Seventeen years ago last month, the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) was signed into law.
In the ensuing years, many institutional and commercial organizations have renovated entrances and restrooms, relocated drinking fountains and handrails, and generally rethought the layout and design of their facilities. The goal in these efforts: to remove barriers and make facilities more accessible and comfortable for all occupants and visitors, not just those with disabilities.
So how surprising is it that after all these years, many facilities continue to identify and remove barriers to access? While scattered instances might not raise many eyebrows, the situation in the Los Angeles Unified School District certainly should.
In May, a report following a random audit of 19 district schools — including four new campuses — laid out problems in the design of parking, restrooms, ramps, and drinking fountains, according to the Los Angeles Times. Among the items the audit found: