Mayor's Advisory Committee for People with Disabilities
The Mayor’s Advisory Committee for People with Disabilities acts in an advisory capacity to the Mayor on issues relating to increasing public understanding and the inclusion of people with disabilities within the community. The Advisory Committee works toward the elimination of attitudinal and architectural barriers and acts as a liaison between city government and other agencies and services, acting as advocates for people with disabilities and making recommendations to the Common Council as it may deem advisable.
Next Meeting: March 25, 2020, 3:30 PM, Common Council Chamber, City Hall
Harriet Lowell, Chair Kenneth Burr
Joseph Dursi Terry Degatano
Jeremiah Frei-Pearson Michael Hellman
Elizabeth Mark Jeffrey Zitofsky
Questions/Comments? We’d like to hear from you! Please contact Committee Chair Harriet Lowell at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Current Committee News
Programs for People with Differing Abilities. Did you know that the City of White Plains Recreation & Parks Department offers a variety of fun, recreation and leisure programs for individuals with developmental disabilities ages 13 years and older. Before registering for a program, all new prospective participants must complete an intake interview and provide required documentation. For more information on Programs for People with Differing Abilities click here.
As part of its campaign to raise awareness and increase the public's knowledge about accessible parking, the Advisory Committee has created a "Do's and Don'ts of Accessible Parking" flyer. They then partnered with the City Parking Department, which has agreed to have its Parking Enforcement Officers include the flyer with all tickets written for accessible parking violations. It is hoped that this flyer will be well-received by the public as an important educational tool. View a copy of the flyer Do's and Don'ts of Accessible Parking.
The Mayor's Advisory Committee for People with Disabilities has created an informational flier, Be Prepared in the Event of an Emergency (English) and Este Preparado en caso de Emergencia (espanol), to let residents with disabilities know about and encourage them to sign up for, the Westchester County Special Needs Registry. This registry helps White Plains police, fire, and other first responders better prepare for and respond to the needs of those with disabilities during emergency situations. The flier also gives tips on personal preparedness, including creating a personal preparedness plan.
The Mayor’s Advisory Committee for People with Disabilities (MACFPWD) recently spearheaded an effort to update certain language in the County's Special Needs Registry enrollment form in order to encourage greater participation in the Registry. The Advisory Committee worked with the Yonkers Mayor’s Disability Advisory Board (YMDAB) and Westchester Disabled on the Move (WDOM) on this initiative. In a letter to the Westchester County Dept. of Emergency Services Commissioner the three organizations offered suggestions to improve the scope of the language in the “Condition/Mobility Information” section of the Westchester County Special Needs Registry. The letter was prompted by concerns that the Registry may discourage some individuals with disabilities from applying, as it does not fully capture the spectrum of disability conditions. Also, that some of the information should be expanded for inclusivity and specificity, and certain language should be amended for propriety and accuracy. The Advisory Committee hopes to work with DES over the coming months to make meaningful changes to the form and promote participation in the Registry. View full letter here.
Ring in the New Year in Downtown White Plains! This family-friendly, free event is held at the intersection of Main and Court Streets and includes a DJ as well as live entertainment by the Hey Nows, a crowd countdown and ball drop, followed by a not-to-be-missed fireworks display and confetti. More info: www.cityofwhiteplains.com. Please note:
1) An accessible viewing area will be available on Main Street at Court Street. Patrons who need to access the accessible viewing area should enter the event through Gate # 4, located at the intersection of Martine Avenue and Court Street.
2) The New Year. Safe Ride. program, sponsored by HEINEKEN USA, will provide free and safe rides home for Westchester County residents of legal drinking age who celebrate New Year’s Eve in downtown White Plains. At least one vehicle will be an accessible vehicle.
The elevator at the White Plains station will be out of service from October 14 - December 6, 2019 while it undergoes renovations. This is part of the comprehensive MTA Metro-North station improvement project for the White Plains station that has been ongoing. Transportation for customers who need elevator access will be provided by Metro-North to/from the North White Plains station, the closest elevator-accessible station. See this link for more information: http://web.mta.info/mnr/
The Mayor's Advisory Committee for People with Disabilities and City staff met with Metro-North staff on several occasions to provide valuable feedback on the potential impacts of the elevator replacement project on those with disabilities.
