Entrance Rights

By: Laura Gibbs
By: Laura Gibbs

After putting up and paying for a handicapped accessible ramp, the City of Rockton told a local business owner the ramp has to go. A new ramp was supposed to be in place Wednesday, but Thursday the business owner had to figure out how people would get in the door.

Outside Sara's Professional Hair Designers is a makeshift ramp out of built up dirt and rugs. But this is only after Sara called and complained to the city about the hole that they left along with barricades blocking the entrance. Sara's not the only one whose been fighting. R.A.M.P who works to break barriers for people with disabilities started addressing the city about two years ago for accessible sidewalks and entrances. At first the city told a member of RAMP “They didn’t want their sidewalks to look like a skateboard park."

About a year ago Sara and her landlord put in a ramp to accommodate her customers. The city said that the ramp was twice as steep as ADA requirements and tore it down. RAMP says that shouldn’t have happened. Under the ADA guidelines, “no alteration shall be undertaken which decreases or has the effect of decreasing accessibility or usability of a building.”

The city says that this is a situation that has gotten way out of hand and that they are not in anyway acting irresponsible. They say that construction is hard to co-ordinate. Next Wednesday, a day that Sara's business is closed, the city is putting in the ramp. Rockton is taking care of bringing a concrete contractor, but Sara's landlord is picking up the cost to add another new ramp.


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