Accessibility Committee

The Accessibility Committee has had great success in increasing accessibility for disabled citizens in our community.  Our main goal is to realize a “barrier-free” City in which everyone can enjoy living and working.  Although we have had success in eliminating barriers in the community, we continue to check where improvements are still needed and work to make them better.  

Click here to view and download our Whittier Accessibility Committee Brochure.

Click here to view and download our Whittier Access Newsletter.


Applications are being sought for membership on the City of Whittier Accessibility Committee.  This seven-member Committee is an advisory body under the Social Services Commission which studies access issues and recommends access improvements to assist
those with disabilities in the community.

Applicants must be registered voters residing in the City of Whittier or must work for an agency that serves persons with disabilities and is based within the Whittier City limits, and should have experience with one or more types of disabilities.  Meetings are held from 1 to 3 p.m. the fourth Tuesday of January, April, July and October at the Uptown Senior Center.  In addition, there are various subcommittees and task forces targeting specific accessibility issues.

Those interested in helping to make Whittier a barrier-free community may contact Joan Mithers, Community Services Manager/Accessibility Coordinator, at 562-567-9480 or for an application or further information.

Abilities Awareness Faire

All community members are invited each year in October to come to this free event to learn more about how Whittier is working to become accessible to all residents.

The event is jointly sponsored by the City of Whittier Accessibility Committee, Park, Recreation and Community Services Department, Southeast Area Social Services Funding Authority (SASSFA) Work Source and the Whittier Union High School District.
Approximately 40 agencies set up booths at the Faire, featuring exhibits and displays on employment assistance information, advocacy, independent and assisted living, parent education, support programs, social services resources and emergency preparedness information.

For more information or to participate in the event, contact Joan Mithers, Accessibility Coordinator, at 562-567-9480 or

October - Disability Awareness Month

Mayor Bob Henderson presents a proclamation to members of the Accessibility Committee acknowledging Disability Awareness Month.

From Left to Right: Bob Ehlers, Vice Chair Shirley Oebel, Chair Hal Stearns,
Howard Payne and Mayor Bob Henderson

Who We Are:

The Committee is composed of community members and professionals who devote their time and efforts into making the City of Whittier a “barrier-free” community.  The Committee is made up of seven official members and many part-time volunteers.  Committee members or community volunteers also have the option of serving on Subcommittees or task forces to respond to more specific access issues.

Our goals include eliminating physical barriers throughout our community to improve access; continuing to make recommendations to improve City services and programs; and promoting understanding of individual differences through public awareness and education.  It is our feeling that achieving access within our community will benefit both disabled and able-bodied citizens, as they will be able to live and work side by side.

How the Committee Was Founded:

The Accessibility Committee had its beginnings in May of 1988, when three citizens expressed their concerns and difficulties in accessing our community.  City officials began meeting with them on an informal basis to discuss the barriers facing people with disabilities. This informal group evolved into a volunteer group that began a survey of those barriers in Whittier. The survey process took an entire year to complete, with the results compiled into an 80-page report, made available to the public.  The report was sent to the City Council through the Social Services Commission and the Council adopted its four main recommendations.  One of these recommendations resulted in the creation of the Accessibility Committee to advise other City boards and commissions.  The Committee held its first meeting in February 1991.

How You Can Help:

If you see access barriers in the community, your recommendations can help us make changes. Please call us with your ideas and suggestions, for we always invite outside comments and assistance. You can get involved with our Committee by attending one of our monthly meetings or Subcommittee meetings.  Everyone can write letters to their local and state officials supporting current legislation on access problems.

When We Meet:

The Whittier Accessibility Committee meets quarterly on the fourth Tuesday of January, April, July and October.

The meetings are held at the Whittier Senior Center, 13225 Walnut St., Whittier, CA 90602 from 1 to 3 p.m.

For further information, please view and download the Accessibility flyer