Complaint Over Accessible Parking Prompts Village-Wide
By Dave Reynolds, Inclusion Daily Express
August 4, 2004
EVERGREEN PARK, ILLINOIS--A group that recently got the village of Oak Park and its Christ Medical Center to examine their accessible parking places has now set its sights on Evergreen Park and the Little Company of Mary Hospital.
According to a brief story in Wednesday's Daily Southtown, Linda Stearns, with a group calling itself the Unified Voice of Disabled America, has filed a complaint with the not-for-profit community hospital because its accessible parking spaces are not wide enough for a wheelchair lift. The four spaces designated for vans are 16-feet wide, which is wide enough for lifts like the one Stearns uses. All of the other spaces are too narrow, she said.
"They should all be wide enough to have a lift," Stearns said. "We're trying to get handicapped accessibility issues enforced and get them right."
Mayor James Sexton said the village would be checking all accessible parking spots in Evergreen Park to make sure they're wide enough, properly striped, and have proper signage.
The hospital responded quickly by saying it plans to add three more van-accessible spaces.
"Legally, we were compliant, but we agreed with them that we had to make a change," said Kelly Wood, a hospital spokeswoman. "We had to increase our accessibility for our patients."