☷U S Access Board Holds Town Hall Meeting in Philadelphia
U.S. Access Board ( By Press Release office)
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This article is part of a series on the U . S . Access Board’s visit to Philadelphia from September 13 – 15 During the U . S . Access Board’s visit to Philadelphia last week , the Board held a public town hall meeting to hear from the local community about the state of accessibility in the region . The town hall meeting was held at Liberty Resources , Inc . , Philadelphia’s Center for Independent Living . Ten presidentially - appointed public Board members were present , as well as federal members Taryn Williams , Assistant Secretary of Labor for Disability Employment Policy at the Department of Labor , and Katy Kale , Deputy Administrator at the General Services Administration . Board Chair Williams opened the town hall by highlighting the Board’s activities in Philadelphia , including site visits to learn about accessibility at the National Park Service’s Independence Historical National Park and Philadelphia Parks and Recreation; attendance at a panel on accessible design for neurodivergent individuals at Temple University; an exploration of emerging accessible technologies for the arts; and the experience of navigating pedestrian routes in Philadelphia’s public rights - of - way . Chair Williams also mentioned the Board’s seven accessibility trainings held in Philadelphia , including a training on accessibility of historic buildings and facilities . The presentation materials for most of the trainings are available in the Board’s news article “U . S . Access Board Holds Accessibility Trainings in Philadelphia . ” Board Executive Director Sachin Pavithran reviewed the Board’s structure and mission , and Board General Counsel Chris Kuczynski described the Board’s rulemaking process and current regulatory agenda . Following the opening remarks , community members testified about a range of concerns , including accessibility barriers at a local post office; accessibility issues in the public right - of - way; lack of services for adults with developmental disabilities; lack of communication access at medical appointments , job interviews , and on public transportation; and unavailability of accessible at - home COVID tests . Speakers highlighted the substantial percentage of Philadelphia residents with disabilities ( over 16% ) and concerns regarding accessibility in the City’s numerous historic buildings . City of Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney speaking to the audience . The town hall also included remarks from City of Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney and Amy Nieves , Executive Director of Philadelphia Mayor’s Office for People with Disabilities . Nieves discussed the Philadelphia Disabilities Characteristics Map , which provides a visual representation of the City’s population of persons with disabilities by census tract . The Map , which was developed in collaboration with people with disabilities , is being used as a planning tool for local government services . Tom Earle , CEO of Liberty Resources , Inc . also provided remarks on the work of his organization in advancing accessibility in Philadelphia . Following the town hall meeting , the Board and members of the public continued conversations on accessible design and disability issues at the networking reception , sponsored by The Sierra Group Academy , Tamman , Inc . , and the Mid - Atlantic ADA Center . The Board provides training , webinars , and technical assistance on federal accessibility standards , and enforces the Architectural Barriers Act of 1968 , which requires that federal buildings and facilities be accessible to persons with disabilities . Complaints regarding access in federal buildings , such as post offices , social security offices , federal courts , and VA hospitals , can be filed via the Board’s online complaint form . Read more about the Board’s visit to Philadelphia in the following articles: U . S . Access Board Holds Accessibility Trainings in Philadelphia U . S . Access Board Attends Panel on Accessible Design for Neurodiversity U . S . Access Board Visits National Park Service’s Independence National Historical Park U . S . Access Board Visits Philadelphia Parks and Recreation Department for Discussion with Commissioner and Community Partners
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