By Sue Ellen Woodcock
It’s been awhile but city officials have now revived the Commission on Disabilities with the appointment of three new members —
Ralph Decicco, Enza Goodwin and David Hahesy — and the first meeting of the commission will be on January 10, 2017.
Decicco and Hahesy will co-chair the commission.
The commission was established decades ago, according to Mayor Brian Arrigo, as the city is obligated to do so according to Massachusetts General Laws. The commission is also supposed to meet 10 times a year.
Goodwin has been associated with the Special Olympics in Revere, which just finished up a round of competitions at the Paul Revere School.
Hahesy has worked with Special Olympics too and has a background in grant writing.
There are a number of accessibility issues in Revere. ADA compliant crosswalks are needed at the Whelan and Lincoln schools along with a ramp and curb cuts.
“The focus on year one will be a report on accommodations, buildings and school accessibility,” Arrigo said.
Decicco agreed. The commission will meet with city department heads to determine accessibility issues and make sure buildings are complaint. The commission also work with the Planning Board and have a commission member attend Planning Board meetings. Beach accessibility is another issue and the Commissioners are looking for the help of the Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR). Work on signalization and crosswalks are also a concern.
The commission will also be working on a place to be able to house medical equipment to lend out. There once was a place in City Hall to store the equipment but it fell by the wayside. Decicco told the city council when he was appointed, that there is some equipment currently at the Senior Center on Winthrop Avenue.
Decicco, who is disabled, said there are six other members of the commission who were appointed under the previous administration. Some terms have not expired and they will all be offered a seat.
“We’re a resource,” Decicco said. “There has been a stigma that the commission is for old people. I want to work to not have that stigma. I was 26 when I became disabled. We’re going to do more outreach for young adults and children.”