People with Disabilities

Fairfax County, Virginia

CONTACT INFORMATION: Monday - Friday 8 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.

703-324-5421
TTY 703-449-1186

Disability Services Planning and Development, 12011 Government Center Parkway, Suite 708
Fairfax, VA 22035

Trina Mayhan-Webb,
Director

Fairfax Area Disability Services Board

The Fairfax Area Disability Services Board is made up of 15 volunteers appointed by elected officials of Fairfax County, City of Falls Church, and the City of Fairfax to represent and advocate for people with physical and sensory disabilities.

Learn more about upcoming meetings and the information posted for each one.

Disabilities Services Board group photo

The Fairfax Area Disability Services Board works to include people with physical and sensory disabilities into mainstream community life. Our activities on behalf of people with physical and sensory disabilities include:

  • Informing and educating people about disability policy and barriers to community mainstreaming.
  • Advising elective bodies on issues and policies including the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).
  • Assessing local services and service needs for state and local government.
  • Catalyzing the development of public and private funding for services.
  • Monitoring compliance with federal, state, and local disability law.
  • Developing and supporting linkages to improve service coordination and the array of services.
  • Advocating for the rights of people with disabilities.

Get Involved

As your representatives, we need to hear from you. Consider the following:

  • The Fairfax Area Disability Services Board values community input. Each meeting begins with an open comment period, and the board welcomes suggestions from the public on how to make the Fairfax area a better place for people with disabilities.

  • Update: Due to COVID-19, meetings will not be held in person at this time. This web page will list all upcoming meetings done remotely. As a reference, meetings are generally held on the second Monday of the month from 7-9 p.m. in Conference Rooms 9/10 at the Fairfax County Government Center. Scheduled 2020 meetings will be held in February, March, May, June, September, October and December. Board meetings are subject to change, so contact the board or visit Fairfax County’s Public Meetings Calendar for the most up-to-date meeting information.

  • The Fairfax County Government Center is conveniently located in close proximity to I-66 and Route 50. If you are using public transportation, use Fairfax Connector bus #621, 622, or 623 and Connector bus #605 Fair Oaks - Reston Line. For public transportation information, call 703-339-7200. For Metrorail or Metrobus connections with the Connector buses, call 202-637-7000.

  • Join a committee! The Fairfax Area Disability Services Board has committees on transportation, housing, employment, emergency preparedness, and more. For more information about joining a committee, call 703-324-5874 or email the Fairfax Area Disability Services Board.

Meet the Fairfax Area Disability Services Board Members

Leeann Alberts, Chair (At-large)
Tom Bash (At-large)
Michele "Cookie" Hymer Blitz (Hunter Mill)
Deborah Cohen (Braddock)
Dr. Ayman Eldarwish (Mason)
Chester Freedenthal, Vice Chair (Lee)
Deborah Hammer, Secretary (Mount Vernon)
Elizabeth John (Dranesville)
Mary Pauline Jones (Springfield)
Andrew Magill (At-large)
Sailesh Panchang (Sully)
Doris Ray (At-large)
Judith Turcott (City of Fairfax)

Meeting Information

Monday, June 15, 2020 Fairfax Area Disability Services Board Nominations Committee Meeting Information

Public Meeting Notice

Fairfax Area Disability Services Board Nominations Committee Meeting

Monday, June 15, 2020 at 6 p.m. will be held electronically due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Live audio of the meeting may be accessed by dialing 1-866-434-5269 and entering the code 3743216.

Meeting materials will be posted on our website or contact Claudia Vila by email or call 703-324-5426.

For ADA accommodations, please contact 703-324-5426; TTY VA Relay 711. To access via AT&T Bridge call dial 1-866-434-5269 and enter code: 3743216.

Agenda

6:00-6:05 p.m. Call to Order – Roll Call

6:05-6:10 p.m. Opportunity for Public Comment

6:15-6:45 p.m. Nominations Committee Meeting Items:

  • Discussion of Nominees
  • Discussion Regarding Next Steps

6:45-6:50 p.m. Adjourn

Monday, June 15, 2020 Fairfax Area Disability Services Board Meeting Information

Agenda

7:00-7:05 p.m. Call to Order – Roll Call and Approval of March Minutes

7:05-7:15 p.m. Opportunity for Public Comment

7:15-8:55 p.m. Executive Committee Meeting Items:

  1. Executive Committee Nominations
  2. Presentation of County Services During COVI-19 Disability Rights & Resources
  3. Legislative Committee Work - Update
  4. Review ofMminutes

9 p.m. Adjourn

Fairfax Area Disability Services Board Meeting Resources Overview Presentation*

*Fairfax County is committed to nondiscrimination on the basis of disability in all county programs, services and activities. To request reasonable accommodations or to receive this information in an alternate format, call 703-324-5421; TTY 703-449-1186.

Thursday, May 28, 2020 Fairfax Area Disability Services Board Executive Committee Meeting Information

Public Meeting Notice

Fairfax Area Disability Services Board Executive Committee Meeting

Thursday, May 28, 2020 at 7-8 a.m. will be held electronically due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Live audio of the meeting may be accessed by dialing 1-877-336-1829 and entering the code 7703575.

