The mission of the COD is to promote equal access to all aspects of community life for individuals in Sudbury living with disabilities by helping the Town identify barriers, by collaborating to have them removed, and by promoting self-advocacy.
The COD addresses its mission by employing the following practices:
- ASSESS the needs and challenges for persons living with disabilities and identify barriers to participation of persons living disabilities in activities, programs, and services of community life in Sudbury
- EDUCATE the Town leaders, staff, and the broader community about resources for persons living with disabilities, barriers to equal participation, and the ability of all persons to positively contribute to the community
- ASSIST and support Town leaders, staff, the broader community, and individuals living with disabilities in efforts to provide equal access and equal opportunities for all persons
The COD meets monthly and convenes special meetings if needed. Members are encouraged to take advantage of a variety of training opportunities offered at no cost by the Massachusetts Office on Disability and by other organizations to develop greater knowledge and skills to advance the mission of the COD.
The COD develops projects to achieve its goals, corresponds and meets with other committees and boards, and seeks to collaborate with Town staff. These efforts sometimes require that members complete work and/or engage in activities between meetings.
The COD particularly seeks participation of individuals living with a disability, family members of individuals living with a disability, and individuals working or having experience in fields related to accessibility or universal or human centered design. We consider individuals with disabilities to be user experts whose perspectives and insights cannot be found elsewhere.
The Massachusetts General Law that enables Commissions on Disability states that CODs are created to:
- research local problems of people with disabilities
- advise and assist municipal officials and employees in ensuring compliance with state and federal laws and regulations that affect people with disabilities
- coordinate or carry out programs designed to meet the problems of people with disabilities in coordination with programs of the Massachusetts Office on Disability
- review and make recommendations about policies, procedures, services, activities and facilities of departments, boards, and agencies of said city or town as they affect people with disabilities
- provide information, referrals, guidance and technical assistance to individuals, public agencies, businesses, and organizations in all matters pertaining to disability
- coordinate activities of other local groups organized for similar purposes
Who can join? Anyone that is a resident of Sudbury. The Commission on Disability is made up of five to nine members, 51% of which have to have a disability. The Commission welcomes people who have a disability, people who work in a disability related field, people who have a family member with a disability, people who understand building construction and the ADA, and anyone else that is interested in disability related topics to join.
When are the meetings? The Commission on Disability usually meets on the first Thursday of each month from 6:30-8:30PM.
How do I join? Anyone interested in joining the Commission on Disability should plan to attend an upcoming meeting. Please visit https://sudbury.ma.us/disability/meetings/ to see the meeting calendar. Commission members are appointed by the Select Board, with the recommendation of the Commission, for two-year terms. If you are passionate about creating equal access for people with disabilities, we encourage you to apply!
You can read the Commission mission statement here: Sudbury Commission on Disability Mission Statement.
You can apply for membership with this form: Application for membership.