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This might be one of the best success stories I’ve seen from an association working to create awareness. 

You might remember last year, when NMEDA launched the first National Mobility Awareness Month

The goal: educate seniors, veterans, caregivers, and people with disabilities about wheelchair accessible vehicles and adaptive mobility equipment options available to them to live an active and mobile lifestyle.

The association sought “local heroes” to award wheelchair accessible vehicles to at the end of the month. 

Apparently, the allure of accessible transportation was enough to rouse people all over the U.S. and Canada to nominate and vote for individuals—enough so that NMEDA decided to sponsor the month again this May. 

The great thing about this is, it isn’t just people who need accessible vehicles or their families that awareness is spreading to. Local TV and newspaper reporters are picking up the candidates for human-interest stories. 

I’ve seen at least two such stories a week since the nomination period began. Here is one example of a wheelchair user from Tennessee announcing she was a semifinalist. 

Those local news stories and NMEDA’s social media efforts have reached an unbelievable amount of people. 

“It has been another great year for Mobility Awareness Month,” stated Dave Hubbard, executive director and CEO of NMEDA in a June 7 press release. “We made more than 1.2 billion impressions through the media and social media engagements throughout the campaign and hope that we’ve helped those in need of mobility solutions find necessary resources. We are equally excited about the 1,225 people entered into the Local Heroes campaign and look forward to how their lives are changed and specifically those of our three winners.”

Now that we’re officially done with May and National Mobility Awareness Month, NMEDA has announced the winners. Those winners will likely get mentioned by their local news sources—again building awareness, despite the fact that the official awareness month is over. 

…and the winners are:

Abigail Carter from Lexington, Ky.

Jeff Scott from Victoria, B.C.

Steve Herbst from Palatine, Ill.


Maybe other HME groups working to build awareness can pick up a few strategies from NMEDA?