I am wheelchair bound since June 14, 1997. I learned handicap accessible, is not the same as wheelchair accessibility. Moving from the area in 1995; returning in 2003, after a tragic accident being wheelchair bound; looking for other therapy, the YMCA was of interest. The parking area had a few handicap parking spaces, in 2003. No handicap parking was available during peak class hours, much to my dismay. I contacted the Board of Directors. In 2009 the handicap parking was increased to meet handicap members needs. In one month, handicap parking was not available for me, again. I learn personally, it is dangerous, for wheelchair bound people to park, in a parking space, having to roll behind parked vehicles to get into a facility. The YMCA, supported a parking sign, “Wheelchairs Only”. Handicap Parking is now available for independent wheelchair members.
I as other independent wheelchair bound citizens, will appreciate a wheelchair accessibility community. I am hoping for support, from the community’s citizens, business and especially churches, who have multi-handicap parking spaces, to consider “Wheelchair Only” Handicap Parking. I have written many officials, YMCA, is the only business that responded favorable to wheelchair needs. I believe a serious injury is possible, with someone backing over a wheelchair bound person in the future.