The Casper’s Council of People with Disabilities (CCPD) announced in a press release on Thursday that applications are open for more volunteer members of the council.

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Chairperson Nikki Green said in the release:

"We are an educational and solution-oriented advisory board. We work to be a catalyst for promoting self-advocacy, equality, accessibility, and opportunity for all people, regardless of their disability...The ideal candidates are Casper residents with disabilities who are community-oriented and willing to be active members of a dynamic and diverse team,"

Since the council was formed in 2019 by the Casper city council, Green said the council has helped address transportation issues for people with disabilities in the community.

"One of the biggest things that were brought up by council members at the time was, consistently, the transportation issues," Green said. "The scheduling and limited hours and different things like that. So that's something we really have focused on quite a bit in the last three years. As far as improvements go, we've actually for special events, we plan a couple every year. One specifically is the Christmas parade. ASSIST actually works that evening to provide transportation to people with disabilities in the community, down to the parade and then back home that evening...We're also in the middle of trying to coordinate and researching ride-share programs for the disabled community and seeing if there's abilities for some different kinds of pricing models."

On March 10, the CCPD also made another call for people to submit applications to the council, which led to them adding two new members, though the council later lost three more members.

The CCPD consists of 12 to 16 members who are appointed by the Casper city council and serve three-year terms, and currently, it has 11 members plus liaisons from the city and county.

Meetings are on the fourth Thursday of every month at noon at Casper City Hall and members may also join meetings via Microsoft Teams.

The CCPD encouraged caretakers, family members, or legal guardians of persons with disabilities to apply on the city's website or by email.

While Green thinks the city isn't perfect, she does believe it has been getting better when it comes to addressing issues faced by disabled people in Casper.

"I think it's getting better," Green said. "I absolutely think the creation of this committee has made a huge impact...people who don't have mobility issues don't consider having to wheel over a snow bank on the corner when they're trying to get somewhere downtown or the giant piles in the middle of the street since we're coming up on the snow season."

The first round of application reviews will take place on Sept. 15, and Green said they don't have a specific timeline for new members, but that they will need to be approved by the Casper city council.

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