City of White Plains Now Participating in DRIE Program. In June 2019 the Common Council held a hearing on legislation authorizing the City to participate in the Disabled Rental Income Exemption (DRIE) program and to increase the annual income eligibility limits under the Senior Citizen Rental Income Exemption (SCRIE) program. The city has participated in SCRIE for many years. Several years ago the city increased the income eligibility limit under SCRIE to its current $30,000 level. In an effort to encourage more participation in these programs, the legislation increases the income eligibility limits to the current state maximum of $50,000/year. These programs apply to those who live in Emergency Tenant Protection Act (ETPA) buildings, of which there are many in the city. Tenants in ETPA buildings who are participating in the SCRIE or DRIE programs are protected from rent increases and building owners receive a tax credit for their participation in the program. The Mayor's Advisory Committee for People with Disabilities advocated for this legislation.
PROJECT ACCESS – A HOUSING RESOURCE FOR PERSONS WITH DISABILITIES AND SENIORS. Project Access is a program of Westchester Independent Living Center (WILC) and is funded through a Community Development Block Grant from the City of White Plains. The Project’s objective is to provide information on affordable and accessible rental housing in White Plains to residents with disabilities and seniors via its online White Plains Housing Registry database. To date, the Registry includes over 100 buildings with information on architectural accessibility, current rental costs and management contact information. To access the database link, click here. For more information, please contact Michael Hellmann at 914.682.3926.
The Mayor's Advisory Committee for People with Disabilities is working to raise awareness about a White Plains Public Safety program called Rapid Recovery. This program enhances Public Safety's ability to quickly respond to incidents involving missing autistic or elderly individuals suffering from dementia or Alzheimer's Disease. It permits parents/guardians to provide White Plains Public Safety with crucial information about the individual in case of an emergency to keep on file. This is a free service provided to the community.
The White Plains Mayor's Advisory Committee for People with Disabilities and the Yonkers Mayor's Disability Advisory Board, along with Westchester disability advocacy groups, worked together to spearhead a statement (PDF) on the impact of the proposed federal budget cuts on people with disabilities. Both the White Plains and the Yonkers groups focus on raising awareness in their respective communities and advocating for changes that will have a positive impact on those in the community with disabilities. The Yonkers and White Plains boards, along with the Scarsdale Council for People with Disabilities, have begun to explore ways in which they might work together and share information on issues of mutual concern.
The Mayor's Advisory Committee for People with Disabilities and White Plains Community Media have produced a PSA on accessible parking. The PSA serves as both a reminder and an educational and awareness tool for the public about the do's and don'ts of accessible parking. View our Public Service Announcement on Accessible Parking.
The Mayor's Advisory Committee for People with Disabilities, once again working with White Plains Community Media, has been able to secure Assistive Listening Devices for use in the Common Council Chamber for those who are hearing impaired. The devices will be available for use during Common Council Meetings and Planning Board meetings.
If you, or someone you know, might require additional assistance to leave home during an emergency, consider registering with the Westchester County Special Needs Registry. The registry is for individuals with physical or mental disabilities who live on their own. The database will be provided to local municipalities, such as White Plains, to use in their emergency planning efforts.
Two Committee members, Lisa Tarricone and Liz Mark, co-chaired a special event to mark the 25th Anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). This event, ADA 25: Yesterday Today Tomorrow, was held on July 23, 2015 at Burke Rehabilitation Center in White Plains to a packed audience. The keynote speaker was Richard Manley, former Director of Westchester County Office for the Disabled, and the event featured the premier screening of a short film by Chazz Menendez. The film features interviews with a dozen disabled residents of Westchester, who discuss how the ADA has impacted their lives and the challenges that still need to be addressed. The film is moving, thought-provoking, and inspirational. We invite you to view this film and share it with others. Kudos and thanks to Lisa and Liz for organizing this wonderful event.
Services for Residents
The White Plains Public Library offers homebound library services (PDF) for White Plains residents. Click on the link to find out how to let the Library come to you.
Westchester County ParaTransit is now taking reservations through an Online Reservation System (PDF) in addition to the current phone system.
- Westchester Independent Living Center
10 County Center Road, 2nd floor
White Plains, NY 10607
- Meals on Wheels White Plains
311 North St.
White Plains, NY 10605
- Aging in Place in White Plains
P.O. Box 815
White Plains, NY 10602
227 Martine Avenue Suite 230
White Plains, NY 10601
- Westchester Disabled on the Move
984 North Broadway, Suite LL-10
Yonkers, NY 10701
- ARC of Westchester
265 Saw Mill River Road
Hawthorne, NY 10532
- Guiding Eyes for the Blind
611 Granite Springs Road
Yorktown Heights, NY 10598
- Westchester County Office for the Disabled
Michaelian Office Building
148 Martine Avenue
White Plains, NY 10601
- Westchester Jewish Community Services
845 North Broadway
White Plains, NY 10603