Every year at Celebrate: Triangle, Inc.’s Annual Awards Ceremony and Fundraiser, we honor people who use their voice to advocate for inclusion in the community. In the coming weeks, we will be announcing this year’s honorees to be recognized at the event on Wednesday, April 15th at the JFK Library and Museum. Event tickets and sponsorship information is available here.
We are excited to announce that Salem Mayor Kim Driscoll will be our 2020 Public Official of the Year. As an organization with deep roots in the Salem area, we recently doubled the size of our service site with a move to Shetland Park. This expansion would not have been possible without the steadfast support of local officials and Mayor Driscoll.
Mayor Driscoll has made accessibility and inclusion a priority over the course of her entire political career. In her 15 years as mayor, she has championed the rights of people with disabilities around the city. Mayor Driscoll helped lead Salem to become one of the first cities in Massachusetts to adopt the Accessible Icon on municipal signage. The city worked with Triangle, Inc. to replace the traditional International Symbol of Access with an active and engaged image that places focus on the person with a disability.
In 2014, Mayor Driscoll deepened her commitment to inclusivity by signing Salem’s non-discrimination ordinance into law. In her words, “There are no second-class citizens in Salem. We not only embrace diversity, but champion it.” In addition, her administration collaborated with the Gerontology Institute at the University of Massachusetts Boston to create the “Salem for All Ages Action Plan,” which provides a roadmap for the city to lift up people of all ages through accessibility. Last year, Mayor Driscoll continued her work towards inclusion by spearheading an initiative to update Salem’s current ADA Transition plan. The city applied for and received a $75,000 grant from the Massachusetts Office on Disabilities and, using those funds, retained the Institute for Human Centered Design to help update the older plan. The city has already begun planning for work to implement the plan’s recommendations so they can continue to improve levels of accessibility for all residents.
Mayor Driscoll addressed the honor, saying “I am honored to be selected as Triangle’s Public Official of the Year. Triangle has been a powerful advocate and voice for those living with disabilities, both here in Salem and throughout Massachusetts. As an inclusive community to all, Salem is proud that Triangle has chosen our city to call their home and to be such an engaged and positive partner in the important work of creating a society that is welcoming and supportive of people of all abilities and aspirations. For nearly five decades Triangle has helped countless individuals and their families discover that everyone has value and that everyone is a person with ability.”
Her actions as mayor have helped create a safe, inclusive, and welcoming environment for the Triangle, Inc. program participants who are based in Salem. As our site recently expanded its capacity to serve Salem and surrounding communities, Triangle could not have a more ideal partner in the Mayor.
Please stay tuned to our email newsletter, ConnectAbility, and our social media channels as we announce our other honorees.