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City seeks nominations for 2013 Access Award

October 1, 2013 -

The City and the Municipal Accessibility Advisory Committee (MAAC) are now accepting nominations for the International Day of Persons with Disabilities Access Award, which celebrates efforts to improve access for people with disabilities.

"Access is about breaking down barriers and opening doors to include all Kingstonians," says Julie Salter-Keane, the City's Manager of Accessibility and Customer Engagement.  "If you know of a project that has made Kingston more accessible and inclusive, we want to know about it and give it the recognition it deserves."  She notes that more than a billion people – 15 per cent of the world's population  – live with disabilities.

Any Kingstonian or Kingston-based team, company or organization making a significant contribution, beyond legislated requirements, toward improving access for persons with disabilities in the city may be nominated. Eligible efforts could include: accessible building or vehicle or object design projects; programming that improves access to employment, recreation, leisure or transportation; or any effort that contributes to persons with disabilities living independently.

"We want to acknowledge the unsung heroes who are creating a barrier-free Kingston," said Mayor Mark Gerretsen. "If you know a project that's making a difference, please submit a nomination."

Nomination forms can be found at www.CityofKingston.ca/accessaward and submitted to the Clerk's Office, City Hall, 216 Ontario St., K7L 2Z3 by 4 p.m. on Thursday, October. 31.

The winner will be celebrated at an Awards Ceremony at Portsmouth Olympic Harbour, 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. on December 3 – the United Nations International Day of Persons with Disabilities.  Last year, H'art School won for "The Box," its fully accessible, mixed-ability performing arts studio at 237 Wellington St.

The United Nations International Day of Persons with Disabilities promotes awareness of disability issues and mobilizes support for the dignity, rights and well-being of persons with disabilities, and of the gains to be derived from their inclusion in every aspect of life.

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Media contact: For more information contact Cindie Ashton, Communications Officer 613-546-4291, ext. 3116. Or call the City of Kingston's media hotline at 613-546-4291, ext. 2300.

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