How livable is Portland for people with disabilities?

The city of Portland is circulating an online survey in an attempt to gauge how livable/accessible the city is for people with disabilities.

The Portland Disability Advisory Committee, which held its first public forum earlier this month, is looking to get a baseline view for how the city stacks up in terms of its friendliness to people with disabilities as it works to formulate recommendations for improvements.

The committee serves in an advisory nature to City Manager Mark Rees, according to a news release from the city late last week.

surveyAfter a series of identifier questions (it’s an anonymous survey, so these questions are general — age, neighborhood, etc.), the survey asks how accessible the respondents’ homes are, whether they’re visitor-friendly and how safe they feel, among other things.

Survey takers are also asked to identify problems in their neighborhoods from a list of possibilities, ranging from “Streets and sidewalks don’t exist” to “Not enough accessible transportation” to “People are not accepting of people like me.”

The survey can be found on the city website, or by clicking here.

The survey cites the National Council on Disability in defining a “livable community” as one which:

  • Provides affordable and accessible housing
  • Ensures accessible, reliable and safe transportation
  • Creates a physical environment that is inclusive and accessible
  • Provides work, volunteer and education opportunities
  • Ensures access to key health and support services, and
  • Encourages participation in civic, cultural, social and recreational activities

This is not the first time the city has taken to circulating a survey to gauge public sentiment. Last year, the Portland Police Department teamed up with University of New England professor of social work Thomas McLaughlin to distribute questionnaires about crime, safety and police work in the city, and found that the vast majority of Portlanders feel safe and have a positive view of the cops here. (To read more about those results, click here.)

The organization Portland Buy Local also surveyed its members earlier this year to see what concerns local businesses have and how the “buy local” movement is working out for them. (Click here to read more.)

Seth Koenig

About Seth Koenig

Seth has nearly a decade of professional journalism experience and writes about the greater Portland region.