Controller Audits Department on Disability,
Calls for a More Accessible Los Angeles
Los Angeles -- L.A. Controller Ron Galperin today released an audit of the City’s Department on Disability (DoD), calling for a more systematic, citywide approach to enhance the Department’s effectiveness and improve the City’s compliance with disability laws.
The audit details a department challenged by staffing shortages and a lack of clarity as it relates to its diverse responsibilities. While calling on the City Council to set forth a more focused agenda for the Department - especially after more than $1.7 billion in disability-related in liability claims since 2013 - Controller Galperin also called on the DoD to prioritize its own direction.
This audit comes after Controller Galperin spent two months on crutches, hit by a car while walking in a marked crosswalk. Though the audit was already being conducted, its recommendations took on a more personal impact as he works to make Los Angeles more accessible and ensure a high level of transparency throughout the City and the DoD.
“Many of our senior citizens and up to a quarter million Angelenos under the age of 65 live with physical and other disabilities every single day of their lives. My experience on crutches offered a small, but valuable lens from which to understand that we all need to be more cognizant of how ramps, inclines and other important measures most of us take for granted make a big difference,” L.A. Controller Galperin said. “The City must works toward greater accessibility and inclusion -- and must also learn important lessons from liabilities it has incurred, so that hard-earned taxpayer dollars are spent more wisely.”
Overall, the audit found that DoD management and staff are committed to helping those who depend on its services. However, with a full time staff of 22 positions, the Department has struggled to effectively accomplish all of its prescribed responsibilities. The Controller’s audit laid out a series of recommendations to increase efficiency and transparency throughout the Department.