Senator Urges Officials To Provide Accessible Parking At Federal
By Dave Reynolds, Inclusion Daily Express
September 23, 2004
LAS VEGAS, NEVADA--Disability rights advocates in Nevada want federal officials to look at ways to provide accessible parking at federal buildings in the state while keeping them safe from terrorist attacks.
The advocates appear to have found an ally in Senator John Ensign.
"I believe that the federal government should lead by example and accommodate individuals with disabilities to ensure equal access to federal facilities," Ensign wrote Wednesday to Stephen Perry, the head of the federal General Services Administration. "To do otherwise would effectively deny tax-paying citizens the ability to access taxpayer-owned federal buildings and their representatives."
None of the federal buildings in Nevada have parking that is accessible and convenient for people with disabilities. In some instances, people with disabilities that affect their mobility are forced to park several blocks away.
Officials with the GSA, which oversees building and maintenance of federal buildings across the country, say that new homeland security measures only allow federal employees to park in federal building parking areas.
Nevadans for Equal Access and the Nevada Disability Advocacy and Law Center have been working to bring the issue to the attention of the public and lawmakers.
Senator Ensign is suggesting that GSA officials look at ways to maintain security while making minor accommodations, the Las Vegas Sun reported.
"I believe that it is reasonable to ask that disabled individuals, with appropriate permits, be given access to available accessible parking spaces," Ensign said.
"Clearly it would be reasonable to require these individuals to undergo vehicle screening that is required of federal building employees who utilize the parking lots."
"Ensign seeks parking for disabled at fed buildings" (Las Vegas Sun)
"Handicapped access battle lost at federal buildings, just starting with buses" (Las Vegas Review-Journal -- July 5, 2004)