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Archive for Friday, May 11, 2012

Accessibility

May 11, 2012

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To the editor:

I am a legally blind teenager and have noticed that many area restaurants do not have properly placed Braille restroom signs. A few do offer menus in Braille, which is always nice. I also used a wheelchair for a few months, and that experience made me notice that many places don’t have any kind of ramps or curb cuts to allow easier access.

I am a Boy Scout, and for my Eagle project I am planning to survey Lawrence restaurants and businesses to determine their accessibility for the blind and people in wheelchairs. I will then make this information available to the public through a website. I also hope to provide some educational information along the way so that businesses willing to make changes know how to meet the needs of their blind or handicapped customers.

Comments

Leslie Swearingen 2 years, 7 months ago

There has been progress in this area but there is still work to be done. I am aware that some of the changes that businesses would have to make are expensive, but I am sure that increased customers and more money coming in would rapidly offset that. The public is everyone, diversity does not only apply to race and religion but to those who have physical and mental difficulties. I applaud your efforts and look forward to the results of your study. Please put your website on here so we know where to find you.

jhawkinsf 2 years, 7 months ago

It would be nice if every disabled person could be accommodated for and that for every accommodation expense made, it would be offset by increased business activity.
While you are certain that the expensive costs would be quickly offset by increased business, if that were true, businesses would quickly respond to that growing market. Unfortunately, your premise is wrong.

asixbury 2 years, 7 months ago

Isn't this somehow in defiance of the Americans with Disabilities Act? I'm not sure, since I do not know the details of this act, but would love to hear from someone more educated in this area.

George_Braziller 2 years, 7 months ago

The ADA has different levels of accessibility requirements based on a variety of factors. Buildings constructed before the ADA was fully implemented have to provide basic accessibility or alternative means to provide the service if accessibility isn't possible. There are then triggers for certain accessibility modifications when and if there is any remodeling done based on a percentage of the total cost.

asixbury 2 years, 7 months ago

Thank you George! So, these restaurants are in a way violating this act by not providing necessary accessibility for the blind. The city is violating it by not having the proper access available in their sidewalks.

George_Braziller 2 years, 7 months ago

Not really . As long as the restaurant provides equal access. If they don't have braille or large print versions of the menu, having the server read the entire menu is allowed. It's not the best option, but meets the requirements.

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