Disabilities Commission Ensures Handicapped Rules are Followed

Frances Hogan, left, during an appearance with Joyce Thibodeau and Tim Coco, during the WHAV's Open Mic Show in 2017. (File Photograph.)

When South Main Street was reconstructed several years ago and telephone poles emerged seemingly in the middle of sidewalks, it fell to the Haverhill Disabilities Commission to find out if handicapped access rules were being followed.

It turns out, there was enough room for wheelchairs to pass and the sidewalks—although unsightly—were legal. In some cases, though, the slight ramps leading from the street to the sidewalks had incorrect slopes and had to be reconstructed.

Commissioners Frances Hogan and Joyce Thibodeau discussed the little-known work of the city committee during an appearance Monday on 97.9 WHAV FM’s Open Mike Show. The kind of training they received and the tools they use are available to others.

The Massachusetts Office on Disability, Haverhill Commission on Disability, Northeast Independent Living Program and New England ADA Center are offering a two-day Community Access Monitor training session, Tuesday and Wednesday, Oct. 24 and 25, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., at Andover School of Law, 500 Federal St., room 214, Andover. The fee is $15 for individuals and $85 for professionals. The Haverhill Commission will pay the fee for a limited number of interested residents who have a financial hardship. Those interested may call 978-374-2387, ext. 35. The fee includes materials and lunch.

A flyer may be downloaded here.