The American with Disabilities Act is a wide-ranging statute that passed Congress with bipartisan support and was signed into law by the first Bush as President in 1991. In case you weren't paying attention then, even Senator Jesse Helms supported this legislation.
Persons with disabilities just celebrated the law's anniversary in July, but much remains to be done to bring about compliance. I am writing this as a reminder to those of you responsible for organizing and planning political events, especially for candidates for office and their event planners.
You won't win votes from those with mobility issues who have difficulty walking and/or use a walker or a chair to get around, if you do as the Romney campaign has done and book an event in an inaccessible BBQ hut in Morrisville. However, I am not picking just on the Rs here. I complained myself about several Democratic Party events held in Raleigh at the Busy Bee. These were upstairs with no elevator for access.
I would suggest anyone holding an event just stop for a moment and think about how their grandmother or grandfather could get to an event, from arrival in a parking lot to getting inside and being able to move about without barriers.
No paved parking lot? Not good. No ramps or elevators where needed. Again, not good.
You could contact your local Center for Independent Living (CIL) if you live in the Asheville, Greensboro, Charlotte, Raleigh, Greenville, or Wilmington areas. Ask your questions of persons with experience in helping folks with ADA compliance. In Raleigh the CIL is called the Alliance for Disability Advocates, and their phone number is 919-833-1117.
The Advocates are paid staff, but nearly all the staff have lived experience as a person with a disability. In Raleigh there are two on staff who use wheelchairs and can speak more authoritatively than I on what to look out for in planning an event.
BlueNC is dedicated to making North Carolina a more progressive and prosperous state. If your intention is to disrupt this effort, please find somewhere else to express your opinions.