MovingwithHOPE (MWH) was founded in February of 2010 in Shelton, CT. The current President is Tad Duni. Mr. Duni has worked in the field of adaptive exercise, recreation and functional work conditioning for over 30 years. He received a Masters Degree in Movement Science at Columbia University in 1981.
Our programs have been ongoing for several years and currently serves about 60 people annually with moderate to severe partial and complete paralysis due to Spinal Cord Injury, Acquired Brain Injury, Multiple Sclerosis, Cerebral Palsy, Spina Bifida, Spinal Stenosis, Parkinson’s, Diabetic and Non-Diabetic Neuropathy, and Muscular Dystrophy. We are currently the only provider in CT for such a diverse year round program.
Our program and services are dedicated to improving the quality of life of each and everyone of our clients and their family members. This is accomplished with our clients having year round access to accessible pieces of exercise therapy devices that without they would, in most cases, decline in health and ADL's and either be placed in a Nursing Home or go into assisted living.
As founder and board President, I am acutely aware of our only challenge: the need of effective and sustainable funding for our mission founded upon my working for over 30 years in community-based wellness and prevention for people with physical disabilities.
We have targeted people with physical disabilities because, not well-known is after 21 years of age, a person with a physical disability has access to few or no services that assist with independent living. For example, in just Connecticut, there are over 60,000 people living with an acquired brain injury, with only 390 receiving any direct financial support from the Department of Social Services. In total, CT has over 350,000 resident living with a moderate to severe mobility disability.
Thirty-three years ago, C. Everrt Koop, MD, Surgeon General of the USA stated that we would eliminate epidemic obesity and diabetes by the year 2000. Twenty-three years ago, President George H.W. Bush signed the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). Since Dr. Koop and since the ADA bill was signed the following medical and demographic data have been exacerbated:
1. We have an epidemic increase in obesity, diabetes and orthopedic intolerance in people of all ages and abilities.
2. The rates of obesity for people with disabilities are 60% higher than people without disabilities.
3. Obesity is the number one cause of Type II diabetes and 40% to 50% of all diabetics become disabled!
4. We have a senior population that is living longer and is more obese than ever before and has the highest rates of diabetes and orthopedic intolerance than ever before.
By reaching out to other agencies, foundations, corporations and elected leaders at the State and Federal level, and by holding our annual September fundraiser, we intend to raise the appropriate amounts of monies and awareness each year to change how people with moderate to severe mobility disabilities have access to year round activity therapy and recreation.
Thatcher Duni, MA
Board President – MovingWithHOPE, Inc.
MovingWithHOPE is a 501(c)3 charity in Shelton, CT, that specializes in securing scholarship funds for individuals with complicated brain and spinal injuries, allowing them to participate in year-round activity therapy programs. These programs include strength and conditioning to improve balance, gait and mobility; transfer skills; fall prevention training; emotional well-being; and reduction of secondary health risks such as obesity, diabetes, and heart and cardiovascular issues.
Our goal is to provide the missing and much-needed link between our client and doctor that shows each client specifically what and when each step is needed to make positive lifestyle changes and how they can accomplish realistic improvements over time.
Mr. Duni received his Master's Degree from Columbia University in 1981 in Applied Physiology and Movement Sciences. He has been the past Fitness and Wellness Director of the Richardson-Vicks Wellness program (1985 to 1992) and the HealthNet Fitness Program Director (1999 to 2002).
He has owned, operated and been clinical director of LifeDesigns ReAbility Center since 1984, where he has personally worked with thousands of youth and adults with special needs and chronic illness improve their general health and well being.
Mr. Duni has served on various boards of directors for organizations such as the BHcare (Valley Mental Health), Chambers of Commerce, Rotary, Shelton Economic Development Corporation and American Heart Association. He was the co-founder and Chairman of The Shelton Day Festival and the President of the Shelton Commerce and Industry Association from 1985 to 1990. More recently, in 2010, he co-founded and co-chaired the very successful Wheeling and Able Shelton River Walk for four years which is being re-branded this year and being called “Down By The River”.
Indirect Public Support HelpIndirect public support represents revenue received through solicitation campaigns. This includes funding United Way and other federated fundraising organizations, but does not include donor designated contributions.
Earned Revenue HelpEarned revenue represents income generated in direct exchange for a product or service.Earned income includes income from government contracts.
In 2013, the Assistant Secretary for Special Education and Rehabilitative Services proposed a priority under the Rehabilitation Research and Training Center Specifically (RRTC), this notice proposes a priority for an RRTC on Promoting Healthy Aging for Individuals with Long-Term Physical Disabilities. The Assistant Secretary is using this priority for competitions in fiscal year (FY) 2014 and later years. They take this action to focus research attention on an area of national need. They intend the priority to contribute to improved health and function outcomes for individuals aging with long-term physical disabilities. MWH intends to compete for this grant in 2016.
MWH is also working with the offices of Senator Murphy, Senator Blumenthal, and Representatives Delauro and Himes to draft a bill that would amend an existing law to include funding for year round access to activity therapy, better nutrition and inclusive socialization to people with physical disabilities. This bill would help 10’s of 1000’s of people with physical disabilities around America to remain independent in their homes, improve health and wellness and maintain gainful employment.
Greater New Haven’s vibrancy is linked to its communities’ support of its neighborhoods, public gardens and sports, as well as its commitment to the protection of its people and pets.
A healthy community is a rich community. When we enjoy good health, when we engage in wellness activities – and when we support people living with disease or disabilities -- there are profound physical and psychological benefits. Simply put, we are all stronger and happier. To support the health and wellness initiatives in your community is to put good health within reach of all.
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New Haven, CT 06150
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