Columbia is ranked high for accessibility

Sunday, December 28, 2003 | 12:00 a.m. CST; updated 2:51 p.m. CDT, Sunday, July 20, 2008

The National Organization on Disability has named Columbia one of 11 finalists in the third annual Accessible America Contest.

“All of the finalists have gone way beyond the requirements of the Americans with Disabilities Act. They have been very creative with their accessibility programs and do a good job at welcoming people with disabilities into their community,” Brewster Thackeray, vice president of the national group, said Saturday.

The winning city, scheduled to be announced Monday, will receive a $25,000 grant from United Parcel Service. The money can be used to fund efforts to help people with disabilities.

Mayor Darwin Hindman said he is “very proud” of Columbia’s nomination.

“Accessibility is a top priority in everything we do,” Hindman said. “We try to anticipate any future ADA requirements while working to improve existing accessibility projects.”

The finalists, selected from 64 cities, are: Alexandria, Va.; Austin, Texas; Bloomington, Ind.; Cambridge, Mass.; Chicago; Fountain Valley, Calif.; Jacksonville, Fla.; Los Angeles; Miami Beach; and Phoenix.

— Christian Detrick

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