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Students win home design contest

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The Shintaro Akatsu School of Design at the University of Bridgeport.

The University of Bridgeport announced that three teams of students majoring in interior design at the Shintaro Akatsu School of Design (SASD) won nearly every award, including first place, in the Visitability Home Design Contest, an annual competition that challenges teams to create attractive, livable homes to accommodate people with severe disabilities.

The contest is sponsored by Independence Unlimited, a Connecticut organization that works to empower people with disabilities to live in the community as an alternative to institutionalization. Entries were judged by a panel of design, architecture and housing professionals.

First place and a $250 prize was awarded to students Isabella Theberge, Nikita Bontra, Moataz Alhawidni, and Mona Albalawi

Among the other award winners were SASD students Alanis Vega-Cruz, Meghan Kennedy, Amanda Stewart, Christiane Pina, and Kelly Howard.

Contest entries had to follow so-called visitability guidelines. Homes were required to have one zero-step entrance, wider doors and halls, and at least one bathroom on the main floor large enough to accommodate a wheelchair.

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