Wednesday, August 13, 2008

The Freep on Inaccessibility in Public Accommodations

Retelling a story that needs to be retold, here. It begins:

There was plenty of room for Erica Nader's wheelchair at the Woodward Avenue Salon in Ferndale: The doorways met regulation and were 32 inches wide, and there were support rails in the spacious bathroom.

But with a 6-inch step at the entrance, she couldn't get in.

Eighteen years after the Americans with Disabilities Act was passed, barriers still exist in making businesses accessible to people with disabilities. The 1990 civil rights legislation prohibits discrimination in employment practices and public services.

"There are still plenty of problems out there," said William Milzarski, a rights representative for the Michigan Commission on Disability Concerns. "Whenever I come across a business that has a step or two to get in, the owner usually says, 'No one in a wheelchair ever shops here.'

"I think it's pretty obvious why they don't."



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