Hoeven Working to Support Greater Opportunities, Quality of Life for Persons With Disabilities

Senator Tours Annie’s House Adaptive Winter Sports Facility

BOTTINEAU, N.D. – Senator John Hoeven today toured Annie’s House, an adaptive winter sports facility for persons with cognitive and physical disabilities at Bottineau Winter Park. As a member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, Senator Hoeven works to support programs to improve the quality of life of persons with disabilities, ensuring they have access to vital services and empowering them to exercise greater self-determination. To this end, the senator helped secure increased funding in Fiscal Year 2016 for the following programs:

  • University Centers for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities – received an increase of $1 million, up to $38.6 million, in support of education, research and public service at university-based centers that promote the well-being, independence and inclusion of persons with disabilities. The program supports the North Dakota Center for Persons with Disabilities at Minot State University.
  • The Assistive Technology Act – received an increase of $1 million, up to $34 million, to support programs that help individuals with disabilities access assistive technology services they need to live, work and attend school. Currently, over 73,000 individuals are served by such programs in North Dakota.

“Annie’s House serves as a tremendous tribute to the life of Ann Nicole Nelson,” Hoeven said. “We continue working to support meaningful programs like this that provide more opportunities for individuals with disabilities and disabled veterans to lead their lives to the fullest potential.”

The 11,500 square foot facility was founded through the efforts of Gary and Jenette Nelson in memory of their daughter Ann Nicole Nelson, who was the only North Dakotan killed in the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks on the United States. In partnership with the New York Says Thank You Foundation, the Nelsons created a plan and raised more than $1.5 million for the project.

Last year, Annie’s House received a $71,165 grant from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs’ (VA) Adaptive Sports Program to support winter sports programming for veterans with disabilities. Hoeven wrote to the VA earlier that year urging the agency to support the facility’s application.