The Vermont Center for Independent Living recognized a Burlington cafe on Oct 13 for its commitment to accessibility. Speeder & Earl’s co-owner Jessica Workman received the Rosemary J Miller Dining for All Award. The award is named for VCIL’s longtime receptionist, who retired in 2011 after over 30 years on the job. Miller, who was born with cerebral palsy, has been and continues to be a steadfast advocate for disability rights.
Miller enjoyed a delicious cup of hot cider at Speeder & Earl’s before presenting the award. She said, “The shop is unique and very eclectic and vintage in decor. They have the best ADA ramp and I appreciate the lower counters. The bathroom was very spacious and has great grab bars.”
VCIL Executive Director Sarah Launderville said, “I thank Jessica Workman for welcoming us into her space and letting us see her vision for the inclusive environment she helped create. We really enjoy being able to honor businesses that have accessible spaces and understand the importance of them. The atmosphere at Speeder & Earl’s was inclusive and lovely.”
Speeder & Earl’s was nominated for the award by Nate Besio of Colchester. He said, “I am a wheelchair user and have been a frequent customer at Speeder & Earl’s ever since they installed their ramp. I have found the building and the people working there extremely accessible and accommodating. I feel like they have taken the extra steps recently to be more accessible to people with disabilities and should be recognized for their efforts.”
The Vermont Center for Independent Living, a nonprofit organization directed and staffed by individuals with disabilities, works to promote the dignity, independence and civil rights of Vermonters with disabilities. Like other independent living centers across the country, VCIL is committed to cross-disability services, the promotion of active citizenship and working with others to create services that support self-determination and full participation in community life. For more information, visit www.vcil.org.
PHOTO BY STEFANIE MONTE: From left, VCIL Executive Director Sarah Launderville and Rosemary Miller present a Dining for All Award to Jessica Workman, co-owner of Speeder & Earl’s in Burlington. Also pictured are Nate Besio and Kimberly Colville.