September 4, 2001 1:01pm Source: PR Newswire

Finalists Named in First Annual Accessibility Awards; Winners to be Honored Sept. 28 at Hyatt Regency Dinner Program By ESD and National Multiple Sclerosis Society Michigan Chapter

SOUTHFIELD, Mich., Sep 4, 2001 /PRNewswire via COMTEX/ -- The nine finalists in the first annual da Vinci Accessibility Awards developed by ESD The Engineering Society (ESD) and the National Multiple Sclerosis Society (NMSS) Michigan Chapter, Inc. were announced today.

Finalists were selected from nominations in five categories. Winners will be honored Sept. 28 at a program called Dinner with da Vinci at the Hyatt Regency in Dearborn.

The nine 2001 finalists by category are:

* Assistive Technology: IBM Home Page Reader

* Facilities: Donald and Susan Miles Home.

* Information Technology: iCan.Com.

* Materials: Cool Things Fabric.

* Personal Mobility: Amigo Excite, Hurri-Cane Crutch, and Michigan State University's Shaw Lane  

* Vehicular Mobility: GM Mobility Center, and Saturn Corporation Three- door-coupe

Winners will be announced Sept. 7.

ESD and NMSS joined forces in this venture to increase awareness and understanding of the challenges facing people regardless of their physical ability.

The program was named after da Vinci because of his efforts to broaden humanity's horizons, which changed the way people, saw the world. The da Vinci awards are designed to honor the individuals and companies continuing his work through accessibility design innovations that have improved accessibility and empowered people, regardless of their physical ability and to showcase these efforts.

Proceeds from Dinner with da Vinci will support the efforts of ESD and the NMSS to ensure an accessible environment for all individuals regardless of their physical ability through education services and research.

"In a very real sense, the da Vinci Accessibility Awards will honor the men and women who continue da Vinci's work. Through their efforts in innovation and accessibility design, they continue to broaden our horizons to help all of us, regardless of physical ability -- see and experience the world around us in exciting new ways," said G. Richard Wagoner, Jr., General Motors President and CEO, Chairman of the Leadership Committee for the program. A Steering Committee of volunteers from both ESD and the MS Society has spearheaded the program under the Leadership Committee.

The first annual Dinner with da Vinci and awards program is sponsored by General Motors. The collaborative venture of two seemingly unrelated non- profit organizations is a unique partnership to bring awareness to the general public of the challenges individuals with physical disabilities face in their daily lives.

SOURCE: ESD The Engineering Society

CONTACT: Lee Sechler of ESD The Engineering Society, +1-248-355-2910


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