City Wins Award for Helping Disabled Blend In With Society

Times Staff Writer

San Diego received a $1,000 award Tuesday for city efforts to address the problem of integrating the disabled into the mainstream of society, a spokeswoman for the Park and Recreation Department’s Office of Disabled Services said.

The award, one of 13 in varying amounts given to cities nationwide, was presented at a ceremony in Washington by Presidential Press Secretary James S. Brady, disabled by an assassin’s bullet several years ago, and New Orleans Mayor Ernest N. Morial, spokeswoman Lisa Rini said.

San Diego won its award, out of 85 entries, based on development of a weeklong project last fall called Disabled Women’s Opportunity Week, sponsored by Disabled Services and several community organizations, Rini said.

The award was accepted on behalf of San Diego by a representative of Sen. Alan Cranston (D-Calif.).


The awards have been given for four years in recognition of outstanding programs that expand involvement of the disabled in the community, Rini said.

Annual competition for the awards is jointly sponsored by the Westinghouse Electric Corp. and the Washington-based National Organization on Disability.

The awards, one of $5,000, two of $2,500 and 10 of $1,000 each, fell into two categories: community achievement and project achievement, Rini said.

The San Diego program, which will be held annually, included an art show, a fashion show, programs on safety concerns, a tour of Balboa Park highlighting accessibility to the disabled, a drama workshop and a wheelchair basketball clinic.

The city of Carbondale, Ill., received the top award of $5,000 for improving accessibility to voting booths and revising construction plans of all city buildings to aid the disabled, said Mark Lewis, executive director of the National Organization on Disability.

The 5-year-old organization works with groups in 1,800 communities to increase community participation by disabled persons, Lewis said.