Dear New Yorker,
Many of us can't understand the frustrations that people with disabilities encounter in their everyday life.
Even trying to enter a building in New York City can be difficult when there isn't a sign posted indicating where the nearest accessible entrance is located.
That's about to change, though, thanks to legislation recently passed by the NYC Council aimed at making our city more accessible and inclusive for people with disabilities.
Specifically, Intro. 797-A, introduced by Council Member Debi Rose, requires the owners of all existing New York City buildings to put up a sign at inaccessible building entrances with clearly marked directions to an alternative accessible entryway.
Owners will also be required to post a sign at that accessible entrance listing a phone number that people can call if the entrance is locked. In addition, signage to the nearest accessible public toilets, bathing facilities and elevators will also be required for certain buildings so that these basic amenities are easier to locate and find.
We still have a long ways to go before New York can truly be considered an accessible city.
But these modest changes to the City's building code are a step in the right direction as we continue to work toward that goal, and we want to thank all of our colleagues for supporting this important piece of legislation. Special thanks as well to all of the advocates who've been working with us to help ensure that New Yorkers with disabilities are able to live and enjoy their lives on an equal basis with others.
We look forward to Mayor Bloomberg signing Intro. 797-A into law shortly.
Christine C. Quinn
Chair, Committee on Civil Rights
Lead Sponsor, Intro. 797-A
G. Oliver Koppell
Chair, Committee on Mental Health, Mental Retardation,
Alcoholism, Drug Abuse, & Disability Services