WASHINGTON, May 28 /PRNewswire/ -- The National Organization on Disability (N.O.D.) announced today that seven cities and three counties are the recipients of cash prizes in the 1999 $30,000 National Organization on Disability/United Parcel Service (UPS) Community Awards Competition. The competition recognizes outstanding local programs and actions that expand the participation of citizens with disabilities in the life of the community. The winners are Russellville, Arkansas; Columbia, Missouri; Somerville, Massachusetts; Minneapolis, Minnesota; The 39 Cities and Towns of Rhode Island; Corning, New York; Hibbing, Minnesota; St. Mary Parish, Louisiana; Orange County, North Carolina; and Atlantic County, New Jersey. Exceeding the requirements of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), Russellville, Arkansas was named the $10,000 Grand Prize winner. Russellville won for the positive way the city came together to implement the ADA. The comprehensive program includes advising local government, businesses and educational institutions, educating the community about disability issues, and involving people with all disabilities. With virtually no funding, Russellville was transformed from a city with severe non-compliance of the ADA to a city with widespread compliance. According to River Valley Accessibility Council Chairman of the Board, Sydney Case, the transformation occurred because of "people who are not afraid to dream, and then back those dreams up with their own blood, sweat, and tears." Another winner, Hibbing, Minnesota won for a modular ramp project that enables people who have newly acquired or temporary disabilities to continue to live in their own homes. The Community Partnership Program of N.O.D. promotes implementation of outstanding local disability programs through its nationwide network of 4,500 towns, cities and counties. Founded in 1982 as an outgrowth of the 1981 International Year of Disabled Persons, N.O.D. is supported entirely by the private sector through contributions from corporations, foundations and individuals. Its mission is to promote the full and equal participation of America's 54 million men, women and children with physical, sensory or mental disabilities in all aspects of life. The N.O.D./UPS Community Awards Competition is made possible by the generous support of UPS and The UPS Foundation. Jim Kelly, Chairman and CEO of UPS stated, "N.O.D. continually strives for full participation of people with disabilities in our society. UPS, which provides delivery service to every community in the United States, is pleased to once again support N.O.D. and applauds our nation's communities that are improving the quality of life for people with disabilities." N.O.D. President Alan A. Reich stated, "Since it is in the communities of America where 54 million of us with disabilities go about our lives, that's where action must take place. We're proud of these winning communities for setting the pace."
SOURCE National Organization on Disability