STATE OF NEW JERSEY
PRE-FILED FOR INTRODUCTION IN THE 2014 SESSION
Assemblywoman VALERIE VAINIERI HUTTLE
District 37 (Bergen)
Assemblyman TIMOTHY J. EUSTACE
District 38 (Bergen and Passaic)
Assemblyman GORDON M. JOHNSON
District 37 (Bergen)
Assemblyman REED GUSCIORA
District 15 (Hunterdon and Mercer)
Urges municipalities to form “Access for All” committees to address needs of disabled.
CURRENT VERSION OF TEXT
Introduced Pending Technical Review by Legislative Counsel
A Concurrent Resolution urging municipalities to form “Access for All” committees to address local issues related to ADA compliance and access for the disabled.
Whereas, Persons with disabilities make up nearly one-fifth of New Jersey’s population, their disability often making it impossible to perform basic tasks such as walking or climbing stairs without special assistance; and
Whereas, These limitations make tasks such as going outside the home to shop, visiting a doctor, or other activities of daily living virtually impossible without substantial help; and
Whereas, Twenty-one years ago, the “Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990” (ADA) was signed into law to address the needs of this often overlooked segment of society; and
Whereas, The ADA has been celebrated as the most comprehensive civil rights expansion for people with disabilities ever enacted by the United States Congress; and
Whereas, The ADA is widely viewed as successful in empowering people with disabilities by changing the public’s perception of these individuals, and by changing the way our nation’s institutions, whether in stores, buses, or offices, perceive their responsibilities to this large segment of the public; and
Whereas, Despite the ADA’s achievements, accessibility is an ongoing challenge that requires continuous attention, particularly at the local, grassroots level; and
Whereas, To meet this commitment, some New Jersey municipalities, such as Fort Lee, Tenafly, Ridgewood, Glen Rock, Maywood, Hasbrouck Heights, Fair Lawn, Paramus, and Bergenfield, have created “Access for All” committees composed of representatives from local government agencies, mayors’ offices, the business community, and people with disabilities; and
Whereas, These committees can perform a valuable advisory role for local government through meeting regularly to address important issues faced by people with disabilities, such as designing barrier-free facilities, ensuring inclusive employment practices, and fostering compliance with the often confusing parameters of ADA; and
Whereas, Recognizing the value of “Access for All” committees, Bergen County recently adopted a resolution urging their creation in all municipalities; and
Whereas, Our State’s disabled population would be better served through an expansion of the use of “Access for All” committees within local government; now, therefore,
Be It Resolved by the General Assembly of the State of New Jersey (the Senate concurring):
1. The Legislature urges the State’s municipalities to establish “Access for All” committees, composed of individuals with disabilities, and representatives of government and business, to advise local government on ADA compliance and other access issues affecting the disabled.
2. Duly authenticated copies of this resolution, signed by the President of the Senate and the Speaker of the General Assembly and attested by the Secretary of the Senate and the Clerk of the General Assembly, shall be transmitted to the New Jersey League of Municipalities and the New Jersey Conference of Mayors, and also to the Commissioner of Community Affairs for electronic distribution to all municipalities.
This concurrent resolution urges the State’s municipalities to establish “Access for All” committees to address the many challenges faced by the disabled. Twenty-one years ago, the passage of ADA marked a great victory for people with disabilities in their struggle for a more accessible society. Nonetheless, meeting the needs of these individuals is an ongoing process that requires the continuous attention of local governments and communities. “Access for All” committees, comprised of representatives from government, business, and the disabled community, can provide a valuable advisory role in addressing the challenges of ADA compliance and other access issues.