Accessibility issues need to be resolved

info@islandpacket.comMay 20, 2013 

I appreciated the May 11 letter regarding accessibility to Taste of Beaufort and the homecoming for Candice Glover.

I related to the writer's dilemma because my parents relocated to Beaufort in 2005 due to failing health. They built a beautiful, fully accessible condominium penthouse with elevator access and all bathrooms compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act. We were delighted when their condo became a preferred site for church and social events because it enabled all their new friends and acquaintances to attend -- including a number of folks who hadn't attended functions (public or private) in years because of limited accessibility.

But it was disappointing and frustrating when they couldn't even consider frequenting restaurants or art galleries or attending events because they could not accommodate Dad's wheelchair or Mom's walker or oxygen tanks, etc.

Many residents and guests suffer the inconvenience, awkwardness and embarrassment that their physical limitations present.

I believe it's time we acknowledge the problem and attempt to allow "all the people" access to all the wonderful things offered in and around "beautiful Beaufort by the Sea."

I encourage local businesses to take accessibility into consideration in their business plans, and I call upon the city and county governments to appoint an advocate to have a voice in all planning meetings and discussions where accessibility could be an issue.

Roxanne W. Cheney


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