This is the time of the year when many are looking for reasons to give thanks, and reflect upon events that occurred over the last year. Upon reflection, the Architectural Access Board (AAB) members and its staff would like to thank and acknowledge the many individuals and groups that participated with the 2009Accessible Design Awards.

The awards program is an opportunity to recognize architects for outstanding accessible designs in several categories. The AAB is delighted to report that the 2009 awards went to a variety of participants, in many different categories. Before moving onto to specific award winners, the AAB would like to extend its thanks and appreciation to the Boston Society of Architects (BSA), who in partnering with the AAB for the third awards program in a row, which has resulted in this year's program being a resounding success. The BSA's continued support, and the special efforts of Eric White, assured the awards program a positive outcome. Thank you Eric, for your outreach efforts and for coordinating the submissions for this year's judging.

This year, the AAB reached out to schools of architecture, and requested the schools to recommend one of their students to serve as a judge for the awards program committee. Thank you to the schools for your assistance with this new venture, and especially for recommending the students who served on the judging committee. The AAB would like to extend its thanks to the following students, whose insight, thoughts and comments were a breath of fresh air for the program: Elizabeth Quigley of Wentworth Institute of Technology, Griscel Diaz of Boston Architectural College, and Kyle Branchesi of Boston Architectural College.

After months of preparation, on a beautiful sunny summer day in August, the 2009 Architectural Access Board Design Awards ceremony was held. The Hall of Flags at the State House, filled with the sun of that day, set the stage for a special event. Dignitaries, participants, special guests, family and friends gathered and enjoyed a light lunch, refreshments and conversation. The AAB would like to extend its thanks to Undersecretary Kurt Schwartz from the Executive Office of Public Safety, for his support and participation. His kind and thoughtful words were appreciated by all in attendance. Thanks also to the Executive Director of the BSA, Tom Keane. Assisting with the awards presentation was Commissioner Thomas Gatzunis of the Department of Public Safety. Commissioner Gatzunis has been a great supporter of the AAB in its programs and efforts to assure access for individuals with disabilities throughout the Commonwealth.

A special recognition was given to Gerald LeBlanc for his many years of service to the AAB, as well as great appreciation for his service as the AAB Chairman. Mr. LeBlanc was recognized with a citation, signed by Governor Deval Patrick and Lieutenant Governor Timothy Murray. The Board's new Chairman, Donald Lang, made the presentation to Mr. LeBlanc and expressed the AAB's thanks and congratulations to Mr. LeBlanc.

The AAB would also like to thank the many entrants to the 2009 awards. The judging committee spent much time, effort and discussion in choosing the 2009 award winners. All 22 entries were thoughtful, and included designs that provoked debate and some difficulty for the judges in choosing the winners. Every entrant is a winner in their own right.

Lastly, thank you to the many friends and family who came in support of the 2009 Accessible Design Awards.

And now, for the Architectural Access Board 2009 Design Award winners. Please enjoy the descriptions and follow the links to view pictures and other information on the winners.

Summary of Design Award Winners - 2009