurance, group benefits and mutual funds. With more than 200 years of expertise, The Hartford is widely recognized for its service excellence, sustainability practices, trust and integrity. More information on the company and its financial performance is available at https://www.thehartford.com. Follow us on Twitter at www.twitter.com/TheHartford_PR.
The Hartford Financial Services Group, Inc., (NYSE: HIG) operates through its subsidiaries under the brand name, The Hartford, and is headquartered in Hartford, Conn. For additional details, please read The Hartford’s legal notice.
About Disabled Sports USA
Founded in 1967, Disabled Sports USA is a 501(c)(3) charitable organization that provides opportunities for individuals with disabilities to develop independence, confidence and fitness through participation in sports. What began as a program to serve Vietnam veterans has since grown into one of the nation’s largest multi-sport, multi-disability organizations, annually serving more than 60,000 wounded warriors, youth and adults with disabilities. A member of the U.S. Olympic Committee, Disabled Sports USA offers programs in more than 50 summer and winter sports through its nationwide network of more than 120 community-based chapters. For more information, visit www.disabledsportsusa.org.
1U.S. Census Bureau, 2015 American Community Survey 1-Year Estimates
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