The Islip Town Board has approved the establishment of a disability advisory board, working with a Central Islip advocate for disability rights.
"I am happy to announce the Town of Islip has established a new Disability Advisory Board that will work to address issues affecting those with disabilities and be a source of guidance and support for disabled members of the community," town Supervisor Angie Carpenter said in a news release.
The town board voted unanimously in favor of creating the new advisory board at its Oct. 13 board meeting. The number of members on the advisory board is yet to be determined.
"It has been a long while since the town had any type of committee dedicated to meeting the needs of the disabled and I look forward to developing this board and all that we can accomplish working together on behalf of the disabled in our community," Carpenter added in the release.
The advocate, Douglas King, spoke at the meeting before the vote, calling on the board to show the town that "people with disabilities can have a voice within Islip."
King, 43, of Central Islip, was born with spina bifida and has spent his life working on issues of compliance with the federal Americans with Disabilities Act, including with Suffolk County. He said he's looking forward to developing ideas with Islip Town officials on how the advisory board will work.
"I want to see from all of them what their thoughts are on the advisory board," King said.
He is also the legislative chairman of the Suffolk County Disabilities Advisory Committee, which he said can serve as a model for the town's advisory board.
The new Islip Town advisory board could also serve as a model for other communities, King said.
"I want it to be helpful for people with disabilities in the Town of Islip and also show the other townships on Long Island to step up to the plate," he said.
Carpenter's office is accepting applications from people interested in volunteering for the board. Applications, including a letter of interest and a resume can be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org or sent to Carpenter at Islip Town Hall, 655 Main St., Islip, NY 11751.