[NFBWATlk] Sedro-Woolley Forms ADA Advisory Group - Goskagit.com - October 30, 2020
Noel.Nightingale at ed.gov
Mon Nov 2 17:48:08 UTC 2020
Sedro-Woolley Forms ADA Advisory Group
By Vince Richardson
October 30, 2020
SEDRO-WOOLLEY - The city of Sedro-Woolley has formed an Americans with Disabilities Act Advisory Group to assist with developing an ADA Transition Plan.
The plan will set the groundwork for the city as it aims to provide equal access to public programs, services, facilities and activities for all residents, including those with disabilities.
A virtual public workshop will be held via Zoom from 6 to 7:30 p.m. Nov. 5. A five-minute online survey is open until Nov. 8. Go to ci.sedro-woolley.wa.us<http://ci.sedro-woolley.wa.us/> and find the ADA Transition Plan under the Resources menu.
The advisory group, which holds monthly virtual meetings, will offer recommendations to the city regarding ADA improvements.
The state Department of Transportation helped spur this push for ADA compliance.
"Basically, the Department of Transportation started to put an emphasis on agencies, making sure they have an ADA Transition Plan," said Director of Public Works Mark Freiberger, who is managing the local project. "(The plan will include) an inventory of our facilities either built to their requirements or to know if it is not."
The department set April 21 as a deadline for agencies to have a transition plan in place, "or else you are not eligible for federal transportation funds," Freiberger said. "So that is the hammer."
The advisory group is comprised of five community members who either manage individuals or are involved with ADA safety issues professionally, are disabled themselves, or both. Three city staff members help facilitate and provide support to the advisory group.
Judy Jones is a member of the group. Legally blind, the Sedro-Woolley resident is well versed in the ADA realm. Her husband Chris is also blind.
"We have been involved a lot in disability issues and accommodations," Jones said. "We are involved with the National Federation of the Blind, one of the largest blind movements in the United States with upwards of 50,000 members. Every state and territory has an affiliate."
Getting involved with this advisory group was an easy and obvious decision for Jones.
Before moving to Sedro-Woolley, she lived in Twin Falls, Idaho, and worked for the Idaho Commission For The Blind And Visually Impaired until retiring in 2017.
"I have been really impressed with what I have seen so far," Jones said of her experience with the advisory group. "... I am just glad the city wants to do something and is pulling some disabled people in to get their feedback."
Jones said she has learned a lot from listening to other disabled people and the barriers they face, including some that never occurred to her.
Those barriers will undoubtedly be addressed by the advisory group, as it works to have a transition plan in place by the end of March.
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