OU, Athens Formalize Emergency Management, Accessibility Agreement

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Athens Mayor Paul Wiehl and Ohio University President Roderick J. McDavis signed two appendices to formalize collaborative initiatives between the city and the university under the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between the city of Athens and Ohio University. The executed appendices include Emergency Management, and Disability and Accessibility Planning.

The Emergency Management appendix is modeled after the National Incident Management System. It seeks to provide clarity and guidance regarding emergency preparedness, disaster response, and coordination of services during crisis situations.

“Athens City and Ohio University continue their endeavors recognizing shared resources and responsibilities as it relates to our operations and responses,” said Wiehl. “The city and the university have established protocol for mutual aid, and the Emergency Management appendix speaks to the corresponding jurisdictions and coordination of these resources during times of disaster, whether man-made or natural.”

The Disability and Accessibility Planning appendix was requested by Athens City Councilman Steve Patterson after consultation with the Athens City Commission on Disabilities and the university’s Presidential Advisory Council on Disability and Accessibility Planning (PACDAP). It encourages the two established entities to work together in their planning efforts in order to create a “quality living environment where all members can fully participate in our community.”

“Successful collaboration between Ohio University and the city of Athens will help us be intentional about providing service and support to members of our community who live with disabilities,” McDavis said. “Improving accessibility is a critical step toward ensuring all members of our community may fully participate in all the university and city have to offer. By lifting up and empowering the Commission and PACDAP and encouraging their collaboration, the Disability and Accessibility Planning appendix furthers our commitment to fostering a welcoming, inclusive community for all.”

The MOU and appendices executed this week were developed by a work group that continues to develop and formalize additional areas of partnership and collaboration between the city of Athens and Ohio University.