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2017 Access and Inclusion Awards Celebrating 27 years since the signage of the Americans with Disabilities Act

The Mayor's Advisory Council on Disability (MACD) will host the 2017 Access and Inclusion Awards at the Indianapolis Arts Garden Tuesday​, July 25 from 11:00 AM-1:00 PM.
This year's event recognizes 27 years since the passage of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). Enforcement of the ADA has given persons with disabilities chances for equal opportunity, full participation, independent living, integration and economic self-sufficiency.
The Awards promote the inclusion and empowerment of people with disabilities within the Indianapolis community and advising the Mayor and city administration on issues that impact people with disabilities.​

During the Access & Inclusion awards the MACD will hand out four awards. 
  • ​James Pauley Lifetime Service Award 
This award was established in memory of James K. Pauley, an early leader of the Indianapolis Mayor’s Advisory Council on Disability, and Chairperson from 1978 to 1980.  As a person with a disability, Mr. Pauley was a lifelong advocate and active volunteer in the disability community. The recipient of this award should be an individual who has demonstrated outstanding contributions promoting the inclusion and independence of persons with disabilities in the Indianapolis community.​

  • ​Accessibility Award 
The Accessibility Award is designed to recognize an individual, business or organization in the Indianapolis community that has made exceptional contributions to eliminate barriers to ensure persons with disabilities can access and participate in events, programs and activities. Contributions to any and all aspects of community life in Indianapolis, including art, culture, recreation, leisure, commerce, travel, worship and social life will be considered.​

  • Employer Award 
The Employer Award is designed to recognize an individual, business or organization in the Indianapolis community that has demonstrated an extraordinary commitment to providing career training, employment and/or advancement opportunities to persons with disabilities.
  • Exceptional City Service Award
The recipient of this award will be an Indianapolis City Employee who demonstrates outstanding contributions and service, promoting the inclusion and independence of persons with disabilities through his or her work at the City of Indianapolis.

If you would like to submit nominations for any of these awards please download the form below and return it to the Office of Disability Affairs. 

The Mayor's Advisory Council on Disability partners with the Indianapolis Office of Disability Affairs and the Office of the Mayor to continuously build upon civic, social and economic opportunities for individuals with disabilities in Indianapolis. As a result of this partnership and the work of leaders throughout our community, the National Organization on Disability has recognized Indianapolis as a model of a disability-friendly city and named it as the winner of the 2009 Accessible America Award.
The mission of the Mayor's Advisory Council on Disability is to promote the inclusion and empowerment of people with disabilities within the Indianapolis community, and to advise the Mayor and the City Administration on issues that impact people with disabilities. Councilmembers are appointed by the Mayor and are volunteers who make a difference in Indianapolis by:
  • Providing a forum for community issues/activities affecting citizens with disabilities;
  • Reacting through study and recommendation to issues brought to the attention of the Advisory Council by the Mayor of Indianapolis and the community;
  • Fostering public awareness and education of the needs and abilities of citizens with disabilities;
  • Supporting legislation and administrative processes as approved by the Mayor of Indianapolis; and
  • Supporting endeavors of the Mayor, undertaken on behalf of citizens with disabilities


The Mayor’s Advisory Council on Disability was founded in the 1970’s during Mayor William Hudnut’s tenure with the support of numerous disability advocates. It was formed as an inclusive, non-political coalition of persons with disabilities, advocacy groups, private industries, community service agencies and city administrators to increase accessibility and awareness in Indianapolis. Since the Council’s inception, many initiatives have been accomplished and the Council is ever striving to utilize the expertise of its members to create a culture of collaboration within all diverse groups in the City of Indianapolis.
Notable accomplishment of the Mayor’s Advisory Council on Disability include:
  • Collaboration with the Indianapolis/Marion County Division of Homeland Security in enhancing the Community Emergency Management Plan
  • Hosting a business roundtable for the purpose of sharing information with disability employment service providers on how to approach and develop relationships with employers
  • Creation of a video entitled "Comfort Zone: Understanding Disability Culture" in which people with a variety of disabilities discuss themes of disability culture in the context of their daily lives
  • Providing feedback regarding the design of the new Indianapolis International Airport
  • Mayor’s Summit on Accessibility: Attracted over 300 participants from all walks of life to work toward identifying issues that impact individuals with disabilities and their families in Indianapolis
  • Mayor’s Housing Summit: Educated local citizens and builders of the importance of universal design
  • Collaboration with the Mayor’s Office and the Office of the Marion County Clerk to promote polling site accessibility
Additionally, the Council strives to recognize success stories, distinguished service to the community and commitment to inclusion through the Annual Access and Inclusion Award Celebration. This public event is held every July in honor of the anniversary of the signing of the Americans with Disabilities Act.