The city’s Commission on Disabilities is looking for ways to expand its reach and get out its message to more residents. The commission’s goal is to increase opportunities and remove barriers for people with disabilities by facilitating full and equal participation in all aspects of life within the city. The commission also helps assure compliance with Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act within the city.
The commission meets monthly, and at the August meeting on Tuesday, August 9, Vice Chair Pauline Perno said the commission should be looking at ways the members can become more involved with the community at large. One idea Perno floated was organizing meetings so they include a monthly guest speaker focusing on one subject of interest to adults and children with disabilities.
“I’m trying to put together a mini-calendar of events and have each [commission member] take a month where we could put together a mini-program and have a guest speaker,” said Perno. “We could get that information on board so we can then put it on our website and the city’s website. It’s worth a try just to get more community involvement on all levels both from committee members as well as the general public.”
Commission Chair Ralph DeCicco commended Perno’s suggestion and noted that the Disability Law Center of Massachusetts has expressed an interest in appearing before the commission to discuss the agency’s work.
“We’ve been low-key trying to get out there as a department, and I think that involvement may be able to roll out some other things and get some education out there,” said Perno.
Perno also mentioned that the commission may want to continue looking into a previously discussed Disability for a Day program throughout the city. DeCicco said he looks forward to working on that and added that Commission on Disabilities new High School Intern member Sofia Marmoucha could help get the word out about the commission’s work to students and young adults.
“She knows firsthand what some of the issues are and the possible discussions that would benefit young adults with disabilities,” said DeCicco.
Marmoucha, a junior at the Pioneer Charter School of Science II, said she is excited to be a part of the Commission and see how it works to improve the community in Revere and support one another.