Letter to the Editor: Please Respond to the Town’s Accessibility Survey

I’ve lived in Bedford for the last 30 years, and like you, I’ve seen lots of changes in the town during that time.

Despite its many strengths, Bedford does not offer the most accessible public buildings (look for Braille signage anywhere, for example),  or services (sign language interpreting at Town Meeting).

But there is a survey that the Town of Bedford is mounting to give us all a chance to offer some suggestions and thoughts to help Bedford plan,  and then actually become, more accessible to those of us with disabilities.

This is a brave thing for the Town to do, because the need is great, and implementation will be costly and time-consuming.

I think it is incumbent upon all of us who have access needs that are not met now to weigh in with our ideas.

The town has hired a consultant to develop a plan, and there’s a survey coming to collect information.

Part of the resulting plan will be based on our input.  Let’s provide that input!

The plan that comes out of all this will be the best it can be if it reflects the real needs of the people who live and work here.

 


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Caroline Larson
2 years ago

I hope as part of this assessment that the town will engage a group people with disabilities to look closely at accessibility issues in terms of facility access and access to publications/web communication. And I mean PAY them. Not just trusting some folks will take this survey, but asking a select group of people to actually visit buildings and look at communication vehicles to assess access. It is likely that those who are answering the assessment may not actually engage with the town due to lack of access (no interpreter at Town Meeting) and so issues of access don’t become evident. Please don’t just trust able bodied professionals to do this assessment. Easter Seals Massachusetts is a good resource to find people with disabilities to conduct assessments.

Alan Bragg
2 years ago

https://blog.openstreetmap.org/2020/12/02/the-best-world-map-for-accessibility/
I do a lot of mapping on the open source map of the world. Anyone can edit the map with accessibility related details.

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