Friday, August 15, 2008

Disability advocates lobby for more accessible communities

The Boston Globe has a story about Kenny Cieplik (pictured left), who is blogging on wheelchair access in his hometown in

The 33-year-old Middleborough resident writes about his assessment of local accessibility on his blog,

The Globe says, "Cieplik visits all types of establishments - banks, beaches, post offices, libraries, restaurants, and parks - and rates them on wheelchair accessibility, using a scale of zero to five stars. (Zero is bad, five stars is best.) The result: an emerging map-by-blog that paints a picture of the region's accessibility - from a wheelchair user's perspective.

And in Vermont, disability advocates in Montpelier, "plastered downtown storefronts August 14 with paper signs protesting a lack of wheelchair accessibility. Members of Green Mountain ADAPT set out before sunrise with stacks of 8-inch-by-11-inch signs and rolls of Scotch tape. They affixed the posters to 29 businesses whose stairway entrances prevent wheelchair users from gaining access."

"I go around the streets of Montpelier and have been interested in entering some of the businesses we targeted, and I've found they're inaccessible," Harold Nadeau, who uses a motorized wheelchair, said in the article in the Rutland Herald. "I thought it would be a wake-up call for the city that there are a lot of people out there that would be visiting businesses and using services if they physically were able to."