Residents are sought to join the new South Hadley Commission on Disabilities.
Creation of the commission was approved by Town Meeting Members at the Nov. 20, 2019 Special Town Meeting.
There are five positions available on the commission. The majority of members must be persons with disabilities. One may be a member of the immediate family of a person with a disability. One member must be an elected or appointed municipal official. The Selectboard is the appointing authority.
Apply by Jan. 30, here. The Selectboard will interview candidates at its Feb. 4 and 18 meetings, and appoint candidates in March.
The function of a disabilities commission is to advise and assist municipal officials in ensuring compliance with federal and state disability laws; review policies and activities of municipal departments and boards as they affect persons with disabilities; provide information, referral, advocacy and technical assistance to individuals, businesses and organizations in all matters pertaining to disability; and coordinate the activities of other local groups organized to meet the needs of persons with disabilities.
The Town of South Hadley recently had an ADA Self Evaluation and Transition Plan performed by Center for Living. This report is an essential requirement in respect to numerous grant and program applications for both the federal and state government.
There were many items identified in the report which will need attention. The place to start is by establishing a Commission on Disabilities under the provisions of MGL Chapter 40 section 8J which will establish a “Commission” to assist in making South Hadley accessible by structural changes or by way of providing accommodations.
Read the ADA Summary, here.
Read the Self-evaluation and Transition Plan Cost Estimate, here.
Find a link to the Commission on Disabilities page, here.