Evanston aldermen establish Americans with Disabilities Act board

Ciara McCarthy, Reporter

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The Evanston City Council established the Americans with Disabilities Act Advisory Board on Monday to help city government identify ways to make Evanston more accessible to individuals with disabilities.

The city’s Parks, Recreation and Community Services Department has been involved in implementing ADA in Evanston and in recommending the creation of the advisory board. Department Director Doug Gaynor said the board was another step in making Evanston more accessible.

“It’s important to have some folks from the community to determine the highest priorities, what needs to be addressed and what’s really important,” Gaynor said.

Without this board, Gaynor said initiatives to make Evanston more accessible would come from within city government itself. Once created, the board will meet twice a year to review ADA projects and evaluate existing projects.

“This board will allow citizens to assist us and let us know where the needs are,” Gaynor said.

The Americans with Disabilities Act, passed in 1990, requires equal opportunity and access for individuals with disabilities. The city’s ADA transition plan, published in September, recommended the creation of the advisory board.

Gaynor said Evanston Mayor Elizabeth Tisdahl will be responsible for appointing the members of the board. Ten members have been recommended for the board, with six members coming from a variety of city government offices and four at-large members.

“We want to hear what the issues are out there and what we can do,” Gaynor said.

Gaynor said he is unsure of when board members will be appointed.

— Ciara McCarthy