by Bankole Thompson
This article first appeared The Detroit News
“You cannot be a comeback city until you take into consideration people who need accommodation so that they can have the same access that abled people have,” said Baba Baxter Jones, outspoken member of the Detroit disability community, to members of the Detroit Charter Commission Tuesday evening.
Jones’ demands are part of a larger effort to have a Detroit Office of Disability Affairs written into the next City Charter. A focus group for people with disabilities made up of several organizations such as Warriors on Wheels, the Collective for Disability Justice, Blast Detroit and Detroit Disability Power have been campaigning to establish a formal office at City Hall that would cater to the diverse needs of the disability community.
According to a plan presented to the commission, the office would be staffed with 17 individuals with various expertise in disability needs and headed by an executive director. Its annual budget would be under $3 million.