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City of Bloomington seeks input on ADA transition plan

McLean County Government Center
WGLT file photo
There is a meeting Thursday evening at the Government Center to go over the City of Bloomington's ADA transition plan.

The City of Bloomington wants to hear from advocates and people with disabilities about the city's Americans with Disabilities Act transition plan.

Chief Diversity and Inclusion Officer Michael Hurt said he's spent the last five months fleshing out the plan, covering everything from parks and recreation facilities to the city website.

“When you do an ADA transition plan, there is what they call an ADA checklist that comes with it. And so one of the things on the checklist is to notify the community and allow them to have their input into the ADA transition plan, particularly those individuals from the disabled community. What we're hoping is to get a lot of disability advocates, individuals who actually have disabilities, to give us input on what they would like to see in this transition plan,” said Hurt.

There is a meeting Thursday evening at the Government Center to go over the ADA transition plan.

"It spells out what our responsibility as a municipality is; how to request a reasonable accommodation if you are an individual with a disability and you want to have access to a city program or service. And if you have a grievance to file, there is a grievance procedure there," said Hurt.

Hurt said the city hopes to have a fully ADA accessible website by the end of the year.

"I know with some screen readers you can pick up most of what's on our website. I think the main complaint about our website is it has a lot of graphics and I think that's what causes most of the issues with a lot of the screen readers," said Hurt.

He said a city audit of all its buildings and facilities shows they are mostly ADA-accessible.

"In our facilities, we're looking at 100% compliance. We really didn't have a lot of complaints about city properties. In some of our older park buildings, most of the issues there were with washrooms that weren't ADA compliant," he said.

Hurt said the city also is going into year six of a 10-year plan to spend $1 million a year on sidewalk and curb accessibility.

He said the city wants more suggestions from the community of those with disabilities. Hurt also plans to meet with Town of Normal officials. Normal’s ADA compliance task force presented its transition plan to the town council a few months ago.

The public meeting on the ADA Transition Plan will be from 6-7:30 p.m. Thursday at the Government Center, 115 E. Washington, room #402, in downtown Bloomington.

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WGLT Senior Reporter Charlie Schlenker has spent more than three award-winning decades in radio. He lives in Normal with his family.
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