Minneapolis celebration includes essay contest

To mark the 25th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), Minneapolis is hosting a celebration noon-3 p.m., Thursday, July 23 […]

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To mark the 25th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), Minneapolis is hosting a celebration noon-3 p.m., Thursday, July 23 at Minneapolis City Hall Rotunda, 350 S. Fifth St.

The event will feature speakers, awards, performances by Young Dance, a demonstration by Canine Inspired Change and tours of the latest accessible Metro Transit buses.

This event will include American Sign Language interpreters. The Rotunda is on the Fourth Street side of City Hall, by an entrance that is wheelchair accessible. Anyone needing a disability-related accommodation such as materials in an alternative format, should contact Claudia Diggs at [email protected] or 612-673-3750 by Tuesday, July 14. Para assistancia 612-673-2700 – Rau kev pab 612-673-2800 – Hadii aad Caawimaad ubaahantahay 612-673-3500.

Download a free ride pass from Metro Transit here. Recognition will be given to outstanding businesses that serve people with disabilities. The Minneapolis Advisory Committee on People with Disabilities would like nominations from people in the disability community for businesses that have provided outstanding service for this community. Click here for criteria and instructions. Emailed or mailed nominations must be received by July 14.

Outstanding businesses will be chosen from the nominations, notified ahead of time and recognized at the July 23 celebration. Nominations should be sent by Tuesday, July 14 here.

Minneapolis officials also invite people with disabilities to enter an essay question that explore the question: As a person with a disability, how has the ADA impacted your life? Submissions are limited to one essay per person. Writers must live, work or play in Minneapolis. The minimum length is 150 words, with a maximum of 300 words. Essay must be the writer’s original work. Send text only, with no photographs, illustrations, background graphics or colors.

Writers should include a phone number or email address for notification purposes. Include the writer’s full name and age category. The categories are ages 18 and older, and 18 and younger. One participant per age category will be recognized for the most outstanding essay at the July 23 celebration. The winners will be notified ahead of time.

Email submissions are preferred. Save the essay in a single Microsoft Word document with participant’s first and last name as the file name.  Email submissions to [email protected] with the subject line “ADA essay submittal.” Writers may mail or deliver essays to Crown Roller Mill, Room 425, Attention: Claudia Diggs, 105 Fifth Ave. S., Minneapolis, MN 55401.

The essays chosen as the most outstanding will be displayed at City Hall in the Civil Rights office. The writers of those essays will be presented with plaques and opportunities to engage with City officials throughout the rest of the year.

Besides observing the milestone, Minneapolis and its partners are focusing on improving engagement,  participation and quality of service for people with disabilities. Minneapolis has started a thorough ADA  evaluation of its own programs and services to identify possible barriers to residents. The Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board is reviewing recommendations for its ADA evaluation process. Every bus in Metro Transit’s fleet has a lift or ramp to accommodate wheelchairs and other mobility devices; newer vehicles have low, flat entrances that make boarding easier for everyone.

The 25th anniversary celebration is being organized by the City of Minneapolis Neighborhood and Community Relations Department, the City of Minneapolis Department of Civil Rights, the Minneapolis Advisory Committee on People with Disabilities, the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board and the Metropolitan Council.



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