Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Appreciating Barrier-free Living in Southern California

Most coffee houses and restaurants are accessible to persons with disabilities.

We write…

As advocates and supporters of causes concerning persons with disabilities, we consider it a privilege that transportation and infrastructure in Southern California are built with PWDs in mind.

Going around SoCal for the past year and a half, we have observed that many establishments are PWD-friendly and barrier-free.

Below are some of the photos that show how streets, public transportation and tourist spots are made accessible to PWDs.

Seats, ramps and lifts are available for PWDs using public transportation:

Buses are PWD accessible- with ramps and foldable chairs for wheelchair users.

Train stations provide working lifts and ramps for PWDs who use assistive devices and mobility aids.

Tourist destinations provide wheelchairs, ramps as well as activation switches to automatically open doors:

The activation switches at the Getty Villa in Malibu prove helpful to PWDs as well as to parents with babies and toddlers.

The historic Santa Barbara Courthouse adds modern touches with its accessibility features.  

Wheelchairs are usually available for PWD visitors like these ones at the Descanso Gardens in Flintridge.

This PWD-friendly hotel room at the Sportsman Lodge in Studio City has two peepholes. 

Service animals are allowed in theatres:

Although there are no visible ramps and elevators at the Pantages theatre, service animals are allowed and ushers are seen providing assistance to PWDs.

Disability-friendly vehicles are available so that PWDs can drive themselves anywhere:
A persons with disabilities applies for a driver's licence at the Department of Motor Vehicles. 

Streets have built-in ramps so that wheelchair users do not have any difficulty moving and crossing. The traffic signals provide an audio guide for the blind and visually impaired:

PWDs can navigate the streets of Los Angeles on their own.

Even some Sunday masses provide sign language interpreters:

The Our Lady of Lourdes Church in Northridge assigns seats for PWDs as well as a sign language interpreter during Sunday mass.

The American Disability Act that protects PWDs in the US from discrimination and gives them with the same rights as non-PWDs was signed into law in 1990. It marked its 26th year last July 26.

Organizations such as the Department on Disability for the City of Los Angeles ensure that PWDs have full access to city services and facilities, and ensure that PWD advocacy continues to reach all levels of policy-making entities in Southern California.

When everything is built with PWDs in mind, the accessibility benefits everyone. #

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