Snow removal in Logan

January 27, 2009 by Gordon

Gordon Richins is the consumer liason for the CPD.

This entry's author, Gordon Richins, is the consumer liaison for the CPD.

Snow Removal is an issue that our community deals with every winter. Individuals with and without disabilities find it extremely difficult and dangerous to use the sidewalks in our communities. As a person with a physical disability and user of an electric wheelchair this subject is one I understand very well. Individuals can get stuck and unable to move. This has happened to me several times. I end up getting very cold before I can get pushed out by a helpful individual.

Another serious hazard is being forced out into the street to access the bus or area businesses, which is very dangerous. Fortunately I have not been hit yet.

This blog entry is an effort to provide the community with a process to address snow removal issues. It will also allow the community to be involved directly with solutions.

An example would be community collaboration in developing the use of volunteer organizations or other community groups into action teams that may agree to remove snow for a given area, in a timely manner. This could be done similar to the trash removal that takes place along our highways, with recognition going to the group or individual responsible for the area. The work would include clearing the snow banks in areas to allow public access from the sidewalk to the street, including bus stops.

These groups could also be paid with support from the community. For example, businesses, individuals, friends and family may donate money to a group for their efforts in removing snow. This could be a win-win opportunity for our youth and anyone needing some exercise.

Another idea would be hanging a snow shovel in the shelters at bus stops or at nearby businesses that individuals could use to clear the walkway near our bus stops. I use the bus regularly and often times see individuals sitting or standing, waiting for the bus. Anyone who chose to could remove snow for the few minutes they are waiting. I know when I was out in the weather working I was always warmer when I was moving than when I was just sitting.

These are my ideas. Feel free to share your ideas and suggestions by commenting on this blog entry.

Welcome to the CPD blog.

January 26, 2009 by JoLynne Lyon

If you’re familiar with the Center for Persons with Disabilities’ website, you’ve probably noticed a new look. This redesign was done by smart guys who understand terms  like “browser user-agent string” and “scripting libraries” and “longdesc attribute.”

Along the way, we added this blog so we can bring current information from the CPD to the forefront. It’s an experiment for us, and it has brought into focus some of the issues that we work with every day. We want our blog to be accessible to people with disabilities. Fortunately, we have some resident experts at WebAIM who will help us communicate with the widest number of people possible. Unfortunately, we can’t guarantee that every link we provide to the outside world will lead to an accessible page.

That said, we want to talk about relevant issues, especially the ones being worked on within the center. If you read something here that is useful to you, then we have done our job.

We invite you to join us in this new adventure. Your comments and suggestions are welcome.

Keeping people moving through tough economic times

January 26, 2009 by JoLynne Lyon

CReATE’s concept started before the economy went sour. The idea of refurbishing mobility devices and providing them at a low cost to Utahns who need them is a good plan anytime.

Since CReATE (Citizens Reutilizing Assistive Technology Equipment) opened its doors to the public in August 2008, times have gotten tougher. The program was designed to help people who might fall through the gaps in service or insurance coverage. Now, with agencies, insurance companies and individuals facing a recession, the service will likely become even more important to the state of Utah.

The program is based in Salt Lake City, an initiative of the Utah Assistive Technology Program at the Center for Persons with Disabilities. For a look at CReATE and some of the people it has helped so far, you can read the whole story. You can also find out how to get or donate a device on the Utah Assistive Technology Program’s website.