Senator Finds Access Problems Still At Renovated State
By Dave Reynolds, Inclusion Daily Express
January 10, 2005
OLYMPIA, WASHINGTON--In the coming weeks, thousands of advocates will converge on the state Capitol on designated "Advocacy Days" to meet with their senators and representatives about issues that are important to citizens with disabilities.
Accessibility will likely be one of those issues.
After three years and $118 million in renovations, much of the Capitol building is still not accessible to visitors or employees with some disabilities, the Associated Press reported Monday.
"I got trapped in the bathroom," said Senator Darlene Fairley, a Democrat from Lake Forest Park.
Fairley, who uses crutches following a car accident, was unable to open the heavy restroom door during a visit last week.
"It's pathetic when a senator is begging to get out of a bathroom," she said.
Fairley also said that the building's designated "disability entrance" does not have a button to open the door automatically and it is too heavy for her to open on her own.
Tony Cook, property manager for the Department of General Administration, said it would take another $300,000 to fix the remaining accessibility problems, including adding power-assist doors this coming weekend.
"Accessibility still an issue for disabled in Capitol" (Associated Press via Seattle Post-Intelligencer)