U.S. Rep. Elizabeth Esty, D-5th, introduced a resolution this week — backed by the full delegation — that seeks to improve physical access to federally-funded facilities for people with disabilities.
Esty said the resolution was inspired after members of the Citizens Coalition for Equal Access visited her office and shared stories of their struggles to enter post offices and other federal buildings despite the Architectural Barriers Act of 1968 and the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990.
Ruth Grobe, secretary of the Citizens Coalition for Equal Access, said that new sidewalks in Farmington Center barely meet ADA standards and do not take into account advances in technology such as the development of larger motorized scooters and wheelchairs. Access could have been improved if Farmington Center had considered the “U.S. Access Board Guidelines for Public Rights of Way” in the design.
Esty’s resolution would:
Recognize the immense hardships that people with disabilities in the United States must overcome every day; reaffirm Congress’ support of the Architectural Barriers Act of 1968 and the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990; and make Congress pledge to make Universal/Inclusive Design a guiding principle for all infrastructure bills and projects and will continue working to identify and remove the barriers that prevent all people of the United States from having equal access to the services provided by the federal government.