News from the Northwest ADA Center – Idaho

20110425-most-liveable-cityAsk any city and they are probably committed to improving the quality of life for its inhabitants. But city’s who strive for the title “Most Livable” want to provide equal access for all citizens, especially those with disabilities. Cities who refuse to settle for just meeting the minimum standards required by the ADA, and instead choose to go above and beyond the letter of the law to meet the spirit of the ADA will truly by “most livable”.

So how does a city surpass the minimum standards to become more fully accessible? By engaging the disability community to develop strong relationships capable of producing well thought out and lasting results. This means being pro-active instead of reactive. It means starting and maintaining a regular dialog with disability advocacy groups. Both have a responsibility here. The city in requesting valuable input, and the disabled citizen who is willing to self proclaim their disability and advocate on behalf of others to make their community more livable. These advocacy groups can volunteer to serve on the city’s Site Plan Review Committee. This can be as simple as making sure sidewalks are accessible paths of travel throughout the city, prioritizing those that need modification to meet ADA standards.

Perhaps its volunteering to help city officials see what it is like navigating the city transit system using a chair, or being provided information in an alternative format at City Council Meetings.

Or a core group that can work together with city parks and programs to make sure these meet accessibility needs, whether it is for intellectually impaired citizens, or the elderly.

When government and disability advocacy groups work together to go above and beyond the letter of the law they ensure access for all.

Dana Gover copyDana Gover, MPA, and ACTCP Certification, ADA Training and Technical Assistance Coordinator
Phone: Voice and Text 208-841-9422
Idaho Relay Service: 711