Needham Commission on Disabilities

What is the Needham Commission on Disabilities?

The Needham Commission On Disabilities (NCOD) consists of up to nine volunteer members appointed by the Board of Selectmen to address the needs and concerns of residents with disabilities in the community. By law, the majority of those appointed to the commission must be persons with a disability and they are chosen to represent as wide a range of disabilities as possible. One of the appointees shall be a member of the immediate family of a person with a disability and one member must be an elected or appointed municipal official. Members normally serve for three year terms.

What is a Disability?

Federal law defines a disability as "any physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more of the major life activities of an individual..." The Massachusetts Office on Disability (MOD) estimates that 17% of the population is affected by some type of disability which limits an individuals mobility, vision, hearing, learning ability, or mental capacity. The definition also includes persons with a variety of other severely limiting physical conditions.

What is the Role of the NCOD?

1. To advise municipal officials to ensure compliance with federal, state, and local disability laws. To work with MOD and the state Architectural Access Board (AAB) to coordinate programs and requirements at the local level to benefit residents with disabilities.

2. To provide information, referrals, and technical assistance to individuals, businesses, and organizations in all matters pertaining to disability issues; to promote public awareness of people with disabilities through participation in public and media events.

3. To review and make recommendations about policies and activities of municipal departments and boards as they affect people with disabilities. This has become very important since the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) is in effect (as of January 26, 1992).

4. To work with public and private agencies in Needham to integrate people with disabilities into the community. This includes not only better access for the mobility impaired but also alternate media for those with vision and hearing problems, and expanded public transportation services.

What is the NCOD Accomplishing?

How Can You Become Involved with the NCOD?

1. Attend the open monthly meetings, which are currently being held at 5:30 PM on the third Tuesday of the month at the Stephen Palmer Center. Further information can be obtained by calling the Needham Town Hall at (781) 455-7500 and asking about the Needham Commission on Disabilities.

2. Train to become a Community Access Monitor and help to make Needham a more accessible community for those with disabilities.

3. Add your name to the NCOD mailing list by calling the Town Hall at the above number or writing:

Needham Town Hall
1471 Highland Avenue
Needham, MA 02192

4. Submit your name to the Board of Selectmen to be considered for appointment to the NCOD

5. If you'd like to make more information available through this website, please send an email to  .

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