Outstanding organizations founded to raise money for research while supporting their members, need to look at their membership and ask these questions.
· How many years will many of your members be using walkers and wheelchairs?
· How many of your members have changed doctors because they were embarrassed or frustrated because they couldn't enter the office door to medical services without danger and duress?
· How many of your members no longer frequent favorite restaurants or entertainment venues because they cannot open the double entry doors?
· How many of your members don't want to ask for assistance because they want to maintain their independence?
While no one would dispute that research is imperative to find medications and cures, "Let’s open doors” honors the civil right of your members today, empowering their quality of life today while cures are being sought. Please join the outreach campaign of "Let's Open Doors" to gain equal access for goods and services for all people in Hampton Roads.
Doors with panel-type handles,
common to our area, are not accessible and are a barrier to goods and services. A no-cost accessibility approach asks owners and employees to meet persons with disabilities or age-related problems at the entry door of their business. Changing the handles and the pressure with which the door opens and closes also meets "readily achievable" accommodation. Better still are low pressure or automated doors.
Our website, letsopendoors.net, offers downloadable materials for your organization to email, print and/or give to your members for distribution to places of concern and to your mailing list. Each organization sending 300 – 600 flyers, postcards or information to businesses would blanket most of Hampton Roads one time. You will see there is a place for your organizations’s information and publicity on the postcards and flyers we have created. We encourage individuals to download materials to send and/or bring to their organization's attention or to send cards directly to businesses. We have found that owners of businesses often are not aware that their doors are not accessible and seek to remedy the situation once aware.
Organizations coming together in this public awareness campaign to state the need for the retrofitting of heavy outdated doors may save falls and injuries, and indeed, lives of members. This is a people project, working together for the same goal – inclusion of all persons in our economy!
As we speak out together in one voice, commerce will respond. It is to commerce's benefit to respond positively, as there is a market of 56 million aging persons and persons with disabilities, or 18% of our national population constituting a $220 billion economic market. Think of the increase in tourist activity in our economy if it responded to those special needs. As individuals, seniors and persons with disabilities need to speak out through the power of the organizations to which they belong. Organizations need to be responsible to their members by pursuing the equal access due them. It is a win-win for everyone. Over 187,000 persons can be assisted in just the Hampton Roads region with opened entry doors!
Thank you and please let us together open doors for all.
Add your organization's name and/or link here to the website to build the coalition of those who support equal access for all persons.
Forty (40) years since the passage of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973.
Twenty-three years (23) since the passage of the American Disability Act of 1990 is long enough to wait: il H. Mottola, Let's Open Doors, Executive Director