Internationa Letter Writing Competition


Access to many public and private educational facilities remains a significant obstacle for students of all ages with mobility-related disabilities.

Garaventa (Canada) Ltd. is sponsoring AccessABILITY ’98, a letter writing competition open to elementary, high school and post-secondary students in the United States and Canada.

AccessABILITY ’98 is designed to highlight the need for and benefit of improving accessibility for persons with mobility-related disabilities.

By providing inspirational examples of how various people have successfully overcome accessibility challenges to achieve their goals, both big and small, Garaventa wants to help create greater public awareness and understanding of the accessibility issues in North American schools.

Students throughout North America are invited to enter the competition. The competition closes June 15; winners will be announced the week of July 15, 1998.

Garaventa was pleased to receive a letter from Rick Hansen, C.C., O.D.C., and Canada’s hero, the “Man in Motion.”

Mr. Hansen says he is delighted to provide encouragement to students considering participating in Garaventa AccessABILITY ’98.

“In 1985, I embarked on a journey to wheel around the world. I wanted to draw attention to the challenges faced by people with disabilities and to encourage others to remove the unnecessary barriers that we face.

Although a lot was accomplished during the Man in Motion World Tour, we still have a long way to go in our quest to remove both physical and attitudinal barriers. I am heartened by the progress in the last decade, and know that real and lasting change occurs with a concentrated team effort, and a vision for social change. It occurs when people buy into a common dream and work together, toward its accomplishment.

I would encourage each and every student to look around their community, school and environment, not only to identify accessibility issues, but to work toward possible solutions.

I have had the opportunity to speak to hundreds of students, and I truly believe our hope for the future lies in the hearts, minds and values of youth — in their commitment to society and in the action they will take to make a difference.

Above all, I would encourage each and every student to set their own goals and never, ever give up on their dreams!”

Competition submissions will be evaluated primarily on the message or theme, although consideration will also be given to the originality, language and style of each letter.

Entries from both countries will be combined and screened to meet general competition requirements. Finalists will be chosen by a panel of judges that includes leading figures from journalism, government and advocacy groups.

Judges are:
– Eric Boyd, Managing Director, Canadian Paraplegic Association;
– Miriam Braunstein, Assistant Editor, New Mobility Magazine;
– Raymond Cohen, Publisher/Editor-In-Chief, Abilities Magazine;
– Edwina Julliet, Director, U.S. National Task Force on Life Safety for People with Disabilities
– Gordon H. Mansfield, Executive Director, Paralyzed Veterans of America.

Prizes will be awarded to the top three finalists in three categories: elementary (Grades 1 to 7); high school (Grades 8 to 12); and post-secondary (college, university or technical school).

The winner of the post-secondary category will receive a $2,500 scholarship. Second- and third-place winners will receive $1,500 and $1,000 respectively.

In the high school category, a $1,500 scholarship is offered for first place; second prize is a $1,000 scholarship and $750 will be awarded for third. The top three elementary school winners will receive scholarships of $500, $250 and $175. All prize money is in U.S. dollars.

In addition to these scholarship prizes, 10 honorable mention awards will be given in each category.

Co-sponsored by authorized Garaventa dealers throughout North America, winners will each receive a certificate and $100 (U.S.) cash. Garaventa will donate an Evacu-Trac emergency evacuation device for persons with mobility-related disabilities to the three schools or institutions in the name of the first-prize winners in each category.

For more information on AccessABILITY ’98, and to obtain competition entry forms, contact Garaventa at 1-800-663-6556, or visit their website at


Dedicated to developing safe and reliable accessibility solutions since 1978, Garaventa (Canada) Ltd. is a world leader in the development of accessibility products for persons with mobility-related disabilities.

7505 134A STREET
TEL: (604) 594-0422
FAX: (604) 594-9915


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