Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks is among four state agencies recognized for exemplary work by the Governor's Advisory Council on Disability which monitors Montana's effort to comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act.
The council, in its August report to Gov. Marc Racicot, recognized FWP's "long-term and comprehensive work" conducted to comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act. "Their early recognition and understanding of the need for accessibility, annual training for staff, providing accessible recreation sites and good customer service deserve our appreciation and support," the report says.
FWP began its "Crossing the Barriers" program in 1989 with the participation of more than 30 FWP employees. Several original members are still on the committee, including Helena-based staff Dick Mayer, Connie Mills, Fay Moore, Steve Knapp, Bobbi Keeler, Tim Gallagher, and Shelley Juvan. Other Helena-based staff members now serving on the Crossing the Barriers committee include: Debbie McRae, Tom Rielly, Julie Sanders, Thomas Baumeister, Bob Lane Paul Valle, and Mark Earnhardt. Regional staff members on the committee include: Sue Tomas, Kalispell; Dale Carlson, Missoula; Ray Heagney, Bozeman; Connie Jacobs, Great Falls; Doug Habermann, Billings; Connie Gilbertson, Miles City; and Don Hyyppa, Miles City.
FWP's Crossing the Barriers committee seeks to make it easier and more inviting for people with disabilities to participate in all FWP programs, from obtaining information and purchasing a license to hunt or fish, to launching a boat at a fishing access site.
The committee's accessibility consultant is Judy Harris of Helena.
Other state agencies recognized by the council are the Montana State Lottery, the State Library, and the Office of Budget and Program Planning.