Commission on Disabilities

The Newburyport Commission on Disabilities is a commission of volunteers serving three-year terms, appointed by the Mayor and confirmed by vote of the City Council. The 7-9 member commission works to advocate on disability-related issues.  
  • NCOD members provide research, as well as advise and assist those in need.  
  • NCOD may also make recommendations and provide technical knowledge where needed, to City departments, businesses and organizations throughout the community
Commission members are all residents of Newburyport and must have a disability or be directly involved (personally or professionally) with a person with a disability. The commission also requires membership of one city employee.
 
Any community member interested in the work of the NCOD or interested in becoming a member is invited to attend our monthly meeting.  Meeting times and location are posted on the City's website calendar. Potential NCOD members are asked to attend two meetings and submit a letter of interest along with a simple resume to the office of the Mayor.
Our Mission
The NCOD  is an advisory, educational, and advocacy group. 
  • To promote the full inclusion of all persons with disabilities.
  • To represent and assist people with disabilities in the City of Newburyport.
  • To eliminate barriers to any and all activities, services, and employment opportunities throughout our city.
  • To advocate for the accessibility of all public spaces and accommodations. 
Our Goals
  • To advocate for the full inclusion, integration and participation of people with disabilities in the City of Newburyport.
  • To research possible solutions for the needs and problems of people with disabilities in the City of Newburyport.
  • To advise and assist town officials and employees in addressing the barriers of people with disabilities.
  • To provide information, referral, guidance, and technical assistance to individuals, public agencies, businesses, and organizations in matters pertaining to disability and ADA regulations.
  • To help and advise architects, contractors, and builders at the beginning of the design process. This pro-active approach is the key to avoid having to be reactive to access barriers and code violations.
  • To participate in disability-related training and informational programs at the local, regional, state, and federal levels. This allows us to stay up to date with ever changing ADA laws and regulations.
  • To support and advocate for training relevant  to people with disabilities who reside or work in the City of Newburyport.
Our Strengths
  • Experience:  Each member of our commission brings their own set of personal  and professional experiences to the table. This affords us a unique ability to have many different perspectives and ideas for potential solutions.
  • Knowledge: Through experience, we gain knowledge. Many of us have acquired much specialized knowledge through our own particular experiences. Having our varied and collective knowledge is our best tool when assessing, discussing and finding resolution for any situation we are presented with.
  • Network: From working in the industry, to utilizing support services, to attending meetings and trainings with COD's and officials in other communities, our expanded network provides us greater knowledge and exposure to issues relevant in other communities. Networking has helped us learn more about what we do and how to better serve our own community.
  • Information:   With access to resources - literature and special trainings, we can confidently answer questions and provide direction and resources for any given disability related issue. 

Staff Contacts

Commission Members

Name Title
Jennie Donahue Chairperson
Kristen Farrell Secretary
Dr. Barry Spiro, D.D.S. Member
Christopher Carey Member
Arthur Levine Member
Dr. Richard Traister, M.D. Member
Brian Greenberg Member