[HISTORY: Adopted by the City Council of the City of West Haven 9-14-1992 by Ord. No. 315. Amendments noted where applicable.]
Unless the context requires otherwise, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
- The Commission on Disabilities of the City of West Haven.
- Any condition or characteristic that renders a person a "person with disabilities," as defined below.
- PERSON WITH DISABILITIES
- Any person who has a physical or mental impairment which substantially limits one or more major life activities, has a record of such impairment or is regarded as having such an impairment.
- A. PHYSICAL OR MENTAL IMPAIRMENT:
- (1) Any physiological disorder or condition, cosmetic disfigurement or anatomical loss affecting one or more of the following body systems: neurological; musculoskeletal; special sense organs; respiratory, including speech organs; cardiovascular; reproductive; digestive; genitourinary; hemic and lymphatic; skin; and endocrine; or
- (2) Any mental illness and specific learning disabilities.
- (3) This term includes, but is not limited to, however, such diseases and conditions as orthopedic, visual, speech and hearing impairments, cerebral palsy, epilepsy, muscular dystrophy, multiple sclerosis, cancer, heart disease, diabetes, mental retardation, emotional illness, AIDS, drug addiction and alcoholism.
- D. IS REGARDED AS HAVING AN IMPAIRMENT:
- (1) Has a physical or mental impairment that does not substantially limit major life activities but that is treated by the Commission as constituting such a limitation; or
- (2) Has a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits major life activities only as a result of the attitudes of others towards such impairment.
There is hereby established a Commission on Disabilities, consisting of five members and two alternates appointed by the Mayor subject to approval of the West Haven City Council. Commission members shall serve without compensation and shall reside or work in the City of West Haven. One of the members just appointed shall serve for one year; two of the members just appointed shall serve for two years; and two of the members just appointed shall serve for three years. One alternate shall serve for one year, and one alternate shall serve for two years. Upon expiration of such initial terms, members shall be appointed to serve three-year terms. Any vacancy shall be filled for the remainder of the unexpired term. Each member shall serve until his/her successor is appointed and qualified. Commission members may be reimbursed for actual expenses incurred.
Membership on the Commission shall include:
Two people with disabilities who are city residents or work in city.
Two persons who either are relatives of persons with disabilities or citizens active in the disability community.
One person who is representative of disability service agency, who is a city resident or engaged in work disabilities issues within the city.
The two alternates must be residents of the city or work in the city and meet any of the above requirements.
The Commissioners shall elect a Chair, Vice Chair and Secretary from their membership. The Commission may also organize itself in whatever other manner it deems appropriate. The Commission may adopt such rules and regulations as it considers necessary to effectuate the purpose of this chapter.
A majority of all members of the Commission constitutes a quorum for conducting the Commission's business.
The Commission shall perform all duties necessary to effectuate this chapter, including the following:
To seek to reduce both physical and attitudinal barriers confronting persons with disabilities.
To establish and maintain cooperative working relationships with public and private agencies serving West Haven persons with disabilities.
To study and investigate individual or community problems which limit the rights of persons with disabilities or otherwise restrict their opportunities in employment, housing, economic status, recreation, education, health, transportation and similar pursuits.
To issue reports and publications on its studies, research and investigations to promote public awareness and understanding of disability problems and needs.
To receive and act upon complaints and grievances of persons or groups with disabilities. The Commission may review, investigate, conciliate and/or refer such complaints or grievances to appropriate city, state and federal agencies or take other appropriate action within the scope of its powers.
To work with federal, state and local agencies as well as private, civic, religious, business, industrial, labor and other organizations, groups and persons to foster the development of programs and services that address the needs of persons with disabilities and increase opportunities and to enable persons with disabilities to live with maximum independence and a maximum quality of life.
To promote cooperative program planning and development among service providers in order to improve and expand the delivery of services to the city's residents with disabilities.
To conduct public forums to ascertain the views of persons with disabilities in developing program objectives and setting service priorities to address the needs of people with disabilities and to raise the public awareness of these concerns.
To encourage the commitment of public and private resources to meet the needs of persons with disabilities.
To increase advocacy for persons with disabilities.
To monitor, assess and conduct periodic evaluations of programs and services funded through the city for their particular effect on persons with disabilities.
To offer policy recommendations to the Mayor and City Council and advise on matters which may strengthen the city's ability to respond to the varied needs of persons with disabilities.
The Commission shall submit an annual report of its activities to the Mayor and the City Council during the month of March.
All departments, boards, commissions, agencies, officers and officials of the City of West Haven shall cooperate with the Commission in implementing this chapter, and the heads thereof shall furnish the Commission with information in their possession when the Commission, upon the approval of the Mayor or his/her designee, so requests.