Post Content

Carr3 By MRC Commissioner Charles Carr

Earlier this month, the Independent Living Center of the North Shore and Cape Ann (ILCNSCA) launched an ‘All People Accessible Business" (APAB) initiative, a public/private partnership between the Massachusetts Rehabilitation Commission (MRC),  and local  businesses on the North Shore. The project is funded by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) and administered by the MRC.

The goal of this initiative is to  build relationships between local  business and people with  disabilities.  Accessible businesses that meet  ADA and state accessibility  standards are awarded the “ All People Accessible” designation  and will publicly display the designation decal.   As part of this initiative volunteers conduct accessibility surveys of participating local businesses; businesses found not to be fully accessible will receive guidance and assistance on how to improve access.  

Attendees at the May 20th  kickoff event at the  ILCNSCA in downtown Salem included U.S. Congressman John Tierney, Massachusetts State Representative John Keenan, Director of the Massachusetts Recovery and Reinvestment Office, Mr. Jeffrey Simon, and ILCNSCA staff and board members.  Volunteers and MRC staff and consumers, as well as representatives from local businesses and the North Shore Career Center were in attendance. Following remarks from Rep. Keenan and several of the ILCNSCA board members, the North Shore Career Center and Adriatic Restaurant and Bar were recognized for being the first two "All People Accessible" local businesses and were awarded APA decals.

Congressman Tierney stressed the importance of the “All People Accessible ” initiative as helping to create a more inclusive community for all residents.  He also talked about how a little bit of federal funding can have a lasting impact on the community at large and benefit the economy.

The “All People Accessible” project is just one of a number of quality projects that the MRC supports that are designed to help individuals with disabilities go to work and live independently in the community.  As Mr. Simon pointed out, the initiative has potential for wide-reaching and lasting impact. The project also satisfies both objectives of ARRA-supported projects as outlined by Governor Patrick: to have both an immediate economic impact and to yield quality, long lasting benefits and outcomes within the community.

I’m confident that “All People Accessible Business” designations will provide long-term benefit to the region as more businesses become increasingly accessible to people with disabilities, a Apablogo population with an estimated $175 billion in purchasing power nationally. Clearly, this initiative is a win-win for all area residents and businesses and I look forward to witnessing the lasting impact of “All People Accessible” and the accessibility it creates at local businesses. Beyond making businesses accessible for consumers with disabilities, these improvements make businesses more accessible as workplaces and creates greater employment opportunities for people with disabilities. 

For more information on the “All People Accessible” project, visit the Independent Living Center’s website at http://www.ilcnsca.org/.

# # #

 

Written By:

Recent Posts

Zakim Goes Green For Mental Health Month posted on May 22

Zakim Goes Green For Mental Health Month

Last year, when Josh Powers saw the Zakim Bridge lit up in blue for autism awareness, he immediately knew what he wanted to do.  He wanted to see the bridge lit with green lights to raise awareness around mental health.  “I want more people to   …Continue Reading Zakim Goes Green For Mental Health Month

Guest Post From Carolyn Graves posted on May 19

Guest Post From Carolyn Graves

Business owner Carolyn Graves, owner of Cakes & Islands, talks about overcoming her physical challenge to realize her sweet dream. I was born deaf. But with the use of hearing aids, I had some hearing.  Without them I couldn’t hear anything at all. My parents   …Continue Reading Guest Post From Carolyn Graves

DYS Statewide Event Spotlights Youth Success posted on May 14

DYS Statewide Event Spotlights Youth Success

A common challenge for many adolescents is finding healthy outlets where they can explore their interests in constructive ways. For many youth who come into our care and custody, individual access to healthy outlets can sometimes be a significant challenge. One way the Department of   …Continue Reading DYS Statewide Event Spotlights Youth Success