There are places you feel welcome and places you don’t. Don’t get me wrong – it’s not that they don’t want you to feel welcome, but when thoughtless barrier after thoughtless barrier is thrown in your way…
The other night, your boyfriend took you out to the symphony. Dressing up is not something you usually like to do but, for this, you decided to make an exception. The way his eyes popped when you came out in that dress let you know that it had been worth the effort!
At the intermission, you decided to go check your makeup in the bathroom, but when you rolled in, you realized that this was going to be a problem, as the beautiful mirrors were hung four feet off the floor – kinda hard to see from your wheelchair. Then you realized that there isn’t even a handicapped stall in the bathroom. Sigh.
This is not just frustrating; it’s against the law! The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) lays out specific rules and guidelines about the layout and accessibility of any public building. While not having accessible mirrors just shows tone deafness, not having a toilet stall easily accessible and usable to those in wheelchairs violates the letter and spirit of the ADA.
If you’ve run into situations like this, where due to your disabilities you were unable to easily gain access to public areas of public buildings, we here at Access Advocates may be able to help. We’ll get you to tell us your story and then we’ll go to work.
We’ll meet with the building owner to let her know about the problem. We’ll coordinate with contractors and architects to come up with costs and plans. We’ll get final approval for the project from a federal judge and then monitor the work as it progresses. Finally, we’ll audit the building after the work is completed to ensure that the facility has been brought into compliance with the ADA.
If you’ve run into accessibility issues like this, please contact us. We’re here because we want to help.