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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) hosted the 2017 Access and Inclusion Awards at the Indianapolis Arts Garden on Tuesday​, July 25.
This year's event recognized 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 Access and Inclusion Awards promote the inclusion and empowerment of people with disabilities within the Indianapolis community and advise the Mayor and city administration on issues that impact people with disabilities.​


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.