Disability ad-hoc committee looks to promote accessibility in CNMI


An ad-hoc committee consisting of various agencies are looking and discussing ways to promote better accessibility for people with disabilities, most especially in public places, according to Council on Developmental Disabilities executive director Pamela Sablan.

The ad-hoc committee consists of what is called the Developmental Disabilities Network that includes CDD, NMPASI, Northern Marianas College Universities Center for Excellence and Developmental Disabilities, Office of Vocational Rehabilitation, Department of Public Works, Attorney Generals Office, and other various disability advocates.

Sablan said the reason for the creation of the committee was to promote to the public and educate the CNMI community to have a universal accessibility for everyone including those with disabilities.

Sablan also said that they are trying to plan to meet this coming January since October was their last meeting.

“The group meets and the subject on accessible parking for those with disabilities extended to overall accessibility,” she said.

Aside from just the parking areas, the ad-hoc committee were discussing in several ideas for those needing accessibility on public buildings, programs, and services.

“We’re working with DPW and they are looking at the building code laws along with the AG’s office. We want to get feedback through the public because accessibility is very important,” Sablan said.

Sablan noted that one key idea through the ad-hoc committee was the discussion of having children involved with the programs and services.

According to Sablan when asked, some stores don’t have that much accessibility and that some stores have improved with accessibility due to self-advocates reaching out to the stores and seeking assistance for a better accessible parking or into the store.

Sablan doesn’t know specifically on how many persons with disabilities need the use of wheel chairs, but will bring it up to the ad-hoc committee and other disability advocates.

“So we are looking to meet this January and also try to educate the public on accessibility and educate on the need of having a universal accessibility for everyone,” she said.

Jayson Camacho | Reporter
Jayson Camacho covers community events, tourism, and general news coverages. Contact him at jayson_camacho@saipantribune.com.

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