FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
For more information contact
Dr. Mary Lopez, Executive Director
TAMMY BEARD OF YELLOW CAB OF PRINCE WILLIAM COUNTY RECEIVES PRESTIGIOUS COLGAN AWARD
Manassas, Virginia--December 20, 2010. On behalf of Independence Empowerment Center, the Senator Charles J. Colgan Advocacy award will be given to Tammy Beard, owner of Yellow Cab of Prince William County. The award is bestowed annually by the center for independent living, which serves Prince William and Fauquier Counties, Manassas and Manassas Park.
What sets Tammy Beard apart to warrant this award? Beard has purchased and put six (6) accessible cabs on the road. The Americans with Disabilities Act passed in 1990 was instrumental in getting a lot made accessible to people with disabilities in our country. Unfortunately, it did not always reach all areas of need, particularly as far as transportation was concerned. While public buses have been accessible for many years now, routes have not been available to all; and while some people have been included in bus service through the ¾ of a mile deviation, it still does not cover those not within that range.
Sitting back and viewing the landscape, Beard started dreaming about acquiring accessible taxicabs. (The beauty of accessible taxicabs is that they cannot be run at a fee higher than what other riders might be charged.) There was never any outside source telling Yellow Cab that they needed to get accessible cabs. In Beard’s words, “It’s just the right thing to do.”
The award is named for Senator Charles J. Colgan, who has long been a friend to the disability community. As Chair of the Senate Finance Committee, he helped to ease the financial hardships associated with disability. He has patroned many bills to ensure the rights of people with disabilities and promote their employment. He co-sponsored the Economic Development for Virginians with Disabilities Grant Program, which created a government fund for nonprofit organizations that employ or train people who have disabilities or workplace disadvantages. He also sponsored legislation that increased the financial worth limit on the tax exemption for people who are elderly or have disabilities, and in 2004, expanded the use of disabled parking and license plates to parents or legal guardians of people with disabilities.
Senator Colgan has followed and been a part of the activities of Independence Empowerment Center (IEC) since it first started more than 16 years ago. IEC’s mission is to support, empower, and provide options to people with disabilities. IEC helps people to gain access to services appropriate to their needs, exercise their civil rights, participate in all aspects of society, and advocate their value to society.
The award was presented at IEC’s annual holiday open house on Wednesday, December 18 from 4:00 to 6:00 pm, 8409 Dorsey Circle, Suite 101-102, Manassas, VA 20110.