SURVEY OF BEST PRACTICES IN COMMUNITY INCLUSION FOR PERSONS WITH DISABILITIES

More than 100 local governments, park districts, libraries, schools, and other non-profit organizations that collaborate together on accessibility projects have participated in a survey to identify Best Practices in Community Inclusion for Persons with Disabilities in the Chicago Metropolitan Region. Click here to review a summary of survey findings.

ADA 25 TASK FORCE

The Metropolitan Mayors Caucus (MMC) has established an ADA 25 Task Force of Mayors led by Lakewood Village President Erin Smith. Results from a survey of MMC members conducted in the summer of 2014 provide preliminary data demonstrating that local municipalities actively engage their citizens around community issues for persons with disabilities. A follow up survey will be developed to obtain more detailed description of how citizen commissions are structured, and a summary of their activities and best practices of community inclusion in the areas of: Accessibility, Housing, Education, Employment, Transportation, Technology Solutions for Full Participation, Collaborative Efforts with Schools, Parks, Libraries, Non-Profit Organizations and Civic and Community Organizations. For more information, visit the task force site.

OVERALL CREATIVE AND INNOVATIVE OUTREACH INITIATIVES TO PROMOTE INCLUSION AND PARTICIPATION BEST PRACTICES RECOGNITION

Municipalities will be invited to submit their best practices in the above areas and/or municipal ordinances, policies and program activities. The Task Force will select examples to be recognized and promoted via the websites of ADA 25 Chicago, MMC and Councils of Government which represent the municipalities by region. Contact information for the recognized community and/or coalition and a description of the program will be provided as a resource to others.

NETWORKING OPPORTUNITY FOR ADA COMPLIANCE

The MMC Task Force will assess interest about convening and facilitating a meeting of public ADA compliance staff, managers, and commission members as a networking opportunity to share information and serve as a resource in ADA compliance.

ADA 25 AND INCLUSION AT LOCAL/REGIONAL EVENTS

All municipalities will be invited to establish and promote opportunities for inclusion as part of local and regional events and celebrations beginning with any community events in celebration of ADA 25.

ADOPTION OF RESOLUTION

Municipalities will commit to efforts to invite full participation of persons with disabilities in a resolution to be considered for adoption by municipal boards.

The following is a list of towns that adopted the resolution:

• Carol Stream
• Chicago
• Chicago Ridge
• Diamond
• Franklin Park
• Geneva
• Hanover Park
• Hawthorn Woods
• Hickory Hills
• Lakewood
• Morton Grove
• North Aurora
• Richton Park
• Steger
• West Dundee

Please click here to view the proposed resolution.

PROJECT IMPACT

Local government leaders and mayors especially have an opportunity to renew their commitment to the ideals of the ADA - not only its legal aspects but its vision for full inclusion. Every community in the Chicago region will be asked to demonstrate support by adopting a resolution recognizing that having a disability is a natural part of the human experience and people with disabilities contribute and benefit from active participation in community life. The 273 municipal members of the Metropolitan Mayors Caucus have the capacity to reach and engage each community's residents. By leading this awareness effort locally, all citizens of the Chicagoland area will have access to enhanced knowledge of what inclusion looks like and how persons with disabilities can be welcomed to full participation in community life. In recognizing best practices and identifying successful programs and resources, MMC anticipates quantifiable outcomes by measuring existing efforts and connecting community leaders in ways that will lead to innovative and replicable programs and services. Increased awareness will lead to long term sustainable efforts that can be measured via additional surveys and self-reporting to the newly formed Task Force at MMC.