Charlottesville Planning Holds Hearing on ADA Transition Plan

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Tuesday night, the Charlottesville Planning Commission will hold a public hearing on a proposed ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) transition plan for the city.

The proposal looks at specific ways to ensure that city facilities and services are accessible for people with disabilities.

The plan aims to address the things that a majority of people take for granted, including going up a ramp or a curb cut, a small slope or steps at a building's entrance. But for people with disabilities, those two things can be tremendous obstacles for getting around.

NBC29 followed Miss Wheelchair Virginia first runner-up India Sims on the downtown mall. She is an advocate for making public spaces wheelchair-accessible and says the mall is a prime example of where improvements could be made. She says getting into restaurants is a challenge because many of the buildings have curb cuts.

Sims wants the city to consider a standard design.

"We just can't go in a restaurant that has too many steps because it's not handicap-accessible for us and that is a big challenge and people just overlook that and think that that's OK, when it's not," Sims said.

The city of Charlottesville prepared and adopted a transition plan in 1995. The 2013 plan updates the existing plan with a number of upgrades over the years.

The public hearing begins at 6 p.m. Following the hearing, the planning commission can amend, approve or disapprove the transition plan.

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