Accessibility Problems in Washington Capitals' Practice Facility
When Arlington County officials revealed a new ice complex as the Washington Capitals' practice facility, they said it would be a community resource for diverse groups, particularly the disabled.
So Rosemary Ciotti, who lives nearby and uses a wheelchair, was dismayed when she visited the new facility shortly after it opened in November and discovered there was no room in the bleachers for her to watch the action on the ice.
Despite its $42.8 million price tag, the Kettler Capitals Iceplex is not compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act.
"It makes you want to bang your head against the wall," said Ciotti, a member of the county's planning commission.
Another disabled Arlington resident, Sheri Denkensohn, said she visited the iceplex after hearing about the problems from Ciotti and later filed a complaint with the Justice Department.
Arlington officials say such glitches are common in construction projects. They say they already have addressed most of the ADA problems noted by building inspectors before the facility opened and that they are working to correct the problem with the bleachers.