Missouri’s Accessibility Initiative
Posted on January 13, 2012 by Kimberly Lackey
The Missouri Attorney General, Chris Koster, has created a disability advocates roundtable group focused on outreach and education on accessibility issues. This “Accessibility Initiative” works to increase accessibility in Missouri in all places of public accommodations. The Initiative seeks to build a community of advocates dedicated to improving the lives of all Missourians.
This roundtable group has met several times over the past year and has discussed many prevalent issues. To date, the Attorney General has written and distributed a letter to all police chiefs and sheriffs in Missouri detailing their obligations under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) as it relates to accessible parking. The Attorney General’s Office (AGO) is also in the process of producing a Public Service Announcement about this same issue. Another area of concern raised by the group is the inaccessibility of convenience stores/gas stations throughout Missouri. The AGO has drafted a letter to be sent to all convenience stores in Missouri, similar to the one sent to all police chiefs, describing the accessibility requirements under the ADA and their responsibility to comply with these standards. These are just a few issues that have been addressed within the Accessibility Initiative roundtable group.
The AGO has shown great interest in disability rights and accessibility. This interest provides a much needed advocacy resource for Missouri’s disability advocates. The chance to meet with and have the full attention of the Attorney General on these important issues will contribute to Missouri being a more accessible place to live.
The Accessibility Initiative in Missouri and the Department of Justice’s recommitment to enforcing Olmstead and the ADA create exciting opportunities for disability advocates to gain victories and ensure that individuals with disabilities have the opportunity to live more independently in their own communities. To find out more about the “Accessibility Initiative” click here and like this page.