Five exemplary organizations and companies from around the world round out the 2016 class of Ruderman Inclusion Prize winners, announced today, each receiving $50,000 for demonstrating model inclusion for people with disabilities

Boston, MAThe Ruderman Family Foundation has today announced the winners of its fifth annual Ruderman Prize in Inclusion, five grants totaling $250,000 awarded to companies and organizations that operate innovative programs and provide services that foster the full inclusion of people with disabilities. The five organizations from around the world will collectively receive the quarter of a million dollars from the Foundation as recognition for the critical work being done, and to ensure that resources are available to enable them to continue their work and grow, striving towards the full inclusion of people with disabilities. Priority this year was given in the fields of technology, the arts and advocacy in the media.

This year’s prize recipients include: AXS Maps, a groundbreaking, online database and mobile app that allows users to find, rate and share accessibility information on businesses and buildings throughout the United States; Bezalel, a world-renown art and design school in Israel that creates innovative design products specifically for people with disabilities; Egalite, an online employment platform for people with disabilities to connect with companies and find jobs; the Media Access Awards, an annual award ceremony in Los Angeles that honors, highlights and promotes disability and its depictions in film, television and new media; and Sozialhelden e.V., a Germany-based nonprofit organization that works to change the way people with disabilities is reported in the media by making disability content and photos more accessible.

“This year’s Ruderman Prize in Inclusion awardees represent the innovation and ingenuity taking place around the globe that is leading us to a more inclusive world,” said Jay Ruderman, President of the Ruderman Family Foundation. “As our societies move away from the segregation and institutionalization of people with disabilities toward respecting the rights of twenty percent of our population to be fully included in every aspect of modern life. Our awardees from Hollywood, Brooklyn, Germany, Israel and Brazil are examples that can inspire us to do better and be better in making disability inclusion a reality."

Over 400 nominations for the prize flooded in from around the world over the past five months from all walks of life and institutions. 30 organizations and companies worldwide have now been recipients of the prize throughout its five-year history, including in Russia, the U.K., United States, Mexico, Israel, South Africa, Australia, Canada and Argentina.

The Ruderman Inclusion Prize shines a spotlight on programs whose work best exemplifies the full inclusion of people with disabilities, celebrating them as inspiration and models that could be replicated elsewhere. The Prize is a signature program of the Ruderman Family Foundation, which believes that inclusion and understanding of all people is essential to a fair and flourishing community.

"Our awardees from the U.S (Hollywood and Brooklyn), Germany, Israel and Brazil are examples that can inspire us to do better and be better in making disability inclusion a reality,” Ruderman added.

About the Ruderman Family Foundation

The Ruderman Family Foundation is an internationally recognized organization, which advocates for the full inclusion of people with disabilities in our society. The Foundation supports effective programs, innovative partnerships and a dynamic approach to philanthropy in advocating for and advancing the inclusion of people with disabilities throughout America.

The Ruderman Family Foundation believes that inclusion and understanding of all people is essential to a fair and flourishing community and imposes these values within its leadership and funding.

For more information, please visit www.rudermanfoundation.org