If there were a listing of ”100 Worst Communities for Young Residents With DisAbilities,” Somerville would be at the top of the list.
The Mayor’s Young Somerville Advisory Group end-of-year meeting and presentation (Oct. 26) is advertised as ”Free and open to the public.” This public event includes a Q & A with the mayor.
Apparently, Mayor Curtatone isn’t aware that Villens between the ages of 21-35, who experience stairs as a deal-breaking-barrier, are also legitimate members of the public.
The event will be held at Precinct, located in Union Square.
above top photo: the inaccessible Precinct entrance
above bottom photo: entrance stairs as viewed from bottom
The Precinct, in the basement of the 66-70 Union Square “Plaza Building” is only reachable by a set of steep downward stairs. Although an elevator services the facility’s first through third floors, it is not available to patrons at this basement bar.
Meaningless rhetoric or State-of the-Art ignorance?
One of the Mayor’s YSAG goals is to, “increase communication between City government and people in this age group.” This inaccessibly-planned Annual public meeting is serviced by the mayor’s designated ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) Coordinator, C. Campbell, who is also a Communications Department staffer.
I’m guessing that YSAG doesn’t intend to leave out people with disAbilities; they’re just unaware of what “public access” means, by code and by law. But Mayor Joe and his designated ADA Coordinator ought to have a clue by now…
Consequences Include Lack of Equal Opportunity, Lack of Social Inclusion, Lack of Political Stepping-Stones
As a result of the multiple barriers-by-design in Somerville’s recreational programs, qualified Young Villens living with physical disabilities can’t work at alot of programs within the Somerville Youth Workers Network.
Villens living as disabled are also poorly serviced by many of Somerville’s Shape-Up activities, which claim to be “improving Somerville infrastructure to augment access to areas for walking and biking.” A recent SV post ran down the E. Somerville Safe Routes to Schools map which demonstrates a city disregarding State and Federal pedestrian access codes.
This No-Access Mayor’s 2011 Annual meeting of the Young Somerville Advisory Group is yet another example of Somerville deciders demonstrating lack of Know-how.
Young Villens with diverse abilities can Show-how. Their legitimate rights to equal access & opportunities have been on the books since the Rehabilitation Act of 1973.
Let’s Move, Joe.