SEVEN CITIES ARE FINALISTS IN 2009 ACCESSIBLE AMERICA COMPETITION
(2/27/2009) Contest Will Award Disability-Friendly City $25,000
The National Organization on Disability (NOD) has announced seven finalists in its 2009 Accessible America Competition. The finalist cities in alphabetical order are: Alexandria, Virginia; Denver, Colorado; Indianapolis, Indiana; Louisville, Kentucky; New Haven, Connecticut; Sioux Falls, South Dakota; and Surprise, Arizona. The finalists were selected from entries received from around the country. Applications came from cities nationwide and with populations ranging from 300 to more than 700,000 people, and disability populations ranging from a few hundred to tens of thousands. Alexandria, Indianapolis, Louisville, New Haven, and Sioux Falls are repeat finalists.
Houston, Texas won last year’s contest; previous winners include: Berkeley, California, Cambridge, Massachusetts, Irvine, California, Pasadena, California, Phoenix, Arizona and Venice, Florida.
The award, sponsored by AARP, recognizes communities that have made extraordinary efforts to create an accessible environment for people with disabilities.
NOD presents a cash award of $25,000 to the winning community to recognize and encourage comprehensive disability accessibility and opportunity. The money encourages further progress and can be used to fund local disability-related efforts.
“We are delighted that once again this year, a diverse group of American cities and towns applied for this award,” said AARP Livable Community Portfolio Director Brewster Thackeray. “The finalists are a very impressive group that are going far beyond the requirements of the law, and are truly thinking outside the box to set new and inspiring examples of livable communities for all.”
These towns and cities documented their commitment to the full inclusion of people with disabilities in all areas of life. All U.S. cities and towns were eligible to enter the contest. In addition to recognizing community-wide progress, the Accessible America Award encourages replication of efforts by other communities.
NOD President Carol Glazer said, “The 2009 Accessible America finalists represent examples of our hope for growth in understanding of the valuable resources that people with disabilities represent. The country’s youth with disabilities and veterans with disabilities bring with them an especially strong desire to contribute to the economic, social and cultural vitality of their communities. Their opportunities open the doors to greater participation by all.”
The National Organization on Disability, founded in 1982, promotes the full and equal participation and contribution of America’s 54 million men, women and children with disabilities in all aspects of life. For more information about NOD’s programs including previous Accessible America finalists and winners visit www.nod.org.
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