The Malden Disability Commission (“Commission”) has been meeting regularly since its organization in December of 2018. It was established in accordance with the provisions of Massachusetts General Laws, Chapter 40, Section 8J and its core mission is to eliminate discrimination against persons of differing abilities. The Commission’s primary goal is to provide information, guidance, and technical assistance to public and private agencies, individuals, and organizations to ensure that all people have equal access to facilities, services and programs. During the creation of the mission statement and by-laws, Commission members specifically chose the words “of differing abilities” in place of “disabilities” to highlight the strengths that all bring to our city and not what holds a person back from full participation in the community.
All Commission members are Malden residents: Nichole Mossalam serves as the Chair and Marilyn Andrews is the Secretary. Kerlyne Pacombe and Frank Cina also serve on the Commission as well as Maria Luise, Assistant to the Mayor who is the City’s ADA (Americans with Disabilities) Compliance Officer. As ADA Compliance Officer, Ms. Luise brings ADA concerns and complaints to the Commission for discussion and possible resolution.
Presently, the Commission is involved in several projects and looks forward to working with the community. Most recently, the Commission worked on its application for a Planning Grant through the Massachusetts Office on Disability. The hope is to secure funding in order to conduct an ADA self-evaluation that will assess all city departments, services, and programs including parks and playgrounds to make sure they are accessible to all residents. The Commission has begun to work collaboratively with the Disability Policy Consortium, a state agency, that advocates, promotes awareness, educates and ensures accessibility to those with differing abilities. The Commission is also collaborating with the Massachusetts Office of Consumer Affairs to offer informational sessions on January 9, 2020 at the Malden Senior Center (7 Washington Street) and the topics will include “Online Safety” and “Identity Theft and Fraud Prevention.”
The Commission meets the second Thursday of each month at 6:30 PM at the Senior Center, 7 Washington Street. All are welcome to attend and share any concerns during the “Public Comment” portion of the meeting. Remote attendance can be arranged upon request by contacting Maria Luise at firstname.lastname@example.org. For more information, please visit the Commission website at www.cityofmalden.org/450/Disability-Commission