CHARLESTOWN — Charlestown Mayor Treva Hodges announced the creation of a Disability Advisory Board to inform urban planning and policymaking. The Commission will provide guidance on how to improve accessibility and expand resources for people with disabilities and their caregivers.
Citing the city’s recent growth trends and new developments, including downtown revitalization, Hodges said it’s important to practice inclusion in the design process.
“We have taken many steps over the last three years to improve the city’s accessibility, but there are still ways we can improve,” Hodges said. “This committee puts people with disabilities and advocates in a position to lead the conversation and drive action plans to ensure Charlestown is a place where everyone feels accepted and welcome. .”
The city has recently announced a park program offering special events, a disability-based stakeholder meeting during the development of the 2021 park master plan, and announcing its designation hidden. We have made a focused effort to provide programming and improved access and services to the Hero Community for Military Caregivers.
“Some of the steps we took were relatively straightforward, such as working with parents who wanted road signs to warn visitors of the presence of children with autism,” Hodges said. The project is bigger: we are currently building an accessible playground with features requested by parents in stakeholder groups and listening sessions. partnered with disability service providers to host a dinner and dance party for people with disabilities and their caregivers.”
It was Hodges’ “Light Up the Night” that set up a special committee to further advance access for the disabled.
Hodges said the opening of Outward Bound Support Services and the involvement of its owner, Jennifer David, in the city with dance parties and other items has increased its focus to inform city services and policies. He says that it was the impetus for developing a narrower approach.
“Jennifer was a great advocate for people with disabilities,” Hodges said. “She helped us find and receive grants to provide communication boards for all first responders and office staff, and introduced and led a dance party last December. ”
In a conversation with David about how to provide more services, David asked the mayor to bring together a committee of people living with disabilities and caregivers so their lived experiences can provide guidance. I recommended that
“Mayor Hodges and I had a lengthy discussion about the need for the Commission to represent those with special needs and families in our community.” In addition to having members of the Society, there are many grandparents raising grandchildren with special needs, often because of the opioid epidemic in Indiana and across the United States. .”
The committee consists of seven members, three of whom are persons with disabilities, one representative of a disability service provider, two parents or grandparents of children with disabilities, and caregivers or agency representatives. Must be one adult advocate.
Commission members must reside in the city of Charlestown and be at least 18 years of age.
Those interested in serving should send a letter of interest explaining their commitment to promoting services and rights for people with disabilities by emailing Mayor@cityofcharlestown.com or 304 Main Cross St., Charlestown through February 24th.
Although participation on the Commission is limited, anyone who wishes to provide feedback on improving the City’s services or accessibility for persons with disabilities can do so by following the City’s new feedback link in the “Disability Services” section of the City’s website. You can send your reply to