Government
11:59 am
Thu July 26, 2012

Settlement Means Greater Access For People With Disabilities

Kansas City will be required to become more accessible to those with disabilities after complaints about non-compliance with federal regulations, advocates say.

In a a settlement with the Justice Department, the city will be required to make changes to streets, sidewalks and buildings in line with the 1990 Americans With Disabilities Act.  Over the next three years, the city will also make internet services and emergency preparedness programs more accessible.

Sheila Styron, public policy coordinator for The Whole Person, an agency that facilitates independent living for people with disabilities, says the agency will be working closely with the city to implement the changes.

"We are pleased to be working with the city to do everything we can to help facilitate this and we are just very pleased that this has finally come to pass," Styron said.

The Justice Department said today's agreement with Kansas City is the 200th agreement with its so-called Project Civic Access, aimed at bringing all cities in line with the federal Americans with Disabilities Act.

"We talk a lot about being one of the nation's most livable cities," David Westbrook, chair of the Kansas City Mayor's Committee for People with Disabilities, said. "Accessibility and livability are inseparable. To everyone's benefit, we will do all we can to support the mayor and city council in fulfilling this promise."