Hamburg Committee on Disabilities

Overview

This group is comprised of community members/volunteers who reside within the township of Hamburg. They work with the Hamburg ADA Coordinator and other organizations to promote disability awareness, disability training, and to assure accessibility for all Hamburg residents. It is a goal of the Committee to maximize opportunities for all residents to participate in every facet of our community from employment and government to recreation. People with disabilities are entitled to the same opportunities as residents who are not disabled, and the Town can benefit from the unique talents and contributions of all of its residents.  Visit the ADA Website for more information.

Join Us

The committee is always seeking members/volunteers from the community (Town of Hamburg, including the Villages of Blasdell and Hamburg) to serve on this committee. If you have an interest in this, please contact the town at 716-649-6111.

File a Complaint

If there is a need for a resident to file a complaint pertaining to the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) please fill out ADA Complaint Form (PDF) and submit it to the Town Clerk's Office (official record keeper) at Hamburg Town Hall and to the ADA Coordinator.  Complaints/Questions can also be addressed by sending an e-mail to ADAComplaint@townofhamburgny.gov 

Mission

It is the goal of the Town of Hamburg to ensure compliance with the federal Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and also to consider issues that are relevant to disabled town residents.  The committee works with the towns ADA Coordinator and its ADA consultant to promote disability awareness town wide as well as to enhance accessibility for all Hamburg residents, where legally possible.  In addition, the committee works in conjunction with town departments to enhance the goals set by the ADA, the towns Transition Plan, and the towns ADA Coordinator.  It is the ultimate goal of the committee to maximize opportunities for all residents thus allowing them to participate in all facets of the community.  Persons with disabilities are entitled to the same opportunities as residents who are not disabled, thus allowing contributions from all of its residents.  This will enhance the goal of the Town of Hamburg to ensure an equitable and inclusive community.

Inclusivity vs ADA Compliance; What is the difference?

When a child steps into a playground or park, they enter a world of possibility. These spaces offer more than just play equipment, they are a cornerstone of community, learning, and growth.  But how do we ensure that everyone, regardless of ability, can share in this experience? The journey begins with understanding the distinction and connection between inclusivity and ADA compliance. Let's explore this relationship, illustrating how you can create environments that welcome all.

What is ADA Compliance?
The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), signed into law on July 26, 1990, sets the stage for accessibility in public spaces, including parks and playgrounds. ADA compliance is a legal requirement that aims to eliminate barriers for individuals with disabilities, including employment, transportation, public accommodations, communications, and state/local government programs and services.  In 2010, the ADA released standards for accessible design to help provide clear guidelines for parks and playgrounds. It covers a wide range of criteria, from the size of pathways to the accessibility of play equipment and other amenities from the parking lot to the edge of the play area. Compliance ensures that those with physical and sensory disabilities can access and enjoy public play spaces safely and independently.

What is Inclusivity?
Inclusivity, while encompassing ADA compliance, stretches beyond to embrace a broader spectrum of needs, including emotional, social, and cognitive aspects. It's about creating spaces where everyone feels valued and included regardless of ability, age, or background.  An inclusive playground or park is designed with the understanding that every child is unique, fostering an environment where all children can play together in a rich, engaging, and educational setting. The inclusion created by these parks and playgrounds encourages children, adults, and families to experience the benefits of playing together.

Accessible Equipment: Bridging the Gap:
Accessible equipment plays a pivotal role in marrying ADA compliance with inclusivity. It's not just about having wheelchair accessible swings or ramps, it is about selecting and designing play and other elements that cater to a wide range of abilities. This includes sensory play elements for children with autism, quiet zones for those who may get overwhelmed by too much stimulation, and interactive play units that encourage social interaction among children of different abilities.  If we cater to cater to the whole child, playgrounds and parks must offer physical, social, emotional, sensory, communication, and intellectual development opportunities. This holistic approach recognizes play as a critical aspect of childhood development, serving as a foundation for learning, problem-solving, and social interaction.  By incorporating diverse play options, such as tactile panels, musical instruments, and imaginative play structures, we can support the growth of every child, ensuring that each one has the chance to thrive.

Thanks to MRC Recreation for allowing us to utilize a portion of their "blog"...see the link for further information:
MRC Recreation Blog