Media Release - Report
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Paul D. Cardin, WheelingAroundTownˢᵐ
July 24, 2013
OKC METRO RESTAURANTS GIVEN B- GRADE FOR ACCESSIBILITY
Disability Website Releases First Report on Restaurant Accessibility
(Oklahoma City, OK) WheelingAroundTownˢᵐ (WHEELING), a website and blog dedicated to reviewing Oklahoma restaurants for “wheelchair friendly” accessibility, released today its first Report on OKC Metro Restaurant Accessibility. The overall average grade of the restaurants reviewed was a B-.
The report can be downloaded here: http://wheelingaroundtown.com/wheelaround/index.php/report.
WHEELING was founded by Paul D. Cardin in an effort to assist wheelchair-bound Oklahomans and their families and care-givers. Cardin has been in a wheelchair for the past nine years due to progressive disabilities.
“Our hope,” Cardin stated, “was that those of us with disabilities could find enough information about local restaurants to feel good about trying new restaurants. But as we reviewed more and more restaurants, we found more and more barriers to accessibility. Sometimes they were minor. But sometimes they were major. The three areas most in need of improvement are Disabled Parking/Signage, Inside Navigation and Restroom Accessibility.”
80 OKC Metro restaurants were reviewed. Each review has an overall “Accessibility Rating” from 1 to 5. The individual ratings cover 10 common accessibility issues with overall equal weighting for both outside issues and inside issues. The Overall Accessibility Ratings were converted into letter grades. Some of the areas rated include the adequacy of disabled parking, ramp conditions and rest room accessibility. “The inadequacy of some restrooms has almost sent me screaming into the street,” Cardin added. “And some ramps have been downright dangerous.”
“Still,” said Cardin, “It is not our purpose to uncover violations of the Americans with Disabilities Act. Nor will we file any Federal lawsuits to force ADA compliance. We are simply providing information so that the disabled can make informed choices.”
The Report also offers an alternative interpretation of the data. Based on the average of all the LOWEST grades, the average is F. That F should not be used to replace the B-. It simply means that most restaurants have at least one major accessibility problem area. “If a restaurant has a great restroom,” said Cardin, “but there is not easy navigation inside then as far as the disabled person is concerned the restaurant is not accessible.”
Although this Report has not been published to support any particular legislation or ordinances, copies of the Report are being distributed to elected officials.
In conclusion, Cardin said, “Oklahoma City is an A+ city. It should not have B- accessibility.”
WheelingAroundTown.com is a community service project of Wheat Communication, LLC, www.WheatCom.com.
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