Town's New ADA Advisory Group Already Sees Results
May 4, 2004
PORT CLINTON, OHIO--A newly-formed group is looking at ways to make this small coastal town more accessible to people with disabilities.
The town's ADA committee was formed in December to study how the city complies with the 1990 Americans with Disabilities Act, and to make recommendations to improve accessibility, the News Herald reported Tuesday.
One change has already been made, based on suggestions by the volunteers on the panel, many of whom have physical disabilities. Last month, doors were installed at City Hall that slide open at the touch of a button.
The group's next goals include installing automatic doors at several public buildings, including a county health building that already has automatic doors -- which open onto a set of conventional doors.
"Especially with being a tourist town, we're really looking at a vision of making Port Clinton a model for accessibility," said the committee's chairman Mick Van Hoose.
"That's going to lead a group of people coming to this area who in the past haven't done so -- which will lead to creating more business for the merchants," explained Van Hoose, who uses a wheelchair and directs the local office of the Ability Center of Greater Toledo.
Plans are also in the works to create a downtown "wheelchair corridor" of curb cuts and usable sidewalks, the paper noted.
Van Hoose said that while cities are required by the federal law to establish committees to advise them on accessibility issues, "I would venture to say a lot of cities don't have them."