Department of Public Works

Disability Advisory Commission (DAC)

Disability Advisory Commission (DAC)

The City of Fresno, Disability Advisory Commission (DAC) was created to improve the quality of life for the disabled community in our area.  The Commission will increase the public’s awareness of the strengths and successes of people with disabilities by actively participating in community activities and events which incorporate diverse perspectives.  The DAC will work to ensure that all citizens with disabilities have equal access to resources and services that provide opportunities for education and employability.

Goals

To fulfill this vision, the DAC will:

  • Create and partner with committees and advisory councils
  • Establish a protocol and partnership for working with City of Fresno Departments
  • Serve as a liaison to and seek partnerships with community organizations
  • Actively communicate the success of the disabled community
  • Work with City Council and the Mayor’s Office to advise the City on relevant policy issues
  • Participate in community education and awareness events

DAC Commission Members

The DAC is a seven-member body made up of community leaders appointed by the Mayor and approved by the City Council; five of the seven members must be persons with disabilities. The current Commission represents many years of professional work and personal experience with a range of disabilities. It includes:

Mary Beth Randall
Board Member of the Guide Dog Users of California and member of the California Council of the Blind and the American Council of the Blind.

Frances Reyes Acosta
Extensive background working in Public Relations, Business Relations, and broadcasting.

Dr. Jenelle Pitt Parker
Associate Dean for the Kremen School of Education and Human Development at California State University, Fresno.

Ken Elvington
Vice-Chair
Staff Service Manager for the California Department of Rehabilitation, an agency providing services to individuals with disabilities.

Susan Coulter
Chair
Educational Services Director at Deaf and Hard of Hearing Service Center.

DAC Meetings

DAC Regular meetings are typically held on the second Tuesday of the month, 10 am – 11:30 am (May and November Meeting on first Tuesday; no meetings in July and December). DAC Transportation Subcommittee meetings are held every two months on the 4th Wednesday. DAC Housing subcommittee meetings are held every two months on the 4th Friday. See below for the schedule.

Meetings will be held via Zoom. The registration information provided below.

Regular Meetings Held 10:30 am – 12 pm
Register in advance: https://zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_92_emsrTQDKt2MxuMh9ftQ
January 12, 2021
February 9, 2021
March 9, 2021
April 13, 2021
May 11, 2021
June 8, 2021
JULY NO MEETING
August 10, 2021
September 14, 2021
October 12, 2021
November 9, 2021
DECEMBER NO MEETING

Transportation Subcommittee Meetings Held 2:00 pm – 3:30 pm
Register in advance: https://zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_7xzorrs6QTq5NfpnYfScbg
February 24, 2021
April 28, 2021
June 23, 2021
August 25, 2021
October 27, 2021
December 22, 2021

Housing Subcommittee Meetings
1:30 pm – 3:00 pm
Register in advance: https://zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_QjI2p0hFRtu7An4Rpbx_Og
January 22, 2021
March 26, 2021
May 28, 2021
July 23, 2021
September 24, 2021

DAC Meetings are open to the public and all are welcome to attend. For information about past meetings or upcoming agendas, please see the link above. Meeting Location and dates subject to change.

ADA 30th Anniversary Celebration

A proclamation was made by Mayor Brand and the Fresno City Council making October 2020 “Disability Awareness Month” in the City of Fresno. This proclamation marked the 30th anniversary of the passage of the Americans with Disabilities Act.

Watch the recording of the awards

CITY OF FRESNO EMPLOYEE AWARD

Jerry Schuber was the Assistant Director of Public Utilities overseeing the solid waste division.

Jerry took vital steps in making garbage receptacle lid models that had raised text, raised symbols, and Braille, available to the community at no additional cost.  He came to the DAC meeting and partnered with the California Council of the Blind to get the word out to the community on how they could request this accommodation.

Jerry knew that people with disabilities shouldn’t have to have the burden of requesting an accommodation. He made the call that from hereon out, the city would make this accessible lid the standard for all residents. Couple this with the special handling program for folks with mobility disabilities, and what you have is a city program that is built with multimodality in mind – the concept that there is not just one way that a person may need to access a service. This is the goal for all city programs, to be truly multimodal.

Jerry Schuber is the type of public servant who goes above and beyond his role and title, willing to roll up his sleeves to help out in the community. He treats people with dignity and respect, and “gets it” when it comes to inclusion and access.

