About Us

In the late 1970's, the idea for the Commission on Disabilities evolved from local activist's efforts to improve access for people with physical disabilities in Santa Cruz County. This effort was embraced by the County Board of Supervisors and lead to the official establishment of the Commission in 1979. An ordinance was passed mandating that a Commission on Physical Disabilities be formed to serve as an advisory body to the Board of Supervisors on issues impacting persons with disabilities in Santa Cruz. After the signing of the Americans with Disabilities Act in 1990, the Commission's scope expanded to include all types of disabilities, including but not limited to mental and developmental.

The purpose of the Commission is to review and make recommendations on the following:

  • Existing County policies that affect persons with disabilities including the County's Equal Employment Opportunity plan and personnel rules and job descriptions.
  • Increasing employment opportunities for persons with disabilities and working with the County to eliminate barriers, broaden disability awareness, and expand diverse opportunities for employment for persons with disabilities.
  • Implementation of the Americans with Disabilities Act to insure County compliance with federal regulations and to eliminate discrimination toward persons with disabilities. The Commission serves as your voice to our County leaders. Our vision is for all persons with disabilities to experience Santa Cruz County as a community free of barriers to independent living.
  • Provisions for access to public places within the County to persons with disabilities.
  • Services provided in the County to persons with disabilities and requests from those organizations seeking County assistance to serve persons with disabilities.
  • Citizen complaints related to access and disability.
  • Federal and state legislation affecting persons with disabilities.


The Commission on Disabilities' mission is to:

  • Provide an accessible, inclusive, and appropriate place for persons with disabilities to express community concerns.
  • Identify and address visible and invisible barriers preventing children and adults with disabilities from exercising their rights to live a full and productive life
  • Educate and promote awareness on disability issues and rights
  • Provide referrals and initiate collaborations, bringing together needs and resources to inspire community action
  • Take an active role in advancing Local, State, and Federal Legislation that insures and maintains equity and access for all people with disabilities.


Commission Bylaws

Public Participation

  • Please check the meeting agenda to learn details about how to participate in the commission meeting.
  • If you need special accommodations, please call 454-2935 or TDD: 711 (California Relay Service) at least 48 hours before the meeting.