Portland Disability Advisory Committee
The Portland Disability Advisory Committee (PDAC) advises the City Manager on issues of importance to people with disabilities, and recommends policies, practices, and legislation in matters affecting people with disabilities consistent with the Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA).
The Committee Membership includes a diverse array of individuals, including business owners, individuals with disabilities, family members, and representatives of organizations that advocate on behalf of the disabled, all of whom share a commitment to help create quality lives for individuals with disabilities in the City of Portland.
- Michelle Ames, representing Disability Rights Maine
- Lisette Belanger, individual member residing in Portland
- Bud Buzzell, individual member residing in Portland
- Steve Leighton, representing Woodfords-Oakdale Neighborhood Association
- John LeMieux, individual member residing in Portland
- Derek O’Brien, representing Alpha One
- Haley Pass, Chair, representing STRIVE
- Jessica Russell, individual member residing in Portland
- Ken Shapiro, Vice Chair, representing Unum
- Yura Yasui, representing University of Southern Maine
Since the Members were appointed in September, 2017, the Committee has devoted time to various important initiatives, including updating a resource guide for individuals with disabilities and creating an educational campaign for Portland places of public accommodation regarding the many benefits of keeping closed captioning activated on at least one television in use. The Committee has also hosted a number of guest speakers on ADA-related topics, including City Manager Jon Jennings; Christopher Branch, Public Works Director; Simon Thompson from the Portland Parks Conservancy; Zoe Miller, Project Manager at Greater Portland Council of Governments; and engineers from the Accessibility and ADA Compliance division of Tindale Oliver, the firm conducting the City’s ADA Self-Evaluation. The Committee is currently finalizing its priorities and initiatives to focus on in 2018.
Interested in learning about Alpha One's Adaptive Equipment Loan Program? The Kim Wallace Adaptive Equipment Loan Fund provides Maine individuals with disabilities with affordable loans for adaptive equipment. What can be purchased with a loan? Hearing aids; communication devices; accessible cars, vans, trucks and tractors; access ramps, elevators, lifts, and stair glides; computer technology; home modifications; vision technology; adapted recreation equipment; and more! Please contact Henry Powell, Independent Living Specialist at Alpha One, with any questions or to apply at 207.619.9239 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Seeking "testers" of Maine trails: MaineTrailfinder.com, which has descriptions of hundreds of trails in Maine, has a handful of trails listed as "accessible." Eric Dibner, the State of Maine's ADA/Section 504 Accessibility Coordinator, joined our meeting on June 5th to share that he is seeking individuals (whether a single person or a group) to "test" the trails that are self-described as accessible and provide more detailed and useful information for the website, such as the trail's slope, cross slopes, obstacles, narrowing of the trail, steepness, and surface. Questions or interested in participating? Please contact Eric at email@example.com; (207) 623-7950 voice; or TTY callers use Maine Relay 7-1-1.
Public Service Announcements, sharing personal insights and challenging misconceptions about disabilities.
With the encouragement of the Portland Disability Advisory Committee, Ethan Strimling, the Mayor of the City of Portland, issued a Proclamation recognizing December 3, 2018 as the International Day of Persons with Disabilities. The City of Portland is committed to inclusion, autonomy, creation of opportunities, removal of physical and cultural barriers, and the providing of access for persons with disabilities residing, working in, and visiting the City of Portland.