Title II and the ADA: You’re not alone!

Northeast ADA Center Staff March 24, 2016

city hall

When the Americans with Disabilities Act was signed into law by President George H.W. Bush in 1990, it was hailed by many in the disabled community as a giant leap forward in their struggle for equal rights and protection under the law.


Title II of the law requires state and local governments “make reasonable modifications to their policies, practices, and procedures that deny equal access to people with disabilities.” This section of the ADA also mandates that governments ensure accessibility to their facilities.


At the Northeast ADA Center we provide information and training on the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) in New York, New Jersey, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. We are not an enforcement or regulatory agency but rather a resource for anyone with rights or responsibilities under the ADA.


The Northeast ADA Center is proud to partner with the City of Albany NY on disability access.

CITY OF ALBANY
OFFICE OF THE MAYOR
24 EAGLE STREET
ALBANY, NEW YORK 12207
TELEPHONE (518) 434-5100

MAYOR KATHY SHEEHAN
Date: March 24, 2016
Contact: Rachel McEneny 
rmceneny@albanyny.gov/434-5071
For Immediate Release

CITY OF ALBANY PARTNERS WITH THE NORTHEAST ADA CENTER ON DISABILITY ACCESS
New Advisory Committee to Promote Accessibility 

ALBANY, NY – Today, the City of Albany announced that it has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with The Northeast ADA Center to provide a framework for a partnership to promote disability access. The City of Albany also announced the appointment of an Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) Advisory Committee to help the City’s ADA Coordinator make the City of Albany more accessible to people with disabilities. 
“This is essential work and we’ve gathered experts in the field and knowledgeable advisors who can guide us forward,” said ADA Coordinator Miriam Dixon, Human Resources Director for the City of Albany and chair of the new committee. “I am grateful to the time all will devote to this issue and look forward to the progress that will be made.”
“Albany is a City that prides itself on its inclusiveness, and these steps put us on a track to make sure all can have better access to City of Albany's wide array of services, resources and facilities,” said Albany Common Council Member Cathy Fahey, a committee appointee and Chair of the Common Council’s Human Rights and Human Resources Committee. “I look forward to the work ahead.” 
“As an Albany resident who uses a powerchair and has been advocating for equal access for myself and other people with disabilities for the past twenty years, I am glad to see that the City of Albany is putting a greater focus on this issue,” said Shameka Andrews, Wellness Coordinator at the Independent Living Center of the Hudson Valley. “I look forward to being a part of the committee.”

“We are happy to package our free services to intentionally support the City of Albany in making progress on its specific disability access goals,” says Wendy Strobel-Gower, Project Director of the Northeast ADA Center. “When organizations actively use our information resources to implement real change, it’s a true win for us, the organization, and for individuals with disabilities.” 
The Northeast ADA Center (www.northeastada.org/800.949.4232--Voice/TTY) will provide expertise, information, and guidance about the Americans with Disabilities Act and disability access at no cost to the City. The Northeast ADA Center is located at the Yang-Tan Institute at Cornell University and is funded by the National Institute on Disability, Independent Living, and Rehabilitation Research, a Center within the Administration for Community Living (ACL), U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. 
The Center’s mission is to provide information, referrals, resources and training on equal opportunity for individuals with disabilities and on the Americans with Disabilities Act to individuals and organizations in New York, New Jersey, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Their staff consists of individuals with and without disabilities who have extensive experience in the disability field. 
Committee members appointed by the ADA Coordinator include: 

PUBLIC MEMBERS
• Shameka Andrews, Wellness Coordinator, Independent Living Center of the Hudson Valley, State Coordinator of the Ms. Wheelchair New York Program
• Simeon Goldman, Senior Staff Attorney, Disability Rights New York 
• Chris Burke, Executive Director, Northeastern Association of the Blind at Albany
• Jim Lyons, Albany accessibility activist 

COMMON COUNCIL MEMBERS
• Catherine Fahey, Common Council Member, Ward 7, Chair of the Common Council’s Human Rights and Human Resources Committee

CITY EMPLOYEE MEMBERS
• Miriam Dixon, ADA Coordinator and Human Resources Director, City of Albany (Committee Chair)
• Adriana Le Blan, Assistant Corporation Counsel, City of Albany (Committee Staff Contact)
• Robert Magee, Director, Department of Buildings and Regulatory Compliance, City of Albany
• Charmel McCormick, EEO/AA Human Rights Coordinator, City of Albany 
• Randy Milano, Engineer, City of Albany
• Eva Petkanas, Community Relations Coordinator, Department of General Services, City of Albany

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