Meeting Minutes - October 19, 2015 |

Charles County, Maryland

Meeting Minutes - October 19, 2015

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Charles County Commission on Individuals with Disabilities

Meeting Minutes: 10/19/2015

Charles County Government Building, Safety Officer's Meeting Room

Call to Order:


The meeting was called to order at 3:00 p.m. by Emily Ferren, Chair.

     *In attendance:  Emily Ferren, Nicky Pires, John Lewis, Brasilia Lowe, Jeff Mathews, Joane Gulvas, Charlie Patterson, Jim Howard

     *Excused: Sandra Dent, Tonya-Kay Speers, Michelle Fowler

     The topic of today's meeting was to understand the dynamics of having more public awareness of those with disabilities and to possibly provide a training to the community to create more awareness to better accommodate those with disabilities. The group began by watching a

video (see link) to gain perspetive of what individuals with disabilities would prefer daily life to ike and how they see ideal interactions with members in the community to be.

     Jim began a discussion of those with service animals and the complexities of using service animals within the community. One issue that was discussed was simply getting others to recognize that the animal was indeed a registered service animal. Emily brought up the

idea that those who had service animals could travel with a card that shows registration of the service animal when questioned. Also discussed was outfitting the animal with a vest that shows registration of it being a service animal. Emily discussed the conversations that

were had at the state level that services animals for individuals with disabilities can rage widely on the type of animal that is used and for what type of disability (e.g. chimpanzees, snakes, etc.).

     The next topic that was discussed was the concept of working with the local community and some of the requests that have been made by community members. Emily discussed that many local artists along with the Charles County Arts Alliance have had many requests to display art work done by local artists that have disabilities and to celebrate this through an annual event, specifically during the celebration of the ADA anniversary. Emily discussed that a date for such an event is being determined and will be announced when determined and may possibly be held at the veteran's home.

     John discussed with the group the idea of having a person with a disability come to talk and discuss his experiences in regards to interactions with others. John also talked about having his guest speaker talk about his experiences through a online dating service for those

with disabilities.

     Emily talked with the group about possibly having meeting agenda's posted in the newspaper so that members of the community who were interested in attending could attend the commission's meetings.

     Nicky Pires informed the commission that currently there is a large grant application in process to help aid individuals with disabilities and seniors from Charles County to Washington, DC in terms of transportation. The purpose of this grant would be to provide transportation into the city to receive medical treatment and possibly behavioral treatment through a tri-county effort. Nicky also discussed that funding and support is needed and if any members of the commission could pass this information along it would be greatly beneficial. One possible option that was discussed was partnership with local agencies (e.g. United Way) to support this effort.

     Joane reported that there were no important government updates at this time.

     A motion was made by John and seconded by Brasilia to approve the September minutes. The motion passed.

     The meeting was then adjourned by Emily at 4:02 p.m.

The remaining dates for year 2015 CIWD meetings were presented as follows:

November 16th and December 21, 2015


Link to vide:


Submitted by,

Jeff Mathews, Secretary