ADA in the News
Designing An Accessible Future
Check out Diversity in Action magazine’s article, “Designing an Accessible Future” highlighting two University of Pittsburgh doctoral students spending their academic careers working toward creating technologies and developing solutions around accessibility.
Jonathan Duvall, a doctoral student in University of Pittsburgh’s Department of Rehabilitation Science and Technology who also works as a graduate student researcher at the Human Engineering Research Laboratories, focuses his work on improving the quality of life of people with disabilities and increasing their level of independence.
Brandon Daveler, a doctoral student at University of Pittsburgh and a power wheelchair user for more than 10 years, researches developing and enhancing wheelchair technology at the Human Engineering Research Laboratories.
New Bike Lane Policy ADA Progressive
In an effort to support bicycling as a safe and viable mode of transportation within the City of Pittsburgh, Oakland For All – Beyond Accessible, The Oakland Business Improvement District, The Oakland Transportation
Management Association, and the City of Pittsburgh have developed a plan for and installed a network of bicycle lanes on existing streets, roads and alleys.
Since paratransit and mass transit vehicles often require direct access to the curb in order to accommodate disabled individuals and other individuals with special needs, these vehicles are permitted to enter into bike lanes and/or stop in a travel lanes in order to pick up and/or drop off passengers upon request and when there are no other safe options for doing so.
A special thanks to Ray Gastil, Director of City Planning; Kristen Saunders, Bicycle and Pedestrian Coordinator; and Richard Meritzer, ADA Coordinator for the City of Pittsburgh for their cooperation and leadership in this process.
Blue is Back!
As part of the on-going efforts to make Oakland a model community for accessibility, OBID, OTMA and the Oakland for All team worked with our City partners to mark the ADA Parking spots with the universally recognized blue color. A special thank you to our City Councilman Dan Gilman (left) and City Chief Operations Officer Guy Costa (right) who led the effort to make Oakland the first Pittsburgh community to have these blue markings.
Ramp Crawl 2016
On Thursday, May 5, 2016, the annual Oakland For All – Beyond Accessible Ramp Crawl took place to raise awareness and enable registered participants with the opportunity to experience many Oakland establishments. For a donation of $20, each ‘crawler’ received a Ramp Crawl 2016 t-shirt, and participants that visited each designated stop walked away with a generous gift bag! Attendees enjoyed beverage specials and food and all ticket proceeds benefit the Oakland For All – Beyond Accessible program and its initiatives. Six Oakland food and beverage locations took part as ‘stops’ for the Ramp Crawl — Fuel & Fuddle, Garage Door Saloon, Garden Grille & Bar at the Hilton Garden Inn Pittsburgh University Place, Primanti Bros., Stack’d Burgers & Beer, and The Porch at Schenley. The event showcases best practices of ADA compliant establishments and positions Oakland as a thought leader in creating a more accessibility-friendly business district. We hope you can join us next year!
Check out pictures from Ramp Crawl 2016 HERE!
Oakland for All – Beyond Accessible is a unique campaign that brings together a diverse group of community organizations such as: Oakland Business Improvement District, Oakland Transportation Management Association, Oakland Task Force, University of Pittsburgh, UPMC, City of Pittsburgh, Carnegie Museums of Pittsburgh, Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh, Office of PA Senator Jay Costa, Office of U.S. Congressman Mike Doyle and Oakland based residents and community advocates… all committed to making the Oakland business community a more accessibility-friendly neighborhood. The program is designed to eliminate the physical and societal barriers that prevent people with disabilities from fully participating in all aspects of public life in the Oakland Community. The Oakland for All – Beyond Accessible program’s main initiatives include being advocates for the creation of user friendly buildings, commercial establishments, public spaces and communities. We have goals to raise public awareness of accessibility in our society – thinking ADA and beyond – to ultimately transform Oakland into a model that can be replicated throughout the nation. For more information visit: OaklandForAll.org.
New Business Benefits from ADA Consult
Maurry Mendelovich is currently transforming the former Olio Trattoria/Joe Mama’s restaurant space located at 3716 Forbes Avenue into a Stack’d Burgers & Beer slated to open sometime in the fall. He reached out to OBID to take advantage of an ADA consultation to make his establishment accessible to all his future customers.
“Joan was a huge help. In these early stages of doing renovation, getting Joan’s expertise is imperative in making sure everything is ADA Accessible,” said Mendelovich. “Our main focus was on making sure that the bathroom on the first floor met all requirements. There are other things too that I’m keeping in mind like signage, seating and front door access,” he continued. “This process with Joan is important because I want to make sure we cater to all customers – I want to welcome everyone into this establishment once it’s up and running. Joan is a book of knowledge with ADA accessibility. Believe it or not, I’ve actually had her in twice! We recently made some changes to our original plan, and she was there at the drop of a hat to help!” he finished.
Mayor Bill Peduto, County Executive Rich Fitzgerald & Others Mark the ADA’s 25th Anniversary
On Monday, July 27, OBID members took pleasure in joining Mayor Bill Peduto, County Executive Rich Fitzgerald and many leaders in the efforts of making Pittsburgh more accessible in marking the Americans with Disabilities Act’s 25th Anniversary.
“Oakland For All: Beyond Accessible, a project by the Oakland Business Improvement District and partners, is focused on ensuring Oakland is fully accessible to all those who live, work and visit. Their projects raise awareness to business owners to remove physical barriers [within their facilities] and promote technology that will make lives easier for those with disabilities.” — Mayor Bill Peduto
Hieber’s Pharmacy Benefits from ADA Consult
“We’ve all heard the expression: ‘Ignorance of the law is no excuse’ and I would say most of us business owners follow the laws in our own establishments whether it’s food, medical or whatever specialty or niche we have. Given the 25th anniversary of the signing of the Americans with Disabilities Act, we need to realize that it is important to make sure our facilities are accessible to everyone,” said Joe Bettinger, Owner of Hieber’s Pharmacy on Fifth Avenue.
“I had Joan Stein, President of Stein Consulting LLC, come by to give me an evaluation on whether or not my facility was deemed accessible, and if not, what I could change to make it so. Joan is an independent contractor and doesn’t work for the government and all information is confidential,” continued Bettinger. I encourage all business owners to take advantage of this free service – it takes a little more than a half-hour! Joan is very pleasant and very knowledgeable in her field, and I would be glad to speak to anyone who has any questions. This will be helpful, I promise,” he concluded.