Snowstorms Create Accessibility Challenges
The seemingly endless snowstorms blanketing much of the country are proving especially tough on those with disabilities who are struggling to maneuver on streets and sidewalks that aren’t cleared quite well enough to be truly accessible.
Residents who rely on wheelchairs to get around typically need a path that’s at least 36 inches wide. But often unaware shovelers take a rest after clearing a narrow path the width of the shovel itself.
Meanwhile, snowplows create problems of their own, piling large banks of snow against the curb, often rendering curb cuts useless.
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These barriers leave many people with disabilities essentially trapped, forced to stay home or seek assistance just to get around, at least until the snow melts. In other cases, people turn to the streets themselves to find a passable avenue, but one that can be far more dangerous.
Now, advocates in Boston — where city law specifies that a 42 inch wide path should be shoveled — are working to raise awareness in hopes of encouraging more residents to consider those with disabilities when they head out to shovel, reports The Boston Globe. To read more click here.