Group Looks for Suggestions to Help Disabled

A citizen Americans with Disabilities Act group is hosting an informal talk on Saturday about how better to serve Dunedin's disabled. Free dessert and interpretive services for the hearing impaired are included.


A committee that advises the city on accessibility issues for Dunedin's disabled wants to hear how it can help make life easier.

Members of the Americans with Disabilities Act Advisory Committee invite the public to join them Saturday for some informal dessert and discussion at the . 

This group helped improve accessibility at the Post Office on County Road 1 a few years ago, said Joan McHale, committee member, and it is hoping to gain insight for making Dunedin's programs, services and buildings more accessible for people with disabilities.

What to expect if you go?

  • Rich La Belle, executive director of locally-based Family Network on Disabilities, will discuss services in Dunedin, McHale said.
  • Greg Rice will explain his role as the city ADA coordinator.
  • Tom Burke, city engineer, will share recent projects and accomplishments related to ADA accessibility.

The meeting will then open to audience questions, comments and suggestions.

Interpretive services have been arranged for the hearing impaired.

Free dessert is included.

Krashtest Dumby January 27, 2012 at 11:40 AM
Things to consider for those attending the meeting... GIVEN: there is a committee called the "Americans with Disabilities Act Advisory Committee." Said committee is made-up of a City ADA Coordinator, a City Engineer and an Executive Director of the Family Network on Disabilities. Q: by a show of hands, how many members are themselves, disabled? Q: How many members have attended ANY training on ADA? GIVEN: ADA has been a law for over twenty years. ADA affects all buildings old and new (there is no such thing as a "grandfather clause"). ADA has specific construction and design standards. The standards are readily available via the Internet. Q: How does a city engineer build, or approve permits allowing construction, if the engineer is not intimately familiar with the ADA standards, as MANDATED by law? Q: Why has the committee only been involved in ONE project (post office) over the course of several years? It is, of course, fabulous that the committee is reaching out to the community for input. But I think there are bigger issues to address, first. How does a committee accept a suggestion from the community as being valid if the committee is ignorant of the laws and at least have an idea of what an acceptable solution looks like? Sad to say, some committee hasn't been responsible to those who need it the most.
Katie Dolac January 27, 2012 at 03:46 PM
Sounds like you may have some valuable input for this informal discussion. I'm sure the committee would appreciate hearing from you!
Krashtest Dumby January 27, 2012 at 06:48 PM
Katie: unfortunately I'll be 1,079 miles from the meeting! Perhaps you could act as my proxy? :-) Just for fun, I took a quick gander at the City of Dunedin web site. While the site isn't a total loss (I've seen a LOT worse!), the site is FAR from "passing with flying colors" Section 508 standards that cover government-owned sites from an Accessibility point of view. There are 266 failures just for color differences alone; zero skip-navigation links; zero WAI-ARIA landmarks; zero access keys; the site contains nested layout tables (which sound absolutely HORRIBLE in a screen reader!); Heading elements aren't ordered correctly and more. When I pulled-up a list of links in my NVDA screen reader, I heard links reading as "Click here," "Click this link," "Click here for application" and at least 4 simply saying "here." Here, what - Here doggy? App - what app? Why should I "click this link?" Looks to me like the city ADA Coordinator needs to hire someone who knows something about web accessibility, and soon - the law is about to change (get tougher, with higher demands), and they need help! You can read all about the coming 508 changes from the Access Board at the following location: http://www.access-board.gov/sec508/update-index.htm Enjoy the meeting!!!


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