Archived Story

Access is lacking

Published 10:56am Tuesday, August 7, 2012

I am writing to voice my concern regarding the lack of handicap accessible resources in our local communities. I relocated to Austin one year ago and was astonished by the obstacles and barriers I am facing as a person who is mobile only by wheelchair.

Not only are there minimal handicap accessible businesses, it is almost impossible to find parking for a wheelchair van with a ramp. Many of the sidewalks do not have drop offs at curbside. When I have been able to be out in the city, I have encountered helpful people, but also many rude citizens and service providers. They did not attempt to assist me even when it was obvious I could not enter the place of business without their help due to the unavailability of handicap push buttons to open a door automatically.

I believe a good community should provide for all its citizens and feel many towns are deficient in this area. Every business and mode of transportation should be wheelchair accessible. I have been informed that many facilities have been “grandfathered in” so that they have not had to update or accommodate those with disabilities. It is difficult for me to believe that in the year 2012 so many businesses in the area have not remodeled or made adjustments so that those with handicaps can utilize services as mandated by law.

Anita Thompson

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