Advocates for the disabled object to Capitol gates | Arkansas Blog

Friday, December 2, 2016

Advocates for the disabled object to Capitol gates

Posted By on Fri, Dec 2, 2016 at 2:24 PM

Disability Rights Arkansas Inc. (DRA) and Arkansas State Independent Living Council (ARSILC) have issued a statement objecting to the new gates that will block entrance to the state Capitol grounds on the weekends.

The Arkansas Times raised the problem with the gates — that they will make access to persons who use a walker or a wheelchair to get from place to place — with the Secretary of State's office on Tuesday. The spokesman said he hadn't heard discussion of the issue of access to the handicapped discussed and would raise the question. We did not hear back from him.

Max also previously noted on the blog that Missouri, Louisiana, Texas and Oklahoma capitols are open daily; the Mississippi and Tennessee capitols are closed weekends.

From the press release, which is in full on the jump:

“We are calling upon the Secretary of State to meet with disability advocates to develop a solution that will encourage Arkansans with disabilities to visit the Capitol over the weekends, not exclude them,” says Tom Masseau, executive director of Disability Rights Arkansas. “When a decision is made that limits access to public facilities, Arkansans with disabilities need to be at the table to ensure that solutions are in place to allow full access to the building.”
The locked gates are placed on stanchions that are otherwise not visible during the week. They are being used for security concerns, the Secretary of State's office says.

Advocacy Organizations Object to Gates at Arkansas State Capitol on Weekends

Little Rock, AR – Disability Rights Arkansas, Inc. (DRA) and Arkansas State Independent Living Council (ARSILC) are concerned over the Secretary of State’s plan to use gates at the State Capitol to block entrances on weekends.

The decision by the Secretary of State to limit entrances to the State Capitol on weekends prevents individuals with disabilities from accessing parking on the Capitol grounds. The only accessible parking spaces near the Capitol are located in the front of the Capitol (south of the tunnel) and five spaces in the back of the building. Once the gates are closed, there will be no accessible parking near the Capitol for individuals to access the building.

“We are calling upon the Secretary of State to meet with disability advocates to develop a solution that will encourage Arkansans with disabilities to visit the Capitol over the weekends, not exclude them,” says Tom Masseau, executive director of Disability Rights Arkansas. “When a decision is made that limits access to public facilities, Arkansans with disabilities need to be at the table to ensure that solutions are in place to allow full access to the building.”

“While we understand that the concept of installing a gate at the State Capitol on weekends is being made for security, we implore Secretary Martin to schedule a meeting with advocates to discuss this idea and identify solutions so ALL Arkansans can enjoy the State Capitol,” says Sha Stephens, executive director of ARSILC.

###

DISABILITY RIGHTS ARKANSAS (DRA) is a private, nonprofit agency with offices in Little Rock, Arkansas. Since 1977, the Governor of Arkansas has designated DRA the independent Protection and Advocacy system for persons with disabilities in Arkansas. DRA operates under authority outlined in federal law, is funded primarily through federal grants and is governed by a Board of Directors. DRA collaborates with other disability rights and civil rights organizations and agencies, the private bar and legal services to accomplish its goals and objectives.

The Arkansas State Independent Living Council is a non-profit organization promoting independent living for people with disabilities. The Arkansas State Independent Living Council is an education, advocacy, and referral agency that work to provide information to the public throughout the state about the Independent Living Philosophy, civil rights, technology and services.

Tags: , ,

From the ArkTimes store

Favorite

Comments (5)

Showing 1-5 of 5

Add a comment

 
Subscribe to this thread:
Showing 1-5 of 5

Add a comment

More by Leslie Newell Peacock

  • GiGi's opens with soul food and 'old school R and B vibe'

    GiGi’s Soul Cafe and Lounge at 10840 Maumelle Blvd., where the Nashville Rockin Grill was located, opened July 28 and co-owner Darrell Wyrick the restaurant is “bringing back the spirit of some of the places that have gone, like Porter’s and The Afterthought” with its soul food and “old school R and B vibe.”
    • Aug 16, 2017
  • Take yourself there: Mavis Staples coming to LR for Central High performance

    Gospel and R&B singer and civil rights activist Mavis Staples, who has been inspiring fans with gospel-inflected freedom songs like "I'll Take You There" and "March Up Freedom's Highway" and the poignant "Oh What a Feeling" will come to Little Rock for the commemoration of the 60th anniversary of the desegregation of Central High.
    • Aug 16, 2017
  • 'Why urban freeway expansion is futile': A report that cites I-30 project

    Smart Mobility Inc. engineer Norm Marshall explains in this Congress for New Urbanism article why highway departments' arguments for highway widening fall short of reality (as the graphic above does as well): He says its because their modeling is out of whack, both in its estimates of the effect of expansion on travel times and the effectiveness of boulevards, and he uses the plan to widen Interstate 30 from six lanes of traffic to 12 or more as an example.
    • Aug 15, 2017
  • More »

Readers also liked…

  • Al Gore remembers Dale Bumpers

    Former Vice President Al Gore, a former U.S. Senate colleague of Dale Bumpers, sent a statement on Bumpers' death Friday:
    • Jan 3, 2016
  • Campus gun bill clears committee

    The so-called compromise amendment that will allow anyone 25 or older with a training certificate carry a concealed weapon on public college campuses was approved in a Senate committee this afternoon.
    • Feb 21, 2017
  • In Little Rock, Marco Rubio sells American exceptionalism

    This is Rubio's axiomatic answer to Donald Trump's insistence that he and he alone will Make America Great Again: America is the greatest, always has been.
    • Feb 22, 2016

Most Viewed

  • Arkansas-linked Charlottesville marcher identified, apologizes to those misidentified

    A man who says he's a former University of Arkansas student now living in New England has identified himself as the person wearing an "Arkansas Engineering" T-shirt in the Friday white supremacist march in Fayetteville. He apologized for involving UA in the story and to the professor misidentified as being the person wearing the shirt.

Most Recent Comments

Blogroll

 

© 2017 Arkansas Times | 201 East Markham, Suite 200, Little Rock, AR 72201
Powered by Foundation