Cape Girardeau leadership class pushes for disability advisory board

There's a new effort to make Cape Girardeau a more accessible community for residents and visitors alike
Published: Sep. 8, 2023 at 4:48 PM CDT|Updated: Sep. 8, 2023 at 6:15 PM CDT
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CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo. (KFVS) - One in every three Missouri adults has a disability, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Now, there’s a new effort to make Cape Girardeau a more accessible community for residents and visitors alike. The idea to create a disability advisory board comes from community leaders involved in the Leadership Cape program.

“What we hope this board will accomplish is to be a liaison between the citizens and the city, looking at recommendations on how to improve city facilities,” said class member Alix Gasser.

“Knowing this and that Cape Girardeau is becoming a hub for traveling teams, for a lot of different visitors and tourism, we are looking for ways to make the city more accessible for those families so that they will want to come to cape and stay in cape,” she added.

To learn more, Gasser turned to Cape Girardeau mom Meghan Tyson.

“I have a son who is autistic so she was trying to get some of my input on what kind of needs we have in Cape,” said Tyson.

Tyson said a few easy accommodations can make things easier for families like hers.

“Just having some safe areas, quiet spaces. There are a lot of people that just get overwhelmed with loud spaces, and even having just a small space to go into to regroup and reset, maybe would allow more people to travel here,” said Tyson

Christa Weber serves as executive director at Discovery Playhouse.

“I think every business including ours has some opportunity to improve in accessibility,” said Weber.

She recently heard about the effort to make Cape Girardeau more accessible, and said she’s interested in taking part.

“I spent the last 19 years before Discovery Playhouse as a special educator and a special education administrator, so it just tugged on my heart strings and I thought I have to learn more about this opportunity,” Weber added.

Gasser said the Cape Girardeau leadership class is in talks with the Cape Girardeau City Council to see if creating a disability advisory board can happen.

“It is a group that does not get a lot of spotlight, but needs some additional voices to speak up for them,” said Gasser.