Handicapped left out of Beaufort celebration

info@islandpacket.comMay 10, 2013 

I ranted on Facebook about the lack of accessibility to the events in downtown Beaufort celebrating Candice Glover. I am physically handicapped, and for that reason, I was unable to go.

On Friday, a Facebook posting outlined plans for off-site parking with shuttles to the Arsenal. I questioned handicapped accessibility and received no response.

On Saturday afternoon, I telephoned the Beaufort Regional Chamber of Commerce. The handicapped issue had been asked, but there was no answer. The Arsenal would be the only drop-off point. I emailed Main Street Beaufort, USA that I could not reach the waterfront.

The mayor said in the newspaper it would not happen again. It should not have happened this time. These events were planned at the last minute, but someone needs to advocate for the handicapped. I am doing just that. No one made "reasonable" accommodations. The Americans with Disabilities Act provides for accessibility and reasonable accommodations. One shuttle and a special drop-off site would be reasonable.

I was unable to fulfill my volunteering duties, enjoy Taste of Beaufort, attend the parade or the concert. That I was denied the right to be a part of these activities was just wrong.

Someone should have known whether the shuttles were accessible. There should have been a drop-off point for folks required to use adaptive equipment.

Because no one "thought," I was home wanting to be downtown, and unable to get there. I just saw where we are the "happiest" town. Well, I am not.

Kitty Wright


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