Last Tuesday, I attended the annual Mayor’s Advisory Council on Disability‘s Access and Inclusion Awards. (As for this post, better late than never, right?) This ceremony did not occur last year because the Mayor’s Office was considering merging these awards with other diversity award ceremonies. But, thanks to relentless advocacy from Councilmember Paula Haskin, Mayor Hogsett agreed to a 2017 program.
The ceremony began with a few words from the Mayor. His speech was geared toward empowerment and appreciation for the 27 years of continuing advocacy people with disabilities have made. His referring to a person in a wheelchair as “wheelchair-bound” was a minor blunder. For those who are unaware, “wheelchair-bound” is a disfavored phrase by many who use wheelchairs. We see wheelchairs not as something we are stuck in, but rather as tools of freedom. It was a teachable moment.
Awards were received by the following individuals:
- Scott Wise, owner of Scotty’s Brewhouse, won the award for being an employer offering opportunities to people with disabilities.
- Indy Pride won for being a community organization going above and beyond to include individuals with disabilities in its programming.
- Wade Wingler, of Easter Seals Crossroads, won the lifetime achievement award in honor of a life of service to individuals with disabilities.