Disability Awareness Month

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In Edgewater, Disability Awareness Month holds significant importance in fostering inclusivity and understanding within the community. This dedicated month serves as a reminder to celebrate the diversity and accomplishments of individuals with disabilities. It also aims to raise awareness about the challenges they may face and the importance of creating an inclusive environment for all. 

Edgewater understands that we have a long way to go to remove all barriers and improve access and inclusivity to those with disabilities. Part of this understanding comes from listening to the needs of our disabled community members. In this article we would like to highlight a few projects and programs the City is doing to support individuals with disabilities. 

Through the last few years, Edgewater has made great investments in public infrastructure, especially pedestrian areas. The City will continue to work to update infrastructure with current legal requirements and best practices of the American Disability Act (ADA). Through every project our community learns more about the importance of access inclusion, proper design and implementation.   

The City Council recently approved the Edgewater ADA Transition Plan. This plan guides investments in making infrastructure more accessible. Current infrastructure is very dated here in Edgewater, and this plan identifies the physical barriers that limit accessibility and sets priorities on needed improvements. The Transition Plan provides guidance  for future budget and Capital Projects  by investing in accessible infrastructure.  

Through the 2024 Budgeting process the Edgewater City Council approved funding for a grant program to be utilized by local businesses to make accessibility changes to their properties. City staff are currently working on how this program will be implemented and are very excited about the opportunity to provide needed financial resources to make Edgewater Businesses more inclusive for our entire community. 

City staff have also added contractual staff to assist with reviewing and inspections for construction with a focus on ADA requirements and best practices. A new engineering firm was also recently hired that offers extensive experience with accessible infrastructure requirements. 

This  Disability Awareness Month is a great time for reflection, education, and action. This month we ask all community members to reflect on how they can make Edgewater more inclusive of everyone. 

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