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General Laws

Section 8J. A city which accepts the provisions of this section by vote of its city council, subject to the provisions of its charter, or a town which accepts the provisions of this section at an annual or special town meeting, may establish a commission on disability, hereinafter called the commission, to cause the full integration and participation of people with disabilities in such city or town. Such commission shall (1) research local problems of people with disabilities; (2) advise and assist municipal officials and employees in ensuring compliance with state and federal laws and regulations that affect people with disabilities; (3) coordinate or carry out programs designed to meet the problems of people with disabilities in coordination with programs of the Massachusetts office on disability; (4) review and make recommendations about policies, procedures, services, activities and facilities of departments, boards and agencies of said city or town as they affect people with disabilities; (5) provide information, referrals, guidance and technical assistance to individuals, public agencies, businesses and organizations in all matters pertaining to disability; (6) coordinate activities of other local groups organized for similar purposes.

Said commission shall keep records of its meetings and actions and shall file an annual report which shall be printed in the city or town annual report and shall have at least ten meetings annually.

Said commission shall consist of not less than five nor more than nine members. In cities, the members shall be appointed by the mayor, subject to the provisions of the city charter except that in cities having a Plan D or Plan E form of government said appointments shall be by the city manager, subject to the provisions of the charter, and in towns they shall be appointed by the selectmen, except towns having a town manager form of government, in which towns appointments shall be made by the town manager, subject to the approval of the selectmen and except towns having a town council form of government, the town manager. A majority of said commission members shall consist of people with disabilities, one member shall be a member of the immediate family of a person with a disability and one member of said commission shall be either an elected or appointed official of that city or town. The terms of the first members of said commission shall be for one, two or three years, and so arranged that the term of one-third of the members expires each year, and their successor shall be appointed for terms of three years each. Any member of said commission may, after a public hearing, if so requested, be removed for cause by the appointing authority. A vacancy occurring otherwise than by expiration of a term shall be filled for the unexpired term in the same manner as an original appointment. The chairperson and other officers shall be chosen by a majority vote of said commission members.

Said commission may receive gifts of property, both real and personal, in the name of the city or town, subject to the approval of the city council in a city or the board of selectmen in a town, such gifts to be managed and controlled by said commission for the purposes of this section.

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