Local ADA Advocates Share Gains and Frustrations
Ocean County's handicap access advocates acknowlege tremendous gains in 21 years of providing access to person's with dissibilities as part of the American's with Dissabilities Act (ADA). However, on WOBM's Open Forum Wednesday Night, ADA's Ocean County Action Network, also known as ADOCAN, says more still needs to be accomplished.
ADOCAN's Jerry Bojko says just in Toms River along the Route 37 cooridor between Mule and Lakehurst Roads, he observed and took pictures of a host of parking violations at about 14 businesses. Bojko says examples of these were things like "the blue-stripped access isles, there were 12 violations of that. Handicap signs with no fines indicated on the signs, there were five violations. No van-accessible parking areas, 11 violations."
However, Bojko isn't finding the picture all bleak. He's finding that the business or property owners who were in violation, were for the most part not doing it intentionally. He says many of them simply didn't know about the ADA laws to comply. "And when I explained to these owners what the laws were about handicap parking, they admitted that they weren't aware of it and they actually took the time and spent the money to have signs put in."
Bojko says "if we could educate the business community about it, we probably could get so much more positive reaction. We're not going to get it from everyone we know that but we probably could get a lot more than we have."
ADOCAN continues to express frustration with working with the township that house's the county seat , Toms River. Bojko says his pictures of ADA violations and suggestons on how to get the ADA book into the hands of business leaders has pretty much fallen on deaf ears.
You can listen to the entire program on our web site at www.WOBM.com