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E-Marketing Performance Blog

A Call to Action: Usability for the Impaired

HandicappedA few weeks back I hired a woman in a wheelchair. Unfortunately the building where our offices aren’t exactly ADA compliant. The funny thing is that the office has the appearance of compliance, without actually going all the way with it.

Of course, they have the single handicapped reserved parking space out front and all the office doors are wide enough to get a wheelchair in. But it’s those pesky bathrooms that the building owner just doesn’t want to do anything about. The doors into the bathroom are barely wide enough. She can get in with someone pushing her, but should she try to roll herself in, well, lets just say she’d get knuckled in the process.

But here’s the fun part. The bathroom originally had three stalls but at some point they combined two of the stalls into one (removing and sealing up the hole for the toilet) to create a single stall big enough for someone with a wheelchair. The problem is that a wheelchair can’t get into the stall at all because the stall door is way too narrow. But for that, there’s plenty of room!

I’ve made it my mission to get the building owner to do something about this. It’s been four weeks now and he’s still done nothing. Last I talked to him he was still waiting to hear back from his lawyer. Sounds like a man wanting to take the path of most resistance, and in this case, higher cost. It’ll cost him less to just fix the two doors than to have his lawyer defend a complaint against him.

As I’m writing this I just left a message on his voice mail. Basically I just told him to do the right thing. He doesn’t need a lawyer for that.

For any of you that are passionate about handicap issues feel free to get involved. Here is the building owner’s info:

Claud Gaubert
Airport Center Management
1281 Terminal Way
Reno, NV 89502
Office: (925) 283-8082
Cell: (925) 351-3212
Stoney G deGeyter

Stoney deGeyter is the author of The Best Damn Web Marketing Checklist, Period!. He is the founder and CEO of Pole Position Marketing, a web presence optimization firm whose pit crew has been velocitizing websites since 1998. In his free time Stoney gets involved in community services and ministries with his “bride enjoy” and his children. Read Stoney’s full bio.

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