Special to The Dallas Examiner
The Dallas City Council approved the creation of a new Commission on Disabilities Wednesday.
The 15-member commission will be responsible for advising and making recommendations to the mayor, City Council, city manager and department directors on issues pertaining to the full spectrum of needs, rights, and privileges of people with disabilities.
The commission passed unanimously as part of the City Council’s consent agenda.
“People who live with a disability face myriad challenges living in a big city – challenges that the rest of us can’t fully comprehend or appreciate,” Mayor Johnson said. “The Commission on Disabilities will help us build a more inclusive and equitable city. I am grateful for the advocacy of all of our disability rights groups who helped make this new commission possible, and I look forward to working with the commission to make Dallas a national leader in providing opportunities for all of our residents.”
The commission will be charged with developing programs to provide employment opportunities for people with disabilities; developing programs to address accessibility issues; developing community-based programs to enhance the quality of life for Dallas residents who have disabilities; developing programs to address the issues pertaining to alcoholism and drug abuse; developing programs to take full advantage of all federal, state and local funding opportunities; developing programs to ensure adequate housing for people with disabilities; and developing programs to ensure accessible communications for people with disabilities.
The inaugural members will be appointed for an initial term to expire on June 14, 2023. Thereafter, nominations for new terms will begin in September 2023 and in each subsequent odd-numbered year. Members appointed shall serve a two-year term beginning on Oct. 1, 2023.
A technical resource panel of up to eight non-voting members will assist the commission. That panel will be nominated by the city manager and approved by the City Council.
Johnson initially proposed the new commission in October during National Disability Employment Awareness Month and referred the proposed ordinance to the Workforce, Education and Equity Committee.
“I am privileged to help these important and often overlooked voices be heard in our city, and I am eager to see the important work they will do for so many,” said City Councilmember Jaynie Schultz, the chairwoman of the Workforce, Education and Equity Committee. “Our mayor and council stand with everyone who needs support to become active participants in the work of the city.”