May 17, 2012

Fort, City renew efforts related to disability issues

By Angela Moncur
Fort Huachuca Public Affairs Officer

Fort Huachuca and City of Sierra Vista leadership renewed their commitment to enhance identification and resolution of disability related issues with a recently signed Memorandum of Agreement.

The agreement between Fort Huachuca’s Army Community Service Exceptional Family Member Program and the City of Sierra Vista’s Commission on Disability Issues is a formal working relationship intended to foster a climate of collaboration between military and municipal agencies.

The Fort’s Garrison Commander, Col. Timothy Faulkner, and City Manager, Chuck Potucek, renewed the annual agreement to encourage open communication and partnerships geared toward special needs families and disability employment awareness.

“This MOA is a significant example of a ‘best practice’ between a military base and its supporting civilian community government,” said Thomas Reardon, City of Sierra Vista council member.

The EFMP is a mandatory enrollment program that works with other military and civilian agencies to provide a comprehensive, coordinated and multi-disciplinary approach for medical, education, housing, community, support and personnel services to families with special needs.

EFMP ensures that medical and special education needs are considered in the assignment process. Upon in-processing, Soldiers are queried about an exceptional family member. If a Soldier has, or suspects he or she has, an exceptional family member, the Soldier is referred to the installation EFMP office for assistance.

As a community partner, the Commission on Disability Issues collaborates with EFMP to sponsor educational programs and events to raise awareness and support for local families with special needs. CoDI acts as a liaison between the City and residents with disabilities while advising the City Council to consider disabilities issues during policy making decisions. The Commission also recognizes businesses and individuals that exceed the national accommodation standards to support residents with disabilities.

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