Monday, April 11, 2011

A More Accessible America

My boys and I like to go to baseball games. We've been to Baltimore for the last two years for an Orioles game, and we have season tickets to the Richmond Squirrels baseball team. But, finding accessible seating seems to always be an issue. I wrote a blog last year about the Richmond ball park.

But all that should now change with the revised and expanded Americans With Disabilities Act. The regulations apply to the activities of more than 80,000 units of state and local government and more than 7 million places of public accommodation, including stores, restaurants, shopping malls, libraries, museums, sporting arenas, movie theaters, doctors’ and dentists’ offices, hotels, jails and prisons, polling places, and emergency preparedness shelters.

The 2010 standards also include, for the first time, standards on making swimming pools, parks, golf courses, boating facilities, exercise clubs, and other recreation facilities accessible for individuals with disabilities. Entities covered by the ADA have until March 15, 2012 to comply with the revised standards.

I suggest you visit the Department of Justice's ADA website for more details.

(Although this is a move in the right direction, I am really worried about where things are going with the Federal budget. I fear the next areas to receive cries for cuts will be the entitlement programs like Medicaid. Having accessible seating at the baseball park means little if my children can't receive the medical care they desperately need.)

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