Methuen Access

Methuen Access

Making Methuen Accessible One Step at a Time

Architectural Access Board’s Rules and Regulations – 521 CMR
521 CMR is the specialized building code regarding access for persons with disabilities for public buildings in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.
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American With Disabilities Act
Information and Technical Assistance Visit Website
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Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination
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Massachusetts Commission for the Blind
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Massachusetts Office on Disability​
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Disability Law center

Disability Policy Consortium

Disability Rights Legal Center

Northeast Independent Living Program

MGL: Chapter 40 Section 8J: Disability commission; powers and duties; members; terms

Section 8J. A city which accepts the provisions of this section by vote of its city council, subject to the provisions of its charter, or a town which accepts the provisions of this section at an annual or special town meeting, may establish a commission on disability, hereinafter called the commission, to cause the full integration and participation of people with disabilities in such city or town. Such commission shall (1) research local problems of people with disabilities; (2) advise and assist municipal officials and employees in ensuring compliance with state and federal laws and regulations that affect people with disabilities; (3) coordinate or carry out programs designed to meet the problems of people with disabilities in coordination with programs of the Massachusetts office on disability; (4) review and make recommendations about policies, procedures, services, activities and facilities of departments, boards and agencies of said city or town as they affect people with disabilities; (5) provide information, referrals, guidance and technical assistance to individuals, public agencies, businesses and organizations in all matters pertaining to disability; (6) coordinate activities of other local groups organized for similar purposes.

Said commission shall keep records of its meetings and actions and shall file an annual report which shall be printed in the city or town annual report and shall have at least ten meetings annually.

Said commission shall consist of not less than 5 and not more than 13 members. In cities, the members shall be appointed by the mayor, subject to the provisions of the city charter except that in cities having a Plan D or Plan E form of government said appointments shall be by the city manager, subject to the provisions of the charter, and in towns they shall be appointed by the selectmen, except towns having a town manager form of government, in which towns appointments shall be made by the town manager, subject to the approval of the selectmen and except towns having a town council form of government, the town manager. A majority of said commission members shall consist of people with disabilities, one member shall be a member of the immediate family of a person with a disability and one member of said commission shall be either an elected or appointed official of that city or town. The terms of the first members of said commission shall be for one, two or three years, and so arranged that the term of one-third of the members expires each year, and their successor shall be appointed for terms of three years each. Any member of said commission may, after a public hearing, if so requested, be removed for cause by the appointing authority. A vacancy occurring otherwise than by expiration of a term shall be filled for the unexpired term in the same manner as an original appointment. The chairperson and other officers shall be chosen by a majority vote of said commission members.

Said commission may receive gifts of property, both real and personal, in the name of the city or town, subject to the approval of the city council in a city or the board of selectmen in a town, such gifts to be managed and controlled by said commission for the purposes of this section.


MGL: Chapter 40Section 22G: Funds received from fines for handicap parking violations; deposits in account; expenditures

Section 22G. Any city or town which has accepted the provisions of section eight J is hereby authorized to allocate all funds received from fines assessed for violations of handicap parking in said city or town to the Commission on Disabilities.

Funds so received shall be deposited by the city or town treasurer in a separate account and shall be used solely for the benefit of persons with disabilities. Said account shall be established by the city or town treasurer and shall be kept separate and apart from all other monies. Expenditures from said account, including accrued interest, if any, shall be made upon the recommendation of the commission on disabilities in accordance with the accepted procedures of the city or town for the disbursement of funds, including the approval of the mayor and city council or the town manager or board of selectmen. The city or town accountant shall submit annually a report of said account to the mayor and city council or the town manager and board of selectmen for review and a copy of said report shall be forwarded to the bureau of accounts.

Disability Fund Expenditure Procedure

The City of Methuen has created an ordinance that explains how funds are disbursed and explains that the commission authorizes these expenditures.

Notice Under the Americans With Disabilities Act

In accordance with the requirements of title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (“ADA”), the City of Methuen will not discriminate against qualified individuals with disabilities on the basis of disability in its services, programs, or activities.

Employment: The City of Methuen does not discriminate on the basis of disability in its hiring or employment practices and complies with all regulations promulgated by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission under title I of the ADA.

Effective Communication: The City of Methuen will generally, upon request, provide appropriate aids and services leading to effective communication for qualified persons with disabilities so they can participate equally in the City of Methuen’s programs, services, and activities, including qualified sign language interpreters, documents in Braille, and other ways of making information and communications accessible to people who have speech, hearing, or vision impairments.

Modifications to Policies and Procedures: The City of Methuen will make all reasonable modifications to policies and programs to ensure that people with disabilities have an equal opportunity to enjoy all of its programs, services, and activities. For example, individuals with service animals are welcomed in the City of Methuen’s offices, even where pets are generally prohibited.

Anyone who requires an auxiliary aid or service for effective communication, or a modification of policies or procedures to participate in a program, service, or activity of the City of Methuen, should contact the office of Sandi Almonte, ADA Coordinator, (978) 983-8625, Searles Building, 41 Pleasant Street, Room 313, Methuen, Massachusetts as soon as possible but no later than 48 hours before the scheduled event.

The ADA does not require the City of Methuen to take any action that would fundamentally alter the nature of its programs or services, or impose an undue financial or administrative burden.

Complaints that a program, service, or activity of the City of Methuen is not accessible to persons with disabilities should be directed to Gene Walsh, ADA Coordinator, (978) 983-8625, Searles Building, 41 Pleasant Street, Room 313, Methuen, Massachusetts.

The City of Methuen will not place a surcharge on a particular individual with a disability or any group of individuals with disabilities to cover the cost of providing auxiliary aids/services or reasonable modifications of policy, such as retrieving items from locations that are open to the public but are not accessible to persons who use wheelchairs.

This ordinance in cooperation with the City Council mandates that all entities offering public services and programs must install in all accessible entrances, in new construction…  at a minimum, an automatic door opening system.
This ordinance was created to allow the commission to review and make recommendations in areas of accessible parking spaces within the city.
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