Letters from our readers - December 2017

We need access to businesses

Dear People of Minnesota,

We are a group of people with brain injuries who have problems accessing businesses. While the doors comply with
the ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act), they do not meet our needs. Our needs include having automated doors on the entrance, exit, and restrooms.

We need automated doors because some doors weigh too much for us to pull on our own. We often rely on staff or strangers to open doors for us. If they are not there we are stuck. Furthermore, when we need to use the restroom, it can be inconvenient for us to rely on others to assist us. This is an issue of independence for each one of us.

We should be able to access your facility alone. We want to be able to go to any business we want, but are unable to because we cannot open the door. There are others like us who have disabilities and rely on automatic doors. We ask that you support our needs and help us gain independence so we can lead a more independent public life.

Thank you for your help in ensuring that everyone can access public spaces.

– The Structured Day Program of Opportunity Partners Edina

Editor’s note: Instructor Natalie Cherne is teaching self-advocacy to persons served at Opportunity Partners Edina.

Group members care about accessibility, and are working with a business to get automated doors to help people with disabilities more easily access the business. Group members have met with state representatives, the Minnesota Council on Disability and Bloomington Planning Commission.

They have worked hard at sharing their stories about their lives and their voices are important.

 

Don’t ignore bus riders with disabilities

Attention, orthopedically disabled people. This letter is regarding the failure to remove snow at bus stops and near small convenience stores in a timely fashion.

Metro Transit does not remove the snow. I fell near a convenience store when trying to access the bus stop via a ramp due to accumulated snow from the parking ramp. As a result of the fall I had a stroke and was in the hospital for 16 days.

It could happen at other stores too. Making money is more important to them than keeping people with disabilities safe. There is no other space for people who use wheelchairs or walkers to get to the bus stop. The open end of the ramp abuts the curb. I was boxed in and there was no place to go because snow was not removed. It’s just as important to provide safe access to the bus stop as it is to provide parking.

We have to have a solution. Do not use the ramp if it is not safe. Ask for a supervisor.

Ironically I was coming home from the Wasie Pool at Abbott Northwestern Hospital. I have been going there for 15 years.

-Joy Rindels, Minneapolis

 

 

 

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