Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Help improve accessibility in Somerville

Access to and transparency of local government is key tenets of Somerville. Recently, we took a look at literal accessibility in the City to find out what barriers could be standing in the way of residents accessing City buildings, facilities, and information.

For six months, the City worked with the Institute for Human Design to identify areas that do not meet Americans with Disability Act standards. A full report can be found here. Somerville has a lot to work on, especially (and not surprisingly) in our older buildings. We’re also looking at our streets and sidewalks to find ways to better manage repairs and preventive maintenance and to increase accessibility. A full street plan outlines how we’ll be evaluating improvements and repairs going forward.

Now we need your help. Take a look at the reports and let us know what you think. Did we miss something? Are there factors we didn't consider? We want to get as much information as possible so that we can come up with a plan that will make Somerville more accessible for all residents.

One way you can share your feedback is at a public meeting tonight at 6 p.m. in City Hall. If you can’t make it tonight or need some more time to digest the reports, there are other ways to give your feedback. You can contact ADA Coordinator Betsy Allen at 617-625-6600 ext. 2323 or by email at or attend a second public meeting that will be scheduled in September. Of course, you can leave feedback here too and that will get shared with the ADA Coordinator. 


  1. Somerville has loads of tenants, but didn't you mean "tenets"? :)

    And what is "literal accessibility"? Did you mean "lateral"?

    I would hope there is more "literal" review that goes into official city blog posts.

    Somerville does indeed have a lot to work on.

  2. Thanks for catching the "tenet" mistake for me. I actually did mean to use literal though. Maybe it wasn't the best phrase, but I was trying to differentiate between being able to actually go into a building vs. accessing services or meetings through tv, online, etc.

  3. Re: earlier comments I think physical accessibility might be a better phrase.


Please note that you are about to comment on a blog moderated by the City of Somerville. Questions and comments will be moderated, edited, and responded to as time allows.

Also note, there are certain legal terms associated with posting to this website which include, but are not limited to, the following:

1. No comments or posts may endorse any candidate or political parties for political office;
2. No comments or posts may advertise or offer to sell any goods or services; and
3. No comments or posts may defame or otherwise violate the legal rights of others.

A complete version of the legal terms and conditions for posting to this website is available here: