Thursday, November 16, 2006

Who is included as members of the community?

This is the location of the first Green Port meeting. As you can see there is a formidible physical barrier for PWD's for whom climbing steps is not possible. In addition, PWD's acompianied by their service dogs are not welcome as this is an "animal free" home.

It is interesting to note that the Dana Park Neighborhood Association used to meet in private homes like this until I raised serious objections. Now called Cambridgeport Neighborhood Association, meetings are held in accesible locations, often in the community room of Woodrow Wilson Court.

Steve, of Green Port, wrote after the first meeting...

"We brainstormed ideas for how Cambridgeport could come together as a community to support individual choices and shared actions to reduce greenhouse emissions and move us toward using renewable energy"

Steve also provided a ride for me to the meeting, and home again, because I was informed that I could not have my service dog accompiany me. I have asked both Bill, the president of the CNA and Steve, to relocate these meetings for the future, so PWD's will not feel unwelcome and be excluded.

Therefore, I ask, who are members of the community? Who is considered a neighbor? Who should be excluded from membership? Attendence? Meaningful access? Should Cambridgeport Neighborhood Association allow PWD's to be excluded from full and equal participation by choosing to hold meetings in inaccessible spaces? Should Cambridgeport Neighborhood Association lend support to "other groups" who exclude some neighbors, some community members, based on their disability, from attending meetings because the location selected for the meeting is inaccessible?


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