Friends of the Tunbridge World’s Fair recognized for accessibility

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TURNBRIDGE — The Vermont Center for Independent Living, a statewide disability rights organization, honored the Friends of the Tunbridge World’s Fair recently for their commitment to accessibility.

The Friends provide free shuttle service from the main parking lot to the fairgrounds for the popular annual event.

All of the shuttle drivers are volunteers.

Susan Sanderson of Montpelier, who nominated the organization for the award, applauded them for recognizing the need for people to get out into the community, noting that her own sister would not be able to attend the fair were it not for this service.

Deb Mullen graciously accepted the award on behalf of the Friends of the Tunbridge World’s Fair, noting that the organization is working to make the fairground’s barns and grounds more accessible.

The award presentation on July 19 was part of VCIL’s celebration of the 29th anniversary of the signing of the Americans with Disabilities Act.

VCIL is a nonprofit directed and staffed by individuals with disabilities that work to promote the dignity, independence and civil rights of Vermonters with disabilities.

“The ADA allows for program access and this is a great example of that,” VCIL Executive Director Sarah Launderville said. “Providing these services makes it so people with disabilities can choose to participate in activities that nondisabled folks take part in regularly. Our society benefits when all are included and we applaud these accommodations.”

Congress passed the Americans with Disabilities Act with an eye toward preventing discrimination, in all aspects of society, against people with disabilities.

President George H.W. Bush signed the act into law on July 26, 1990, proclaiming, “Let the shameful walls of exclusion finally come tumbling down.”

The Tunbridge World’s Fair starts on Thursday, Sept. 12. For more information, visit