U.S. Department of Commerce Invests $716,004 in American Rescue Plan Funds to Support Accessible Tourism Options for People with Disabilities in Chicago, Illinois
WASHINGTON – Today, the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Economic Development Administration (EDA) is awarding a $716,004 grant to Strategy for Access Foundation NFP, Chicago, Illinois, to boost tourism growth and increase accessibility and equity within the city’s tourism industry by increasing awareness of accessible tourism options across Chicago. This grant is funded by the American Rescue Plan.
This investment will highlight attractions that are accessible for individuals who are deaf/hard of hearing or blind/low vision, or have mobility issues, sensory sensitivities, or developmental disabilities. The EDA investment will be matched with $199,000 in local funds and is expected to create or retain 55 jobs, according to grantee estimates.
“The Economic Development Administration plays an important role in supporting community-led economic development strategies designed to boost coronavirus recovery and response efforts,” said Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Economic Development Alejandra Y. Castillo. “This project supports an equitable and inclusive tourism industry in Chicago that will draw more visitors, create jobs and build resiliency in the region.”
“Individuals with disabilities deserve equitable access to all parts of life, including tourist attractions,” said Senator Dick Durbin. “These programs are critical in ensuring Chicago’s tourism industry furthers its inclusivity, and I’ll keep working to bring these federal funds home to better the lives of all Illinoisans and those visiting our state.”
“Chicago is one of the best cities in the world for tourists to experience, and with more and more facilities becoming ADA-accessible, it’s important for visitors to know all the sites available to them,” said Senator Tammy Duckworth. “With this federal support, we can showcase some of Chicago’s many accessible attractions while supporting jobs in the area’s tourism sector. I’ll continue to push for a future where Americans of all ability statuses are able to enjoy our nation’s attractions.”
This project is funded under EDA’s $240 million competitive American Rescue Plan Travel, Tourism, and Outdoor Recreation program. EDA awarded $510 million in grants to all 50 states and territories in 2021. The two programs are designed to accelerate the recovery of communities that rely on the travel, tourism and outdoor recreation sectors. Effective May 26, 2022, EDA has officially closed all of its American Rescue Plan programs for applications. The $3 billion program funding will be awarded on a rolling basis through September 30, 2022.
About the U.S. Economic Development Administration (www.eda.gov)
The mission of the U.S. Economic Development Administration (EDA) is to lead the federal economic development agenda by promoting competitiveness and preparing the nation's regions for growth and success in the worldwide economy. An agency within the U.S. Department of Commerce, EDA invests in communities and supports regional collaboration in order to create jobs for U.S. workers, promote American innovation, and accelerate long-term sustainable economic growth.