Community feedback is being accepted through the city’s Be Heard Vancouver website through Oct. 31
VANCOUVER – The city of Vancouver will update its Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) Transition Plan this year and is seeking feedback from residents and customers with disabilities about the accessibility of its buildings, parks, streets, jobs, services, programs and events prior to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“We are doing a thorough organization-wide self-evaluation as part of this process, but we also want to hear from the people we serve to learn more about their lived experiences accessing city services and facilities, any barriers they may face, and where they think we can improve,” said Lisa Takach, the city’s human resources director and acting risk and safety manager/ADA coordinator.
Community feedback is being accepted through the city’s Be Heard Vancouver website through Oct. 31. Visit www.beheardvancouver.org/CityAccessibility to learn more and leave comments and suggestions.
“The past year and a half has been unusual because we had to close most of our buildings, suspend many existing programs and move public meetings and other services online due to the pandemic,” Takach explained. “Happily, we’re beginning to resume more normal operations now, so we’re specifically asking that people provide feedback on accessibility experiences they had prior to the COVID-19 shutdown.”
Over the years, the city has made significant progress improving access to its buildings and other facilities. This includes adding curb ramps and other ADA improvements to streets along with its transportation improvement projects and through a separate Community Development Block Grant-funded effort. In addition, the city established a sidewalk program that works with property owners to keep sidewalks accessible and adds new sidewalk where needed, as funding allows. The city has also been steadily moving towards providing more services online, an effort that was accelerated during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The ADA became law in 1990. It prohibits discrimination against individuals with disabilities in all areas of public life, including jobs, schools, transportation, and all public and private places that are open to the public. The law requires reasonable adjustments be made to businesses and public buildings and facilities to remove physical barriers to access. Title II of the ADA prohibits discrimination against qualified individuals with disabilities in all programs, activities and services provided by state and local governments.
Information provided by city of Vancouver.