Group photo of all the award recipients at the 2023 Mayor's Awards

Mayor's Awards Honor "Advancing Access and Equity" in the Workplace

Authored on
October 30, 2023

The community gathered this week to honor local businesses and nonprofits that are “Advancing Access and Equity” at this year’s Mayor’s Awards. It’s been 50 years since landmark legislation made things like ramps, accessible transportation, and closed captioning a requirement in the workplace. We’re proud to highlight Santa Barbara's dedication to ensuring equal employment access for people with disabilities and fostering an inclusive workforce.

THANK YOU to our incredible keynote speaker, 27-year-old disability rights advocate Chelsea Crabill-Hauptli. Chelsea has played a pivotal role in mental health advocacy through her extensive volunteer work at a mental health non-profit, advocating for crucial legislation enabling peers with mental illness experience to receive state certification. Her efforts extend to fostering important dialogues around mental health within the LGBTQ+ community, demonstrating her dedication to inclusivity and support for all. In addition to helping found the Rapid Response Committee at the Independent Living Resource Center in 2021, Chelsea is actively pursuing state certification as a peer mental health advocate, and she is exploring avenues to establish a support group for young adults experiencing vision loss in Santa Barbara, showcasing her unwavering commitment to advocacy and support across various fronts.

Image of Chelsea Crabill-Hauptli standing at a table with a laptop and beautiful bouquet of flowers speaking to an audience
Keynote speaker Chelsea Crabill-Hauptli.

⁣Congrats to The Home Depot Store 6623 Goleta for winning this year's Employment/Accommodation Award, recognizing their exceptional commitment to ADA-inspired employment practices! They've empowered employees with hearing impairments by providing tools like cell phones and speech-to-text apps, fostering a more accessible and diverse work environment.⁣ Award accepted by Cynthia Ramirez, Assistant Store Manager.

⁣Hats off to Easy Lift Transportation for winning the Design & Accessibility Award! They've been a driving force in providing innovative and inclusive transportation solutions for people with disabilities, making it easier for everyone to access the services they need.⁣ Award accepted by Ernesto Paredes, Executive Director.

⁣A round of applause for Grace Fisher Foundation Inclusive Arts Clubhouse, they are the Non-Profit Award recipients! They're creating an inclusive and accessible space where kids of all abilities can explore the arts, fostering friendships and creativity without any cost.⁣ Award accepted by Grace Fisher, Founder and Creative Director.

⁣Big shoutout to Santa Barbara Airport for the Outstanding Effort Award! Their participation in the Sunflower Program goes the extra mile to support people with hidden disabilities and creates an inclusive environment for those seeking employment opportunities.⁣ Award accepted by Angi Daus, Airport Marketing Supervisor.

You can read more about the Airport’s Sunflower Program here.


Organizing Committee:

  • City of Santa Barbara
  • Department of Rehabilitation
  • Tri-Counties Regional Center
  • Independent Living Resource Center
  • Santa Barbara Unified School District
  • Momentum Work, Inc.
  • Trade Joe's
  • Santa Barbara City College
  • PathPoint
  • Julie Homes
  • Bree'Osh
  • Pam Gunther

Additional thanks to:

  • SoCal Albertsons
  • Santa Barbara EAC
  • The Smithbot