Disability Friendly City
National Organization on Disability (NOD) Community Partnership Program Director Nancy Starnes presented the first annual Accessible America Award, including a plaque and $25,000 check, to the city of Venice, Fla. Venice's application for the award detailed community efforts to welcome, include, and be accessible to people with disabilities. It surpassed 64 other strong entries from around the nation. These efforts include the City of Venice Accessibility Advisory Committee, structural improvements to make community facilities and parks accessible, a collaborative employment initiative, and the introduction of Braille and large-print ballots for local elections. Contact: (202) 293-5960 / www.nod.org.
Following a period of research and planning, the Casino Reinvestment Development Authority (CRDA) or Atlantic City, N.J., embarked on a unique and multifaceted universal-design homes project to introduce and employ the concept of universal design throughout the design and development of its new and existing housing programs in Atlantic City. CRDA, partnering with the American Association of Retired Persons (AARP) and the Center for Universal Design at North Carolina State University?s College of Design (NCSU), funded the design and construction of the Universal Design Demonstration Home. The project's goal is to showcase affordable new construction and practical features that accommodate a broad range of people of varying ages and physical abilities and can be seamlessly incorporated into new-home construction as well as remodeling and renovation. Contact: CRDA, (609) 347-0500 / firstname.lastname@example.org www.njcrda.com.
A recent lawsuit alleges that Walgreen Co., one of the nation's largest drugstore chains, discriminates against customers with mobility impairments, including people who use wheelchairs. The Berkeley, Calif.-based Disability Rights Education and Defense Fund, Inc. (DREDF) and the San Francisco law firm of Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe LLP, on behalf of Oakland, Calif., resident Anne Finger, filed the suit in Alameda County Superior Court. The lawsuit, which was brought exclusively under California law, challenges Walgreen's longstanding and systemic practice of blocking access to its store aisles and retail goods. Contact: DREDF, (510) 644-2555, or Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe LLP, (415) 392-1122.
Biking for Dollars
Mark Redpath wanted to do something special to demonstrate his commitment to helping disadvantaged children. So, he bicycled across the United States—and not at a leisurely pace. He did it in 14 days and called his endeavor the Unity Challenge. His effort raised more than $18,000 for Athletes Helping Athletes (AHA), a charity Redpath helped found in 2000 to provide handcycles, wheelchairs, prosthetics, and other adaptive sports equipment to children with disabilities. Contact: Mark Redpath, email@example.com www.UnityChallenge.org.
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