First reading of accessibility advisory commission OKd

City Council unanimously approved an ordinance Thursday to create an accessible advisory commission to focus on disability issues.

Koert Wehberg, an attorney and executive director of the Mayor’s Commission on People with Disabilities in Philadelphia, was an invited guest.

Councilman Jon Mackey, who oversaw the drive to get the ordinance to a vote, invited Wehberg to share some of his experience.

Wehberg said the commission serves as a sounding board for the administration regarding issues that impact Philadelphians with disabilities.

The group recognizes budgetary constraints on the city and works with nonprofits in the city to accomplish many tasks, Wehberg said.

The commission tackles issues such as affordable and accessible housing, transportation and education.

Wehberg credited the city for the ordinance and said it would be a good start.

He also liked the idea of voting members and non-voting members including members of codes, council and having an expert on accessibility law.

“People will disagree,” he said. “I give it to people straight. You have the right to disagree. Being transparent is the key.”

The ordinance does not specify when the meetings would take place, which is something the commission can coordinate, Mackey said.


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