Disability advocate meets with city officialsBy Matt Cole Published 3:39pm Thursday, July 18, 2013
A representative from the Alabama Disabilities Advocacy Program met with Demopolis Mayor Mike Grayson, city attorney Bill Poole and disability advocate Buddy Gray to discuss accessibility options for the city.
Gray, who suffers from blindness, spoke at a city council meeting in December 2012 about the accessibility needs of the city. Gray said he is concerned about the level of response in making needed upgrades since that meeting, so he called Lonnie Williams with ADAP.
After an hour-long meeting, Grayson said he will begin working on forming an advisory committee in order to start working on the city’s accessibility.
“This is something we need to work together on to make Demopolis more accessible to everyone,” he said. “Mr. Williams recommended that we form an advisory committee for disability issues, and we will begin working on that in the near future.”
Gray said he was pleased with how the meeting went.
“I believe this is a good start to bring Demopolis up to code,” he said. “The committee will help give the disabled community a voice. Mr. Williams will help provide the city with avenues to help improve the city. This is a good beginning.”
Williams said the meeting was a good, cooperative effort, and he is looking forward to working with Demopolis to help improve the city.
“I like the mayor’s idea of an advisory council,” he said. “Tuscaloosa has one, and it has been very effective for them. It will allow people with disabilities to bring any issues they are having to the mayor’s attention.”
He added that Demopolis is not uncommon in having these issues.
“There are many cities across Alabama that need these same improvements,” Williams said. “It’s little issues like curb cuts, access to certain buildings and a lack of information with regard to integrated services instead of segregates services. I’m glad the mayor is sensitive to the issues of this community and willing to work toward improving the city.”