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Project Description


Summary

Standing by our commitment to accessibility and reaching out to the social justice community as a whole, encuentro 5 is raising funds to install a wheelchair accessible bathroom and to purchase a portable ramp for the front steps of the entryway.

Background: Accessibility & Equal Participation

Out of the vision of the Boston Social Forum, encuentro 5 emerged as a space for a wide range of social change movements. Believing in the motto, “a better world is possible,” e5 became a meetings and events space and incubator of many progressive organizations. At the same time, e5 recognized that a key component to this “better world” is the equal participation of all people involved in social change movements and endeavored to address the issue of accessibility in a number of ways.

The geographic location of e5 in Chinatown is at a central transit point, accessible by public transportation from various communities of greater Boston; e5’s political character emphasizes stewardship and inclusion over ideological fragmentation; and e5 provides below-market price office and event space for low-income groups to afford. Over the years, e5 invested in ways that have increased accessibility of those visually impaired to e5’s computer resources, as well as incorporated the technology that allows people to view events and take part in meetings from remote locations.

Challenge

Residing on the 5th floor of an old building in Chinatown, however, results in the exclusion of those who rely on wheelchair accessibility, effectively precluding their participation. This directly challenges e5’s vision for being an open and inclusive space dedicated to social change.

Objectives

Our goal is to make encuentro 5 an architecturally accessible space so that people with disabilities can be equal participants in all meetings and events. In the next six months, we aim to raise the funds and install a wheelchair accessible bathroom on our floor, as well as purchase a ramp for the street level entryway. In the process, we would like to involve people directly impacted by accessibility constraints, reach out to the social justice community as a whole, and raise public awareness about accessibility through an online dialogue engaging a broad range of topics, such as visual and auditory impairment, linguistic and cultural barriers, multi-location participation methods, etc.

Budget

Our goal is to raise $40,000 for the construction, materials, and organizing time of the project. This amount is 3x the annual salary paid to our staff and nearly equivalent to our annual costs. We are looking at three sources to raise these funds over the course of two months: (1) Grants - $10,000, (2) Individual donations - $20,000, and (3) A major fundraising event - $10,000.

How to get involved?

There are many ways of supporting The ACCe5S! Project, including donating your time, throwing a house party, making an individual pledge, etc. Visit our Support Acce5S! page or contact Alisa at alisa@encuentro5.org for more info.