MELROSE — As part of the City’s efforts to assess the current level of compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) in City programs, services, activities, and facilities, the City of Melrose has collaborated with the Melrose Commission on Disability (COD) and the Institute for Human Centered Design (IHCD) to perform an ADA Self-Evaluation and create a Transition Plan. This work was funded through an ADA Improvement Grant from the Massachusetts Office On Disability. The two draft reports are now available for the public to review and provide comments before they are finalized by IHCD.
Review the reports
The City’s ADA Self-Evaluation and Transition Plan Part 1 includes an executive summary, an evaluation of nondiscrimination policies and practices, and a legal overview, and the City’s ADA Self-Evaluation and Transition Plan Part 2 includes an evaluation of City facilities, school buildings, and outdoor facilities, and provides recommendations for best practices and inclusive designs.
Provide feedback and get involved
Community members, particularly those with a disability, are encouraged to review these reports and provide feedback, which will be incorporated into the final plan, by February 24. Comments may be submitted via email to [email protected] Community members are also encouraged to attend one of two upcoming public forums hosted by the Melrose COD to provide feedback. Dates for both a virtual and an in-person meeting of the COD will be announced on the City of Melrose website. If any resident needs the reports in an alternate format, please email the COD at [email protected].
The history of the Melrose Commission on Disability and ADA Compliance efforts to date
One of Mayor Brodeur’s first priorities upon taking office was the creation of a Commission on Disability. Since it was established by the Melrose City Council in February 2020, the Melrose COD has undertaken a series of activities to advance the inclusion of people with disabilities in the City and was instrumental in spearheading the application for the ADA Improvement grant from Massachusetts Office On Disability that funded the Self-Assessment and Transition Plan.
“My administration is committed to promoting full engagement and inclusion in our civic life of all people living with disabilities,” said Mayor Brodeur. “This draft report provides a roadmap for us to follow in order to live up to that commitment. It represents a major accomplishment of the Melrose Commission on Disability, and I couldn’t be prouder of their work to move the City forward in addressing these long-standing issues.”
“The self-evaluation and transition plan are extremely comprehensive,” said David Hoff, Chair of the COD. “The transition plan provides a comprehensive blueprint to ensure the city’s facilities are fully accessible to people with disabilities. We look forward to receiving feedback from the public and moving forward on the plan’s implementation.”
The draft report from IHCD notes that the greatest challenges posed by existing barriers can be mitigated by establishing policies and procedures to accommodate members of the community with disabilities. The City of Melrose has established a Notice of Nondiscrimination and a Grievance Procedure. For more information about the City’s efforts in this area, residents can visit the City’s website or reach out to the City’s ADA Coordinators.
Most of the City-owned facilities that have been recently altered or renovated are substantially accessible and meet most architectural requirements. As other buildings are renovated or replaced, the City will work to implement the IHCD recommendations for facility alterations and will take other steps to reduce barriers and promote inclusion for people with disabilities in City programming and facilities.