With a new chair, the Commission on Disability is launching public outreach for Saugus citizens who may need help
Guided by a new chair who was recently appointed as a member to the town’s Commission on Disability, the volunteer board is reaching out to the community in an effort to address the chief concerns of Saugus’ disabled population.
“I am hoping to give back to the town that I grew up in by helping volunteer my time for a worthy cause,” new commission Chair Mark Currie told The Saugus Advocate this week.
“I wanted to join this Commission because I saw the need for new members. My brother [Kevin Currie] is a longtime member of the Disability Commission; I kept hearing him say that they were short members,” Currie said.
“My history of growing up with an individual with disabilities in my immediate family leads me to be more cognizant than some others in recognizing that correct ADA procedures are being met,” he said.
Joining the Currie brothers on the commission are Marion “Midge” Dawicki and Thomas Traverse.
“The Commission has had continuous active members,” Mark Currie said.
“These members have always been available; they answered any complaints that may have arisen and also answered questions from state agencies. Like everything else, it had been difficult to actively recruit new Commission members during the pandemic,” he said.
Currie identified the major goals and objectives of the Commission:
- Research local issues impacting people with disabilities
- Coordinating or carrying out programs designed to address issues regarding people with disabilities in coordination with programs of the Massachusetts Office on Disability
- Reviewing and making recommendations about policies, procedures, services, activities and facilities of departments, boards and agencies of the Town of Saugus as they affect people with disabilities
- Providing information, referrals, guidance and technical assistance to individuals, public agencies, businesses and organizations in all matters pertaining to disability
- Assisting and coordinating activities of other local groups organized for similar purposes
“It is my understanding that the Commission has not received a lot of complaints in the recent past,” Currie said.
“That being said is why we felt it would be good to post something to the public,” he said.
Currie wants to hear from affected town residents if sidewalks are not accessible or require repair. Do people with disabilities have trouble accessing a local business? Do you have a problem with handicapped parking space(s) in the town? “We want to know,” Currie said.
“These are just a few of examples of what we might be able to help you with. The Town of Saugus Commission on Disability wants to know if you have any disability-related concerns. Call, email or join us for one of our in-person meetings,” he said.
“Don’t be shy! If you have an issue or a concern, chances are that someone else does as well. The goal of the Commission is to ensure that Saugus is fully inclusive of people with disabilities,” he said.
Residents with disabilities should feel free to reach out to the commission at any time, regarding any issues that are impacting their ability to fully participate in activities, events or civic and community life in Saugus, according to Currie. People with concerns about access problems for citizens with disabilities can reach the chair by emailing him –Mark.R.Currie@Gmail.com – or calling him at 781-258-6198.