Press Release

For Immediate Release
Contact: Melissa Merz
312-814-3118
877-844-5461 (TTY)
mmerz@atg.state.il.us

February 9, 2006

MADIGAN ANNOUNCES 3rd ANNUAL PROGRAM TO RECOGNIZE INNOVATION IN RECREATIONAL ACCESS FOR ILLINOISANS WITH DISABILITIES

DEADLINE FOR APPLICATIONS IS MARCH 1, 2006

Chicago – Attorney General Lisa Madigan has opened nominations for the 3rd Annual Recreation Access Best Practices Awards, designed to recognize organizations, businesses, individuals and government agencies that have created recreational opportunities for Illinois residents with disabilities.

In making the announcement, Madigan continues a program which is part of Recreation Access Illinois (RAI), her office’s ongoing, statewide effort to promote recreational opportunities for people with disabilities. The awards are intended to recognize outstanding efforts and to encourage full access to recreation programs and events for Illinois residents with disabilities.

Public and private organizations, individuals, businesses and government agencies may qualify for the Recreation Access Best Practices Awards. Applicants are asked to submit details of activities, programs, facility upgrades, events and other initiatives that illustrate unique and effective approaches to accessibility in recreation. Eight Best Practices Awards will be available, one in each of the following categories:


Single unit of government (agency budgets up to $1 million);
Single unit of government (agency budgets over $1 million);
Two or more units of government (agency budgets up to $1 million);
Two or more units of government (agency budgets over $1 million);
Commercial for Profit (agency budgets up to $2 million);
Commercial for Profit (agency budgets over $2 million);
Not-for-Profit (agency budgets up to $250,000); and
Not-for-Profit (agency budgets over $250,000).

Applicants may submit only one award nomination.

A panel appointed by the Illinois Association of Park Districts (IAPD) will review all entries and make recommendations for awards. Madigan will chair the panel, which will include a representative of a park district, a special recreation association, a not-for-profit agency, a for-profit firm and two persons with disabilities.

“The Recreation Access Best Practices Awards program has two goals,” Madigan said. “We want to recognize the work of those who promote good health and fitness in the disability community. And by doing so, we hope to encourage others to follow their lead and increase the availability of accessible recreation facilities and inclusive programs.”

Recreation Access Best Practices Awards nominations must be received by March 1, 2006. For qualifications and nomination forms call 1-800-900-8086 (Voice and TTY) or visit www.RecreationAccessIllinois.org.

Funding for Recreation Access Illinois (RAI) and the Recreation Access Best Practices Awards is provided through the Vitamin Anti-Trust Settlement and administered by Attorney General Madigan’s office.

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