Members of Forest Park’s Disability Advisory Committee rejoiced at Commissioner Patrick Doolin’s announcement at their meeting last week that a Forest Park resident had stepped forward and volunteered to assist the village in drafting an Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) compliance plan.
Doolin did not release the name of the volunteer, stating that he and Village Administrator Michael Sturino still had to meet with her to ensure that she was qualified and available. He said that the volunteer had experience in social work and in working with the disabled, and had contacted the village after reading about the need for an ADA plan in the Review.
“Quite frankly, it’s inspiring,” said Doolin of the volunteer’s decision to step forward and offer her services.
The Disability Advisory Committee was originally appointed by Mayor Anthony Calderone to help the village draft such a plan, but due to issues with both funding and communication between the committee and the village, the process had failed to get off the ground until now.
Committee member Larry Biondi had previously suggested that the village hire an intern to draft the plan.
The plan has been federally mandated for municipalities with over 50 employees since 1992, but approximately 50 percent of Northern Illinois municipalities still do not have one.
The ADA also requires the village to appoint a staff member to be responsible for keeping the plan up to date and answer complaints regarding ADA compliance in the village.
Doolin said that this staff member would most likely come from the Building Department, and would also serve as a liaison between the village and the committee.