A collaborative effort between the Resource Center for Persons with Disabilities (RCPD), Campus Park and Planning (CPP) and Fishbeck, Thompson, Carr and Huber (a civil engineering firm) resulted in MSU's receipt of a daVinci Award in the Personal Mobility category. The award, a large engraved crystal, honors inventions and innovations that improve accessibility for all people regardless of their physical ability.
A September 28, 2001 Black Tie Event provided recognition for MSU and five other winners by several hundred attendees including dignitaries Richard Wagoner (CEO General Motors Corporation), Debbie Stabenow (State Senator) and Emery King (EMCEE and Detroit television newscaster). The prestigious award from the Engineering Society of Detroit and the National Multiple Sclerosis Society with corporate sponsorship from General Motors Corporation, DaimlerChrysler, Ford Motor Company and Lear Corporation recognized MSU's innovative accessible pedestrian intersections, located on Shaw Lane. The new intersections provide multi-modal information about the status of the pedestrian crossing indicators.
By pairing conventional visual indicators with both verbal messages and tactile feedback, persons with visual disabilities and combined visual and hearing disabilities now receive valuable information about the status of the pedestrian signals. Students, employees and visitors alike enjoy enhanced confidence and independence as they cross the formerly challenging intersections. This project and corresponding state and national recognition demonstrate the possibilities when campus departments work collectively and provide leadership through universal design concepts.
News of MSU's innovation and award resulted in a feature article in the Construction Association of Michigan's trade publication while the local community discovered the innovations through articles in the MSU News Bulletin, State News and Town Courier.