There shall be an advisory commission which shall study the accessibility and participation of persons with disabilities, including but not limited to those who have hearing, visual, mobility, sensory, mental, or cognitive impairments in public buildings and associated events. The advisory commission shall make recommendations to the legislature and governor regarding opportunities to improve accessibility and participation. Access and participation shall include, but not be limited to, both physical access and access to services, including any necessary accommodations necessary for communication during public events.
The advisory commission shall (i) review the requirements of current federal and state laws relative to the rights of persons who are deaf and hard of hearing or who are visually impaired or blind; (ii) determine the extent to which state and local government buildings and facilities are in compliance with such laws; (iii) determine ways to improve and enhance access to public accommodations and services; (iv) consider such other related issues as may be necessary to address the needs of persons who are deaf and hard of hearing or who are visually impaired or blind in accessing public buildings, accommodations, and services; and (v) offer such recommendations as the advisory commission may deem necessary and appropriate.
The advisory commission shall consist of XX members, 1 of whom shall be the commissioner of the division of capital asset management and maintenance or her designee, who shall be a co-chair; 1 of whom shall be the director of the Massachusetts office on disability or a designee, who shall be a co-chair; 1 of whom shall be the state auditor or a designee; 1 of whom shall be the secretary of administration and finance or a designee; 1 of whom shall be the attorney general or a designee; 2 of whom shall be the chairs of the joint committee on state administration and regulatory oversight or designees. The advisory commission shall consult with appropriate representatives of the disability community, including, but not limited to, the Massachusetts commission for the blind, the Massachusetts commission for the deaf and hard of hearing, the Massachusetts registry for interpreters of the deaf the Boston Center for Independent Living or a similar Independent Living Center, the ARC of Massachusetts, the National Alliance on Mental Illness, the National Multiple Sclerosis Society, the Clubhouse Coalition, and the Developmental Disabilities Council.
The advisory commission shall file a report with its findings, including any legislative and regulatory recommendations, with the clerks of the senate and house of representatives and the joint committee on state administration and oversight, not later than 12 months after the effective date of this act.
All agencies of the commonwealth shall provide assistance to the advisory commission upon request of the chair.
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