Meeting materials will be posted on our website or contact Claudia Vila by email or call 703-324-5426.

For ADA accommodations, please contact 703-324-5426; TTY VA Relay 711. To access via AT&T Bridge call dial 1-877-336-1829 and enter code 7703575.

Agenda

7:00-7:05 a.m. Call to Order – Roll Call

7:05-7:10 a.m. Opportunity for Public Comment

7:10-7:55 a.m. Executive Committee Meeting Items:

  • Welcome Director Becketts
  • COVID-19 Document- Feedback
  • Status of ADA and Voting Rights Act Anniversaries
  • Status of Nominations Subcommittee Topic
  • Proposed Changes to the FA-DSB Bylaws
  • Status of John Hudson Internship Program
  • Status of Martha Glennan Awards Program
  • Possible FA-DSB Meetings in the Summer

7:55-8 a.m. Adjourn

COVID-19 Fairfax Area Disability Services Board (FA-DSB) Feedback

Regarding stay-at-home orders:

  • The continuation of Metro Access services is helpful in this environment.
    • Existing transportation needs for grocery/pharmacy shopping in the event there are no family or friends that can assist.
  • Telehealth for those who are visually impaired:
    • Plain audio calls are an option, but the provider cannot visually examine the patient if needed when the tele-med session is challenging to use.

Regarding first responders and emergency personnel:

  • Specialized training in dealing with individuals with disabilities regardless of this virus.

Regarding social isolation:

  • Recreation activities and day support programs can both offer many activities online, (eg, via zoom) including social activities, fitness activities, and daily living or job development activities.
  • Those in residential situations (such as group homes, assisted living) who have no or reduced access to family/friends/activities, may be at increased risk for abuse in isolation.
Impacts of COVID-19 on Residents of Fairfax County with Disabilities
Issue Population Most Affected Potential Solution
Transportation options cut with fewer bus and metro routes and ride share options more limited. Elderly; people who are blind and visually impaired; people who have physical disabilities; people with developmental disabilities.  
Medical professionals and first responders with limited knowledge of how to accommodate people with disabilities. All people with disabilities.  
Closed respite services. Children with developmental disabilities; older adults with dementia.  
Home-service therapists, care-givers, and other providers who are not able to safely come in. Children and adults with developmental disabilities; adults with physical disabilities; people with severe health conditions, elderly.  
People wearing masks that obscure their mouths. People who are deaf or hard of hearing. Distribute masks that have a clear panel to health care providers and first responders.
Closed schools/distance learning and limited ability to access online resources. Children with disabilities who require and Individual Education Plan, with goals, services, and accommodations to support accessing the general education curriculum.  
Closed day-support programs and lack of access to therapies, enrichment, and socialization. Adults with developmental disabilities.  

Closed recreation centers and parks and lack of therapeutic recreations activities.

Children and adults with all disabilities.  
Closed counseling and psychiatric offices. People with emotional or psychiatric disabilities who do not have access to tele-therapy.  
Severe Hydroxychloroquine shortage. People with Lupus with Rheumatoid Arthritis. Limit access to those with prior prescriptions (this has been done in many states and localities).
Shortages of personal protective gear, gloves, soap and rubbing alcohol. People with health conditions and those requiring wound care or assistance with activities of daily living.  

Concern with discrimination in the hospital setting due to disabilities in.

People with various communication and mobility disabilities, as well as people with a complex medical history.  
Break in care if caregiver becomes ill. All people with disabilities who require assistance with life tasks..  

concern of being transferred to a co habitation setting that is high risk for exposure (example : nursing homes).

All people with or without disabilities.  
Experiencing non-compliance with ADA accessibility during reduced quarantine restrictions and subsequent reopening. People with physical and sensory disabilities.  Those with health conditions which would leave them susceptible to COVID 19.  

Meeting Recording

Meeting Minutes

Fairfax Area Disability Services Board (FA-DSB) Executive Committee Meeting

Thursday, May 28, 2020 Meeting Minutes Virtual Meeting on Zoom

FA-DSB Members in Attendance

  • Leeann Alberts, Chair, At-Large
  • Chester Freedenthal, Vice Chair, Lee District
  • Deborah Hammer, Secretary, Mt. Vernon District

Others Present

  • Claudia Vila, Manager, Disability Rights and Resources
  • Trina Mayhan-Webb, Director, Adults & Aging Division
  • Michael Becketts, Director, Department of Family Services
  • Nicole Fagan, Staff, Disability Rights and Resources
FA-DSB Executive Committee Items Discussed During the Meeting

Call to Order 7:00 a.m.
Virtual roll call completed by Leeann. All three members were calling from their personal home.

