Wednesday, January 28, 2004

Inclusion Network to honor groups

The Cincinnati Enquirer

The Inclusion Network, a downtown-based nonprofit organization, will honor five groups Thursday for their efforts to promote inclusion of people with disabilities:

• The Cincinnati Area Chapter of the American Red Cross accommodates the needs of volunteers, as well as those learning from or being served by the agency. The Cincinnati Area Chapter makes its first aid and CPR classes accessible by using closed-caption videos and Braille materials, offering verbal tests for people who can't read and placing mannequins on tables for people who can't work with them on the floor. The agency also distributes smoke alarms with strobe lights for people with hearing impairments.

• Visionaries and Voices, a nonprofit arts organization, opened a 1,200-square-foot studio/gallery last year in the Essex Studios, a collection of arts studios in Walnut Hills. The Visionaries and Voices studio, which is accessible for people with disabilities, features works of art made by self-taught artists, including people with disabilities.

• The Aiken Leadership Team at Aiken High School in College Hill devotes about 1,300 volunteer hours annually collecting food for children in need, visiting retirement communities and cleaning up their school campus.

• Renegade Garage Players, a community theater group in the East End, brings people with and without disabilities together for performing arts, community service and continuing education.

2004 Outstanding Community Contribution Spotlight Award

• The Cincinnati Recreation Commission Foundation worked with more than 30 companies and hundreds of volunteers on the 1,000 Hands Project to create Every Child's Playground at Sawyer Point. The playground is designed to accommodate children with disabilities. Features include a paved pathway from the parking lot to the playground, tactile playground maps, tactile puzzles, Braille signage and therapeutic swings.

Jennifer Mrozowski

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