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Metro Parks named 2015 Disability Business Advocate of the Year

November 1, 2015

Tacoma Commission on Disabilities cites Metro Parks for outstanding leadership

Metro Parks’ remarkable effort to improve conditions and create opportunities for people with disabilities has been recognized by the Tacoma Area Commission on Disabilities, an appointed volunteer commission of the City of Tacoma.

On Tuesday, Oct. 20, the Tacoma City Council presented the 2015 Disability Business Advocate of the Year award to Tim Reid, president of the Metro Parks Board of Commissioners.

“I’m proud of Metro Parks’ commitment to our entire community, including people with disabilities,” Reid said earlier. “We have a long history of reaching out to those who need a little extra support. Our board has pledged to continue that inclusive tradition in our future projects and programs.”

Often organizations that commit themselves to serving the needs of disabled people are not honored for it, said Commission on Disabilities chairperson Gerrit Nyland in a letter to Jack Wilson, Metro Parks executive director. “We are very grateful and privileged to have you in our community,” Nyland said.

Another member of the commission, Krystal Monteros, offered a personal testimonial. “Staying active in the Metro Parks Adaptive Strength and Conditioning class has not only helped me stay fit and active, but it has also given me the opportunity to form unbreakable friendships with other people, like myself, who are living with disabilities. All the staff truly have a true heart for people living with disabilities. It is such a blessing to be a part of all that Metro Parks Adaptive Recreation has to offer.”

Since its establishment in 1907, Metro Parks has served the needs of community members with and without disabilities to include specialized, adaptive and inclusive programming.

Its Specialized Recreation program for people with developmental disabilities is at least 60 years old and serves more people in more activities than any in Washington. Metro Parks annually spends more than $10,000 to accommodate participants.

In 2009, Metro Parks launched its Paralympic programs. More than 1,200 athletes with physical disabilities take part each year.

In 2005, Metro Parks voters approved a bond issue that included $84.3 million to ensure accessibility at more than 20 park sites. In December, the organization laid out plans for continued improvements to facilities over the next several years to achieve its ADA Transition Plan goals. In July, the Metro Parks Board of Commissioners reaffirmed its commitment to the civil rights act protections of the disabled and issued a proclamation that honored the 25th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act.

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