he 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
AnneMarie Catanzano, individual member residing in Portland
Rabih Dow, 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.