For these reasons, Jerry Schuber is a recipient of a City of Fresno Employee Achievement Award.

INDIVIDUAL AWARD

Tom Randall is an Assistive Technology instructor at the Valley Center for the Blind (VCB).

Tom Randall was an invaluable resource to the City when embarking on improving access to the city website. He conducted a training at VCB in which he demonstrated this same equipment for our Information Services Department (ISD) Managers, using our newly built, yet still not accessible website.  Since this was brought to ISD’s attention, they have been doubly committed to web and technology accessibility.  This is just one example of the gentle advocacy that Tom has exhibited over the year.

At the Valley Center for the Blind, Tom is well respected by his peers as the “go-to” person for knowledge in the field, accessibility questions, and problem-solving client issues. He is greatly appreciated and admired by his clients, who see him as easy going, compassionate and, most importantly, absolutely excellent at his job.

Without a doubt, Tom has improved the quality of life for hundreds of people with vision loss through his depth of knowledge, aptitude for educating, and spirit of kindness. He is a strong advocate for accessibility and is always open to helping others better understand the importance of making sure that people with vision loss have equal access, especially when it comes to technology. Tom has been humbly serving the Valley Center for the Blind clients for about 20 years and is without a doubt deserving of appreciation and recognition.

For these reasons, Tom Randall is a recipient of an Individual Achievement Award.

CITY OF FRESNO EMPLOYEE AWARD

Sgt. Robert Dewey is being honored for his unique role in training and efforts to assist people experiencing homelessness, mental health disabilities, and intellectual and developmental disabilities.

Sgt. Dewey has been instrumental as a trainer for the Fresno Police Department Crisis Intervention Training. This training was designed to give law enforcement officers the tools to more effectively respond to crises in the field by providing increased knowledge about mental health crisis, mental illness, the stigma associated with mental illness, and de-escalation strategies to avoid violent confrontations.  What is unique with this crisis intervention training is that it also included trainers from the Central Valley Regional Center and National Alliance on Mental Illness.  This training effort led to the development of the Crisis Intervention Team in partnership with the Fresno County Department of Behavioral Health, which Sgt Dewey was asked to help create and lead.  The CIT has proved highly effective with providing food, housing, financial and spiritual support, to those in need.

Under the leadership of Sgt. Dewey, CIT officers have also provided training for individuals with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities about how to have successful interactions with Law Enforcement, including interactive discussions and role-play activities. This training was developed in partnership with The State Council on Developmental Disabilities and has been provided to groups throughout the City of Fresno, including Central Valley Regional Center, Resources for Independence Central Valley, the Beth Ramacher Developmental Center, and the Arc Fresno-Madera Counties. The Fresno Police department continues to build relationships within this community, partnering with organizations such as Vocations Plus Connections for social events which are geared to break down barriers between law enforcement and people with disabilities.

Sgt. Dewey is an outside-the-box thinker with attention to detail, who is described as having a “can do” and infectious positive attitude. Through his work on the Homeless Task Force and the Crisis Intervention Team, he has been influential in reducing crisis calls for service and increasing the potential for positive outcomes in law enforcement interaction.

For these reasons, Sgt. Dewey is the recipient of a City of Fresno Employee Achievement Award.

INDIVIDUAL AWARD

Vidal Medina is a Systems Change Advocate at Resources for Independence Central Valley.  Centers for Independent Living were created to be run by and for people with disabilities, and offer Peer Support, independent living and transition skills training, as well as Individual and Systems change advocacy.

Vidal is a regular presence at a tremendous number of community outreach meetings and council meetings – and he has been for decades. He addresses council and city departments on the overarching needs of the disability community. Vidal keeps the community at heart and approaches systems change from a holistic, big picture perspective.  He has been involved with advocacy for people with disabilities since the passage of the ADA, if not longer.   He has been involved in the ADA Committees that came before the DAC and participated in training city staff over the years.

Vidal is a shining example of a continuous advocacy presence at the City of Fresno.

Currently, Vidal participates on the DAC Housing subcommittee, which looks at housing equity impacts, and on the City-County Joint Access and Functional needs workgroup, which brings to the table emergency managers and people with disabilities to address issues related to disasters – input that has been particularly invaluable this year. Vidal has advised on city processes and projects over many years, truly embodying the independent living model as a systems change advocacy.

For these reasons and many more, Vidal Medina is the recipient of an Individual achievement award.