Walker Art Center Opens Amid Accessibility Concerns

Two visitors report a malfunctioning elevator was not the only concern raised during the first few weeks after the Walker […]

Two visitors report a malfunctioning elevator was not the only concern raised during the first few weeks after the Walker Art Center’s grand re-opening.

A local rehabilitation specialist was asked to visit the Walker after a client mentioned he did not feel it was sufficiently accessible during his April visit. Particularly, he said wheelchair lifts providing access to two separate pairs of galleries (e.g., Galleries 2 and 3 plus Galleries 5 and 6) were unavailable, as was the lift from the Bazinet Garden Lobby to the new Cargill Lounge. On April 30, 2005 she decided to take a look.

During her visit, the lifts were still out of service. Two older lifts were awaiting parts and service and the third was not yet completed, according to correspondence C. Scott Winter, director of membership and visitor services for the Center. After questioning staff regarding alternate access, they directed her towards a set of elevators. However, the elevators did not access those particular galleries. Other staff she approached didn’t know where the wheelchair lifts were located. Others were aware of their location, but had not been informed they were not functioning.

The rehab specialist also noted a door propped open that may have created a barrier for individuals traveling along that particular walkway using a wheelchair or other mobility aid. Finally, she was concerned the layout of the galleries in conjunction with the elevator locations may pose difficulty for individuals experiencing mobility challenges or relying upon manual wheelchairs; the layout may require visitors to back track to elevators.

If you visit the Walker and have accessibility concerns, please contact their Membership and Visitor Services by calling 612-375-7600. For Walker information visit www.walkerart.org.

Editor’s Note: C. Scott Winter, Director of Membership and Visitor Services, apologizes for any inconvenience guests have experienced and provides reassurance that they are working to resolve any outstanding issues. You may contact him directly at 612-375-7562.