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Advisory Committee for the Disabled disbands
by Joshua H. Silavent
Dec 11, 2011 | 2233 views | 0 0 comments | 5 5 recommendations | email to a friend | print
SPARKS — The Sparks Advisory Committee for the Disabled (SACD), founded in 1983 to advocate on behalf of persons with physical disabilities, held their last meeting on Wednesday before going on indefinite hiatus.

“It’s something we could certainly resurrect in the future,” said city spokesperson Adam Mayberry.

But that isn’t likely to happen. The reason: the committee is simply no longer needed.

“Sometimes you run your course of usefulness,” said City Councilman Ed Lawson, who sat on the committee during the last year.

With the passage of the Americans with Disabilities Act, or ADA, in 1990 and the emergence of advocacy and support organizations like the local Northern Nevada Center for Independent Living and Nevada Disability Advocacy and Law Center, great progress has been made in improving access and opportunity for persons with disabilities.

With so many agencies filling critical roles, and because the SACD lacks an operating budget, the time came for the committee to disband, said Chairperson Judie Henderson.

Shuttering the committee also frees up valuable staff time and resources that can be shifted elsewhere within city government.

But that doesn’t mean that Sparks officials are now turning a blind eye to issues facing disabled persons, Henderson said.

For example, a budget has been approved for bathroom remodeling at City Hall, which will make the restrooms accessible to persons confined to wheelchairs.

Henderson, meanwhile, is moving on to bigger things.

A student at the University of Nevada, Reno, Henderson was recently awarded the Harry S. Truman Scholarship, which provides her a 10-week internship in Washington, D.C. She has also been awarded a Madeleine Albright fellowship and plans to pursue a Master’s Degree in International Public Policy with a focus on health care issues and advocacy for people with disabilities.
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