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14th Annual Excellence in Cultural Access Awards

Accessibility: Before and After Panel Discussion


Excellence in Cultural Access Awards

Took place Thursday, June 15, 2023
Grounds For Sculpture | Hamilton Township, NJ

This event was open-captioned.

Registration and Coffee
9:30 – 10:00 AM

Panel Discussion
10:00 AM – 12:00 PM


Sam Hwang, Director of Guest Services, Grounds For Sculpture
Namecca Parker, General Manager of NJ Paratransit/AccessLink
Erica Saganowski, Executive Director, Mercer County Office on Aging
Reed Thomas, PASP Coordinator, Mercer County Office on Aging
Wanda Williford, President, NJ Council on the Blind

We often focus our attention on how to make our spaces and programs accessible for patrons with disabilities, but we tend to overlook that the experience starts long before and continues long after the event. How people get to your spaces, how they get home, and how they enjoy a meal with friends before or after is something we all think about – now it is time to talk about these experiences with regards to our patrons with disabilities. 

The morning session featured a panel discussion on transportation options in our state for people with disabilities, the challenges of transportation for people with disabilities, and explore ways we as a community can break down transportation barriers to our venues. In addition, we discussed what staff members of cultural organizations need to know when communicating important information to their patrons with disabilities before and after their visit, and how to be an advocate for other accessible experiences in your community, like friends going out for a meal before or after attending a cultural event. 

Lunch and Awards Program
12:00 PM – 2:00 PM