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Letter: A question of accessibility

How is it that CATCH, whose mission would seem to imply attention to the needs of persons with disabilities, has built an inaccessible store in its Endicott Hotel renovation? Did no staff member, board member or architectural consultant catch this flaw?

The renovations to the Endicott were clearly extensive enough for accessibility to be required under the Americans with Disabilities Act.

Did any of the city employees involved in the planning and permitting process raise a question about accessibility? If so, readers would like to hear about it so we can understand what happened. If not, why not? Although it is not the city’s function to enforce the ADA, many of its citizens hope that the city at least asks questions about obvious violations.

I have heard incomplete stories that CATCH attempted to provide accessibility after the store opened but was turned down upon recommendation of the city staff but I do not know the basis of the finding. Was it technically sound?

I also heard that an attempt was made to smuggle the issue through on the City Council consent calendar, but was brought out and the request to use the sidewalk denied. I do not know the reasons, but did hear one council member was upset at receiving the request after construction had begun. That is a good bureaucratic point but does not help anyone gain access. Did CATCH alert advocates?

Finally, why has Vivid not made the reasonable accommodation of offering home visits?

I thought we had learned the lesson that accessible businesses are better for everyone, but apparently we have not.



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