Of the many areas we must address to ensure inclusion for individuals with disabilities, accessibility will share with the headliners. I need to get by my angst when it comes to the continued ignorance in development of new builds and inaccessible design. Recent matters include my Town's delay in responding to a resolution to address identified need areas, a colleague who has a running list of new builds in the city that are inaccessible, and a lack of response from local restaurant owners.

HOWEVER, recent initiatives that DAT is involved with are going to address all of the above. As Chair of my town's Committee on Disabilities, we are taking it up a notch and holding employees accountable. There are also open seats on the Town Board this year and we'll see where the candidates stand on issues.

ACCESS BUFFALO will be introduced before the year is out, calling for restaurant, hotel, and store accessibility to be reviewed, with certificates awarded for those that "pass the test." There will be more on this as we finalize it. Google "Access Nashville" to learn about the program (and bring it to your town).

INCLUSION U is an incredible traveling road show that teaches attendees HOW to access parks and recreation facilities. (I will be doing this in our town's parks.) It is a free training in New York state, as part of a grant from the Developmental Disabilities Planning Council that provides a full day of education (that includes disability awareness) and provides you with a kit. You are expected to identify the sites you plan on accessing and report back your findings. Contact is Laurie Penney McGee at 607-753-4833 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. Visit their site at www.cortland.edu/nysirrc.

Whatever it takes, make it known that inclusion through accessibility is here and now. Learn what it takes to address accessibility. Your approach should be one that is professional and courteous, but straightforward with an expectation of results.