Disability Talk Stuff

Disability Awesome: Lakeshore Foundation Is An Alabama Bright Light Helping People With Disabilities

Welcome to Disability Awesome. Each week, this post will feature a person or persons with mental and / or physical disabilities who are doing awesome things! As someone with an disability, I love it when others when disabilities do great things!

Post by Karim Shamsi-Basha from Alabama NewsCenter

Jeff Underwood focuses on making a difference in the lives of others. The president of the Lakeshore Foundation is in a position to do just that.

“The Lakeshore Foundation exists to work with people with physical disabilities and chronic health conditions, and to provide opportunities for a healthy lifestyle. We do this through a wide variety of programs in aquatics, sports and outdoor recreation,” he said. “We also apply research and evidence-based programs, which puts some science behind our programs.”

The Lakeshore Foundation is active in the Birmingham community by advocating on behalf of people with disabilities. It’s reputation is global, attracting patients and disabled athletes from around the world.

“Our programs offer a first-class facility and services that include a wide variety of classes and personalized instruction. On the sports side, we have many teams of different sports,” he said. “It has been challenging, however, since the pandemic started 18 months ago, but we have met those challenges.”

Underwood said the Lakeshore Foundation staff has been delivering many of its programs online.

“We have offered up to 30 different classes a week on a virtual platform, and we will continue to do so even after the health crisis is behind us,” he said. “The challenge with the pandemic is that the population we serve is vulnerable and they need to have access to physical activity.”

As more people get vaccinated, team sports and other activities are starting back up at the Lakeshore Foundation. Keeping the safety standards is paramount for Underwood and his staff to achieve their goals.

Underwood accomplishes these goals with the help of grants and donations from people and organizations, such as the Alabama Power Foundation.

“The Alabama Power Foundation has been incredible with their support. We have always had a board member from the power company. Every time we have a big project or a big need, one of the first conversations we have is with Alabama Power,” Underwood said. “They have been a true partner in helping us communicate the message of helping people with disabilities.”

Underwood considers the mission of the Lakeshore Foundation – helping people with disabilities – paramount.

“I go outside the building and see the people of our community, a wounded warrior or an athlete with disability doing all they can do to be as healthy and active as they can be,” he said. “It’s clear that the work has impact. It’s incredibly fulfilling. My hope is that what we do at the Lakeshore Foundation makes a difference in the lives of others.”

For more information or to donate, visit www.lakeshore.org.

Alabama Bright Lights captures the stories, through words, pictures and video, of some of our state’s brightest lights who are working to make Alabama an even better place to live, work and play. Award-winning journalist Karim Shamsi-Basha tells their inspiring stories. Email him comments, as well as suggestions on people to profile, at [email protected].

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