FIRST EVER ADA AND ACCESSIBILITY SURVEY OF AN ENTIRE CITY NEEDS RESIDENT PARTICIPATION

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Community’s comments will continue to prioritize comprehensive to-do list
SOMERVILLE –The City of Somerville, in coordination with the Institute for Human Centered Design, is undertaking
the first ever survey of an entire municipality on accessibility needs and is asking residents to take the survey—and volunteer to distribute it—to collect vital resident feedback that will shape the City’s roadmap for accessibility.
This online survey through Survey Monkey at www.HumanCenteredDesign.org/IHCD-Studio/Somerville-Survey, available starting June 9 and open through July 11, is designed to be accessible for users with disabilities and will also be compatible with iPhones and tablets. In addition to the online format, a hard copy will be available in a variety of places including elderly housing centers and other areas for those without online access. Somerville Commission for Persons with Disabilities members and City workers will also fan out by foot across the City to help residents complete the survey. Residents can contribute in this effort by volunteering to help distribute and help residents complete the questionnaire.
“If the City is going to prioritize the accessibility barriers and issues we have identified, we need to hear from those directly impacted by these barriers so we can make a meaningful difference in their daily lives,” said Mayor Joseph A. Curtatone. “This survey is another important step, in addition to the meetings we have held in the past year, toward keeping an open ear so that we can hear from people in our community who are impacted by accessibility issues. I am grateful that the Institute for Human Centered Design is continuing to partner with us on this critical work as we strive to make Somerville an exceptional place to live, work, play and raise a family—for everyone and people of all abilities.”
Last year, the City conducted an exhaustive six-month self-evaluation of its infrastructure, policies, procedures, programs and services. The City also conducted an in-depth examination of its public right of way (PROW). Both the ADA Self-Evaluation and Pedestrian Accessibility Study are now being incorporated into a living, multi-year action Transition Plan—a roadmap for the future, with the help of the community, in an effort to ensure that residents have equal access to the City’s streets, sidewalks, buildings, parks and programs. Residents’ feedback is vital to the drafting of the Transition Plan.
“I know that any effort that gets the City closer to its goal of equal access for all has Mayor Curtatone’s full and unequivocal support. Our aim is the complete integration of persons with disabilities into the very fabric of this City. This spirit of diversity and inclusion is an essential part of Mayor Curtatone’s governing philosophy,” said Somerville ADA Coordinator Betsy Allen. “We are launching a multi-prong, high-level, high-visibility outreach effort to reach residents through whatever medium is available to them. We need and we value residents’ help. We are guided always by a spirit of full inclusion, where no one is left behind, every voice is heard and is valued. Help us make Somerville the model of inclusion it is well on its way to be.”

To learn more about the survey or to volunteer in distributing the survey, please contact ADA Coordinator Betsy Allen at 617-625-6600 ext. 2323 or by email at ballen@somervillema.gov.

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