COVID-19 Document- Feedback

The executive committee reviewed the Impacts of COVID-19 on Residents of Fairfax County document. Chester and Deborah added an additional concern to the list siting the spacing of tables for social distancing at restaurants potentially blocking sidewalks and accessible pathways and violating ADA. Claudia advised FA-DSB members be proactive and contact their respective board members and to manage access issues case by case and regionally. Chester agreed to contact Supervisor Lusk and his taskforce and will report back to the board. Trina recommended a standard message, two to three sentences, be sent to each BOS member to include in their newsletters so that it is consistent.

Deborah asked to add the recommendation that Fairfax County, acquire and distribute PPE and needed supplies to nursing homes and individuals who require it due to their disability. Trina shared that through CARES Act funding, nursing facilities that are managed by Fairfax County Health Department will be getting PPE supplies and each administrator will be responsible to distribute. Deborah suggested that PPE supplies be distributed to agencies that provide care via Medicaid or CCC waivers for caretakers that go into homes to work with medically fragile children and other vulnerable populations.

Claudia shared feedback received from other DSB members:

  • Sailesch shared concerns regarding MetroAccess service reductions and individuals being able to get out in the community for pharmacy, groceries and other necessities. Additionally, he expressed concerns regarding telehealth for those who are visually impaired.
  • MaryPauline requested specialized training for first responders in dealing with individuals with disabilities regardless of this virus.
  • Debbie Cohen commented regarding social isolation and activities being available virtually, (eg, via zoom) including social activities, fitness activities, and daily living or job development activities. Additionally, Debbie had expressed concerns for individuals in residential situations (such as group homes, assisted living) who have no or reduced access to family/friends/activities and may be at increased risk for abuse.

The committee discussed these topics and determined all items should be added to the document. Chester shared that both Police and Fire Academy have included in part of their training a section on working with individuals with disabilities and asked to have Deputy County Executive Rohrer come to a future meeting when board reconvenes to share what training is currently provided.

Deborah commented that many residents do not have internet or technology to access virtual activities and services. Director Becketts shared that Carla Bruce, Chief Equity Officer, in conjunction with public schools has been strategizing county-wide effort with agencies and internet providers to ensure that all have access. Claudia agreed to send email to Carla Bruce to get update on where this initiative is at.

Chester stated that DSB needs to advocate for accessible technology (ex. Computers that can be used with screen readers).

Updates from Director Becketts

DFS is trying to balance physical and psychological safety with public needs. The goal is to take a person- centered approach and focus is on the human experience of services. Director Becketts shared that he has not received any feedback or comments on if services have been accessible to residents with disabilities. The board agreed to explore how the new formats of, “assistance from a distance” are working for residents of disabilities and provide feedback to Director Becketts. Finally, Director Becketts shared that Health, Housing, and Human Services will be sending a mailout to all households regarding services and asked if there is any specific language that could be included on the mailer to be more inclusive of residents with disabilities.

In response to Director Becketts request for feedback, Deborah shared concerns for people with disabilities particularly surrounding the mental health and well-being of these individuals and their families. Many families not having caregivers come into their homes and provide additional services and has led to mental health crises. Chester agreed that the FA-DSB needs to advocate to public safety that a person with a disability may need to be handled differently during such crises. Chester suggested writing a letter to share how to mental health services may need to be modified. Trina shared that DFS has many staff and volunteers providing well-ness phone calls and that meals on wheels deliveries are currently being made by a trained staff person to better monitor the well-being of meal recipients.

Status of ADA and Voting Rights Act Anniversaries

Leeann inquired on status of ADA and Voting Rights Act anniversaries and proclamation. Chester said copy of proclamation and joint resolution of the board had been shared with Supervisor Lusk and

Supervisor Herrity. He is now waiting to hear feedback. Chester agreed to send copy of proclamation to Claudia.

Status of Nominations Subcommittee

Claudia shared that FA-DSB can have a full board meeting virtually to nominate a subcommittee. To adhere to the bylaws, the board would need one meeting date to collect nominations and would need a second meeting to vote on the nominees. Claudia suggested that the FA-DSB plan to conduct business virtually for the foreseeable future and provided feedback on current legislation and ordinances that allow BACs to meet in Virginia.

Proposed Changes to the FA-DSB Bylaws

The executive committee decided to postpone discussing changes to the by-laws and save for a fall meeting date. Claudia shared that she has been in communication with County Attorney’s office and hopes to move quickly on changing bylaws.

Status of John Hudson Internship Program

Claudia and Nicole provided update regarding JHIP. DRR originally postponed the summer 2020 internships to fall due to COVID-19. However, due to these unprecedented times the internships will likely not happen at all this year. DRR explored transitioning to virtual internships but current Fairfax County Government policy prevent hiring for these positions.

Status of Martha Glennan Awards Program

Leeann shared that everything can be done virtually or electronically so FA-DSB can move forward with standard timeline. Chester suggested adding JHIP and MGA discussion to July meeting agenda.

Possible FA-DSB Meetings in the Summer
The committee discussed bringing back summer meetings, and all agreed they would like to try it. The next meeting was scheduled for Monday, June 15 at 7:00PM and agenda items will include: nomination committee for new executive committee and Claudia to present what county is currently doing to support residents.

Meeting Adjournment 8:33 a.m.

Fairfax Virtual Assistant