Ability Center kicks off centennial year, announces partnerships

Press Staff Writer

        At a Jan. 16 media event to kick off their centennial year, The Ability Center unveiled local community partnerships aimed at making the Toledo region the most disability-friendly community in the country.
        In January 2019, The Ability Center, through its Disability Dialogue campaign, posed the question, “What would it take for our area to become the most disability-friendly community in the country?” The campaign brought together the broader community to offer insight and perspective on what the center can do by working together and increasing inclusive programming.
        Disability-friendly describes a community that values and welcomes the potential and participation of each of its citizens and visitors – including those who live differently.
        The Ability Center is working to create a disability-friendly community by working with partners to implement transformational solutions across six sectors including housing, transportation, education, employment, health care, and accessible spaces.
        2020 partnerships include:
        • City of Toledo: The City of Toledo will collaborate with regional partners to stress the importance of an accessible city and the impact it has on its citizens.
        Toledo Lucas County Library: Serving as a gateway to all citizens, all library staff will participate in disability awareness training teaching best practices on serving people of all abilities. A podcast will be developed highlighting local people, places, and spaces that are disability friendly.
        Toledo Mud Hens: The Minor League Baseball organization will continue to take an affirmative approach to hiring people with disabilities. The Mud Hens will also team up with The Ability Center to host a summer celebration in recognition of the 30th anniversary of the passing of the Americans with Disabilities Act.
        • Employers’ Association: A business designed to connect people to jobs, the Employers’ Association will focus on employment projects that result in real career opportunities for people with disabilities.
        • The University of Toledo: The University of Toledo launched a first-of-its-kind bachelor’s degree in disability studies that expands the understanding of disability in practical application.
        • Metroparks: Toledo Metroparks has ingrained accessibility in their organizational culture and will continue to incorporate design features that work for everyone.
        To engage further with The Ability Center’s vision of creating the most disability-friendly community in the country, visit www.abilitycenter.org/disabilityfriendly.
        The Ability Center, a non-profit Center for Independent Living (CIL) serving Northwest Ohio, serves the seven counties of Lucas, Ottawa, Wood, Fulton, Henry, Defiance and Williams.
        A visual timeline of the history of the agency can be found at www.abilitycenter.org/centennial.


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