Loading
Search
NEWS STORIES

Wheelchair accessibility seen as an issue throughout WisconsinSubmitted: 12/31/2018
Angela Kim
Angela Kim
Reporter/Anchor
akim@wjfw.com

Wheelchair accessibility seen as an issue throughout Wisconsin
STEVENS POINT - People who are able-bodied do many things without second thought, like step into a restaurant, go to the bathroom, or get into a car.

But for people who are disabled, it's a bit more of a challenge.


A light switch may be out of reach, a door may be too heavy, or a ramp may be too steep. When the snow and ice kick in during winter, things become a little more difficult. 

Karalyn Peterson, a Midstate Independent Living Choices resource coordinator, has experienced this trouble for the past two decades. 

"Able-bodied people who can get up and walk, they don't realize that if you want to go there you have to do this and this," said Peterson. "There's a whole process to everything."

Midstate Independent Living Choices consultant Nancy Keller said some places throughout Wisconsin are difficult to get to. Many places don't meet ADA requirements. 

"There's a lot of issues I see," said Keller. 

"There are times when I feel totally defeated," said Peterson. "Like 'Oh my gosh, I can't even go to the bathroom.'"

The cold weather and snow makes it even harder for people who are disabled. Some ramps may be too icy or a sidewalk won't be cleared for people to walk. 

"There are a lot of places that say they're accessible and are not," said Keller. "Especially in the winter there are so many issues with snow and ice building up."

"If I can get to a restaurant, that's kind of iffy if there's a snowstorm," said Peterson. "Lately, especially because a lot of the time the curbs won't be clear."

The problem isn't just outside either. If a bathroom is too small or tables are too close together, that is also not ADA compliant. 

"There are times when you just want to wring people's necks," said Peterson. "It's been so long and they still don't get it."

To make it easier for Peterson and everyone else who is disabled, Keller said pointing out these flaws to businesses is a small step in the right direction. 
 
"I would encourage anybody in the public, if you go somewhere and you see an issue that's clearly an accessibility issue, say something to the manager," said Keller. "If I was here in a wheelchair, I wouldn't be able to get through the door."

Keller said that businesses can do more to make sure ramps and sidewalks are completely accessible. 

For instance, just salting a ramp isn't enough. Keller said the salt can actually damage aluminum and wooden ramps quickly. 


Text Size: + Increase | Decrease -
| Print Story | Email Story
Sponsored in part by HodagSports.com





 IN OTHER NEWS

OSHKOSH - Republican U.S. Sen. Ron Johnson says Joe Biden poses the greatest threat to President Donald Trump in Wisconsin.

+ Read More

STEVENS POINT - Emergency calls for help with "poison gas" brought police, firefighters, and paramedics out to a homeless shelter in Stevens Point early Sunday morning.  Crews quickly determined there was no danger.

According to our partners at the Point/Plover Metro Wire, police were called to the Salvation Army Hope Center on Briggs Street -- just west of UW-Stevens Point -- around 6:20 a.m.  People at the shelter were already evacuating the building.

+ Read More

MADISON - Milwaukee police say a 23-year-old man was shot and later died from his injuries.

The Journal Sentinel reports police found the man around 12:40 a.m. Sunday on the city's north side.

The Milwaukee Fire Department performed life-saving measures on the scene and sent the man to a hospital.

Police say a 20-year-old man reported at about 1 a.m. he had been shot at the same location. He was sent to a hospital with a non-life-threatening injury.

Detectives are investigating the shootings.


+ Read More

RHINELANDER - It's not every day people get the chance to bid on and take home old crime scene evidence. In Rhinelander, that opportunity came Saturday at a police department silent auction.

+ Read More

MADISON - An industry expert says the impending bankruptcy of a major frac sand mining company signals the financial woes that could cripple more Wisconsin-based mines due to a nationwide oversupply of sand.

Wisconsin Public Radio reports that Emerge Energy Services entered into a debt restructuring deal with its lenders last month. The company owns Superior Silica Sands.

CEO Rick Shearer says restructuring negotiations are ongoing. The company may file for bankruptcy if a settlement isn't struck out of court.

An energy consulting director at analytics firm IHS Markit says up to 75% of Wisconsin mines that supply oil and gas producers might have to close. Samir Nangia says the oversupply is due to companies building more mines near oilfields in Texas and Oklahoma.

+ Read More

RHINELANDER -
The One for the Heroes lunch at Rhinelander GM-Toyota Saturday, gave people the chance to rub shoulders with first responders while also supporting their agencies.

Fire fighters, police officers and other first responders were treated to a brat or hot dog lunch while community members were able to make a donation for that meal. The money raised will go back to the departments that attended.

Those agencies gave tours of emergency vehicles and demonstrated equipment like drones and diving gear. 97.3 WHDG, a host of the event, attended the lunch with its Hodag Hot Wheel. There was also a bounce house for children who attended.

At 2 p.m. Saturday, event organizers believe they had raised more than $200 dollars.

+ Read More

Play Video

BOULDER JUNCTION - Despite rain and cold temperatures Saturday, about 250 people braved the weather for the 5th annual White Deer Triathlon.

The race started with a 3 kilometer paddle across Boulder lake, followed by a 22 kilometer bike, and finally a 6 kilometer run from Camp Manitowish to the Boulder Junction Community Center.

Race organizer Theresa Smith said the race this year was very different from year's past.

"They said it's been the most challenging that they've done, if they've done all five years of the White Deer Triathlon," said Smith. "So we're very proud of everyone that's finished."

+ Read More
+ More General News
Search: