Most Oregonians would agree that grocery stores, doctor’s offices and libraries should not be out of reach to someone because they use a wheelchair or experience low or limited vision. Yet, 30 years after the Americans with Disabilities Act was signed into law, we know how far we have to go.

A December 2017 statewide survey from ODOT showed that 97% of curb ramps on state roads and highways across Oregon violate ADA standards. That data also revealed that Union County had roughly 500 curb ramps on state roads, only eight of which met current ADA standards.

The good news is that a lawsuit filed in 2016 by eight individuals with mobility and visual disabilities, the Association for Oregon Centers for Independent Living, and Disability Rights Oregon succeeded in securing the largest commitment to accessible transportation in state history. The upgrades underway in Union captured in “ODOT program eases mobility issues” (The Observer, Aug. 13) are the tangible results.

If you know of a missing or inaccessible curb ramp, you can report problems to ODOT using their “ADA Accessibility Requests” complaint form. You can use the “Ask ODOT” form for complaints that are not covered by the settlement agreement but are within ODOT’s control — such as railroad crossing without barriers or sidewalk obstacles that make it impossible for you to reach the curb ramp or use the signal.

Tom Stenson


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