Monday, May 2, 2011

Wisconsin disputes claim that state Capitol building not ADA compliant

From WKOW-TV in Wis.:

MADISON, Wis. -- A spokesperson for the Department of Administration disputed a state senator's claim the capitol building's access leaves it out of compliance with requirements of the federal Americans With Disabilities Act.

"We believe we are in compliance," DOA spokesperson Carla Vigue wrote in a statement.

Sen. Fred Risser (D-Madison) wrote a letter to U.S. Attorney for Wisconsin's Western District John Vaudreuil, requesting enforcement of the ADA.

"Of the two open entrances, only one is compliant with the ADA. This ratio - 50% - falls below the requirement that 60% of entrances be accessible by ADA standards."

Jeremy Ryan is a political activist and a person with disability. As a result of a lifelong heart condition, Ryan uses a segue.

Ryan said during the height of capitol protests to Governor Walker's bill with drastic changes to public employee collective bargaining, there was no disability access points open at the capitol.

New signs on the capitol grounds direct people to the one open access point, at Martin Luther King, Jr. Blvd.

But Ryan said people with greater physical challenges than him, including those using manual wheelchairs, may find it hard to circle the capitol at times to reach the one accessible entrance.

Three other capitol entrances with wheelchair ramps are idle.

Risser told Vodreuil opening just one of the idle entrances will achieve compliance.

Vodreuil has yet to return a call from WKOW27 News on whether he considers the building ADA compliant.