Sometimes the government works and sometimes it could do better.
That’s the observation from a local businessman who shared his frustration with us this week.
Andy Stadler needs a wheelchair to get around, and says he’s made a complaint for the fourth year in a row about the BMV’s handicap accessibility.
Sadie All has been covering the story. Today she talked with Pete Ciancone of the WILL Center. He’s an advocate for people with disabilities.
“It is in compliance and I brought my handy dandy tape measure just to make sure,” Ciancone said.
Ciancone took some measurements at the Terre Haute BMV. He started with the sidewalk, where you can see several brick posts cut into its width.
“And that’s at 36 … Just barely,” Ciancone said.
Thirty-six inches is in compliance with state ADA regulations. That is if there’s a restriction on the sidewalk. Typically 5 feet in width is required.
Just this week we saw what a trip to the BMV looks like for Andy Stadler, who’s wheelchair bound and required to visit the BMV each year to receive a disabled veteran’s license.
“It’s kind of hard to imagine that our state government is not addressing it, looking at the needs of a handicap,” Stadler said.
He’s filed a complaint with the bmv for the past four years to see more accessibility for the disabled and elderly.
It’s been a couple of days since I sent my inquiries to the Indiana Bureau of Motor Vehicles, so we decided to come to Deming Park and show folks the photos Stadler took to hear what they had to say.
“I feel like it should have been a consideration especially with all the traffic going into that building,” former Terre Haute resident Leslie Wright said.
“This guy obviously has no other option, so I mean they should have no other option either to serve him the way he served us,” Terre Haute resident Chelsey Quirke said.
Ciancone says he would advocate to see an automated door added at the facility.
“I could tell ya, my mom couldn’t open that door… You know, turn your hat around and think like a person with a disability or condition of aging,” Ciancone said.
An automated door, but it’s not required. The weight of the door determines if an automated opener will be installed on the inside.
We’re still waiting on a response from the Indiana Bureau of Motor Vehicles, we want to know how they handle complaints from their patrons who say their layout is inconvenient and why people have to physically go inside the building for their license needs.