Jefferson: Agency working to make county more accessible to disabled

Lesa Barnes pictures a Jefferson County where those with disabilities aren’t stopped by curbs preventing wheelchairs from crossing streets.

It’s a Jefferson County where restrooms have faucets and soap dispensers within easy reach and where doors are not too heavy to open.

More than a decade after the American with Disabilities Act was passed, Barnes, project coordinator for the Disability Awareness Surveillance and Health Promotion program in Port Hadlock, is still trying to make Jefferson County accessible to everyone.

The project, which last month received $300,000 in federal funding for five more years of operation, is trying to fill the remaining gaps where the groundbreaking federal legislation left off 12 years ago.

The program has worked with local restaurants to make changes to restrooms and entranceways and issued guides to “disability-friendly” eating establishments in Port Townsend, Port Hadlock and Chimacum.

A similar review of lodging establishments in Port Townsend started last week and 500 copies of a map that helps the disabled navigate uptown and downtown were printed earlier this month.

The program, an Olympic Area Agency on Aging project started three years ago, plans to expand to Clallam County next year.

Barnes plans to make a brief presentation to the Port Townsend City Council today to weigh in on a proposed $2.5 million City Hall annex, suggesting several measures above what is required by law.


The rest of this story appears in Wednesday’s Peninsula Daily News Jefferson County edition. Click on “Subscribe” to get the PDN delivered to your home or office.

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