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October 17, 2012

Competition to reward best accessibility service project

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. - A statewide competition will lead to cash prizes for groups who complete service projects improving accessibility for people with disabilities.

The Bridging Horizons Community Service Contest, sponsored by Indiana AgrAbility, Breaking New Ground and DuPont Pioneer, challenges community service clubs and groups to complete low-cost projects that enhance independence and promote success for people with disabilities in their communities. Past projects have included building a raised, wheelchair-accessible garden bed; building ramps and platforms to make walking trails more accessible; pouring concrete sidewalks; and modifying a tractor by adding steps, handrails and hand controls.

The contest is open to any community service organization for adults or youth, including FFA, 4-H, Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, Extension Homemakers, Elks and Lions. The contest is beginning in October this year in observance of National Disability Employment Awareness Month.

"Helping people get back to work is a big part of what we do at AgrAbility," said Kylie Hendress, AgrAbility engagement coordinator. "We came up with the contest because we can tell a farmer what he needs to make his farm or business accessible, but we don’t have the funding to provide that to him. Our hope is that maybe his local FFA or 4-H club could come out and do that as a community service project."

Hendress said projects do not have to be related to businesses or employment and that participants are welcome to contact the AgrAbility office for project advice and ideas.

Projects must be completed and submitted before June 1, 2013. Participants can find instructions for submitting their projects, as well as ideas and tips, at www.breakingnewground.info, under "Resources." First prize in the contest is $500, second is $250, and third is $150. In addition, there is a $100 prize for each of the first 10 projects submitted.

For more information, call 1-800-825-4264, send email to bng@ecn.purdue.edu, or visit www.breakingnewground.info

Writer: Jessica Merzdorf, 765-494-8402, jmerzdor@purdue.edu

Source: Kylie Hendress, 765-494-6679, khendres@purdue.edu

Ag Communications: (765) 494-2722;
Keith Robinson, robins89@purdue.edu
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