Mayor Joe Hogsett Honors Four Recipients with 2021 Access and Inclusion Awards
NEWS RELEASE FROM THE INDIANAPOLIS DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC WORKS:
INDIANAPOLIS— Mayor Joe Hogsett, in partnership with the Mayor's Advisory Council on Disability (MAC-D) and the Office of Disability Affairs (ODA) yesterday presented this year's Access and Inclusion Awards to four recipients. The Access and Inclusion Awards highlight individuals and companies who go above and beyond to support and celebrate people with all types of disabilities. The four awards are the Dustin Gilmer Exceptional City Service Award, Accessibility Award, Employer Award, and the James Pauley Lifetime Achievement Award.
"Access and Inclusion are two core values that are essential to our City being able to reach our full potential and better serve our residents, in this case our peers with disabilities," said Mayor Joe Hogsett.
Also during yesterday's event, Mayor Hogsett presented a proclamation commemorating National Disability Employment Awareness Month (NDEAM). Every October, NDEAM commemorates the contributions of people with disabilities make to America's workplaces and economy.
Dustin Gilmer Exceptional City Service Award
City-County Councillor Ali Brown, District 5, is this year's recipient of the Dustin Gilmer Exceptional City Service Award. In December of 2020, Councillor Brown proposed an initiative that was later adopted by the full Council called the Indy Autism Project. She spearheaded the effort to have the City partner with the International Board of Credentialing and Continuing Education Standards.
The effort outlines partnerships and strategies to help Indianapolis more effectively provide services and remove barriers for those on the autism spectrum. It includes six areas of focus: public safety, parks and recreation, workforce development, mass transit, travel and tourism, and community awareness.
The Accessibility Award was presented to Indianapolis Airport Authority (IAA). IAA ensures comprehensive ADA accessibility, including wheelchair-assistance for departing and arriving passengers, visual paging monitors, and braille signage.
The newest additions to the terminal are sensory rooms which provide a quiet environment with a variety of seating options, private space to relax with variable lighting, and a rotating art gallery, currently displaying work created by patients at the IU Health Simon Center.
The 2021 Employer award was presented to BOSMA Enterprises. As Indiana's largest employer of people who are blind, Bosma Enterprises is an example of a thriving business that provides accessibility for all its employees. Diversity, equity, and inclusion are ingrained in the culture and mission of the organization. Faced with the reality of many non-essential employees needing to telework from home at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, Bosma implemented virtual training programs to continue service to Hoosiers who are blind or visually impaired.
Additionally, throughout the pandemic, Bosma Enterprises did its part by providing over 700 million medical gloves to VA hospitals, 25,000 pieces of PPE to community charities, and critical services for nearly 1,000 Hoosiers dealing with vision loss.
James Pauley Lifetime Achievement Award
Finally, the James Pauley Lifetime Achievement Award was presented to Amber O'Haver. As the Executive Director of the Indiana Statewide Independent Living Council, Amber has continually demonstrated a tireless commitment to access, equity, and inclusion for those with disabilities. She works to ensure disability voices are elevated in every room where decisions are being made. Amber has led in this effort through the Advocates in Action program as well as her work on numerous commissions and task forces in our community. Her contributions ensure that issues of access, equity, and inclusion remain priorities in Indianapolis.
About the Office of Disability Affairs
As a division within the Indianapolis Department of Public Works, the Office of Disability Affairs (ODA) promotes the inclusion of people with disabilities, so that all citizens can live, work, and enjoy our City. ODA has been continuing its commitment to inclusion throughout Indianapolis since 2000 and has earned recognition from the National Organization on Disability as a recipient of the Accessible America Award, given to cities that model disability-friendly practices.
About the Mayor's Advisory Council for Disability
The Mayor's Advisory Council on Disability was formed in the 1970s under Mayor Hudnut to promote the inclusion and empowerment of people with disabilities within the Indianapolis community and to advise the Mayor and the City Administration on issues that impact people with disabilities.