Volunteer: Council on People with Disabilities

Term: Two years; additional terms at Village Board discretion.
Meeting frequency: One per month.
Approximate meeting length: Two hours.
Establishment and charge: Constitution of the Council on People with Disabilities

What does the Council on People with Disabilities do?

The Council on People with Disabilities (CPD) advises and assists the Board of Trustees in matters concerned with the issues, problems, and interests of Scarsdale residents with disabilities. It is important to protect the rights of people with disabilities, prevent discrimination, provide support, and ensure equal access. These individuals are among the most vulnerable in society. 

The CPD is guided by the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and strives to ensure its application in Scarsdale. The CPD may collaborate with Village staff to implement accommodations and corrective actions throughout the community, including such measures as curb cuts, accessible bathrooms, handicap parking spaces, assisted hearing and visual aids, and connecting residents to accessible transport options. Certain recommendations may not be required by law but provide significant benefits at little cost.

One of the CPD most important accomplishments was partnering with the Scarsdale Police Department to create an “Emergency Response Form.” The form allows residents to self-report their disability and ensures a well-rehearsed and well-informed response in the case of emergency.

What is expected of Council members?

Members of this council are responsible for recognizing, researching, and recommending solutions to known and emerging issues facing people with disabilities, regardless of age. Their work may include site visits. Members are expected to present relevant problems or issues at monthly CPD meetings and discuss possible remedies. 

Council members also should be prepared to respond to requests for information from Scarsdale residents, assisting community members who often do not know where else to turn for guidance. Working together helps to allay frustration, fear and hopelessness.

What professional, volunteer, and/or personal experiences have been helpful to Council members?

Current and past members have come from diverse professional backgrounds in the private, public, and nonprofit sector. An interest in advocating for the interests of people with disabilities is the most important aspect of volunteering in this council.