Thomas M. Kennedy was a volunteer advocate for people with disabilities who passed away in April of 2008. To honor his tireless efforts and dedication to equality and access for all, the Warren County Board of Chosen Freeholders established the Thomas M. Kennedy Excellence in Accessibility Award to recognize “individuals, businesses, and organizations that are user-friendly and accessible to all and/or have initiated notable efforts which have facilitated accessibility.”
Members of the general public can nominate Warren County businesses and other places of public accommodation, organizations, and Warren County residents for the award. To make a nomination, you will need to complete a nomination form and mail it to the Warren County Disability Advisory Council (DisAC). The DisAC will review the application and conduct a physical review of the place of business.
Nominations must be received by August 1st of each year, with the final selection of the honoree to be announced in October. (For a printed copy of the nomination form and/or assistance with the nomination process, call us at 1-888-383-3296 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.)
Warren County’s businesses and other places of public accommodation, organizations, and Warren County residents are eligible for consideration for this award. Small and privately-owned businesses will be given priority. Factors to be considered include:
1) Access to the building from the sidewalk(s) or parking area (e.g., ramps, accessible parking, and widened entrance).
2) Access to goods or services (e.g. interior ramps, arrangement of racks).
3) Access to restrooms; and removal of any other barriers.
4) Customer service and efforts to remove attitudinal barriers will also be considered. To be truly accessible, businesses and their employees should treat all customers with respect, and provide reasonable accommodations and other assistance as needed.
Presentation of the Award:
The Thomas M. Kennedy – Excellence in Accessibility Award, along with a Proclamation enacted by the Warren County Board of Chosen Freeholders shall be presented to the annual honoree at a Warren County Board of Chosen Freeholders meeting in October of each year (during National Disability Awareness Month). The name of the award recipient shall be placed on the Thomas M. Kennedy – Excellence in Accessibility plaque hanging in the Wayne Dumont, Jr., Administration Building in Belvidere, NJ.
–Text adapted from the Warren County Disability Advisory Council’s award guidelines.–