On Friday, Phoenix-based Metro light rail and Valley Metro will be honored with the 2009 ADA Liberty Progress Award presented by the Arizona Disability Advocacy Coalition (AzDAC).
The ADA Liberty Progress Award is granted to a community organization or advocate whose intent and actions embrace the accessibility, inclusion and advancement of Arizonans with disabilities. Metro and Valley Metro were selected as this year's recipients for involving passengers with disabilities in the design, development and execution of Valley transit services.
Metro included people with disabilities in every step of its implementation including the planning, construction and start-up phases, and also utilized an ADA Advisory Board, made up of representatives from all disability groups, to assist in the development of ADA-compliant design. Its Community Advisory Boards provided opportunities for feedback and access to staff during construction for people with disabilities to voice their concerns and have any issues addressed.
Meanwhile, Valley Metro involves the input of passengers with disabilities in the design or retrofit of transit vehicles; has a customer service department that is knowledgeable of disability related needs and provides fixed-route training specifically for passengers with disabilities.
AzDAC's program is celebrated annually in conjunction with the anniversary of the passage of the Americans with Disabilities Act.