[nfbmi-talk] Fw: i thought you wereworking on this?

joe harcz Comcast joeharcz at comcast.net
Mon Sep 23 16:08:51 UTC 2013


----- Original Message ----- 
From: Ellis, Sharon (DTMB) 
To: joe harcz Comcast 
Sent: Monday, September 23, 2013 12:05 PM
Subject: RE: i thought you wereworking on this?


Oh.  Work continues toward preparation of the transition plan and here is the update on that.

The team has just finished the walk-throughs of all the buildings for the ADA building audit and is beginning work on the signage part of the project.  When I receive the reports of all the audit information, we will begin work on the transition plan.  The statement in the newspaper stands.

 

 

Sharon Alston Ellis, J.D.

State ADA Compliance Director

Michigan Dept. of Technology, Management & Budget

Direct: 517.241.1217

Cell: 517.515.8589

Fax: 517.241.5428

elliss1 at michigan.gov

 

 

 

From: joe harcz Comcast [mailto:joeharcz at comcast.net] 
Sent: Monday, September 23, 2013 12:00 PM
To: Ellis, Sharon (DTMB)
Subject: Re: i thought you wereworking on this?

 

No I'm talking about the State of Michigan Transition plan where you were mentioned herein.

  ----- Original Message ----- 

  From: Ellis, Sharon (DTMB) 

  To: joe harcz Comcast 

  Sent: Monday, September 23, 2013 11:53 AM

  Subject: RE: i thought you wereworking on this?

   

  Mr. Harcz -

  I'm not sure to what you are referring.

   

  If it's Kearsley Park, the park belongs to the City of Flint, therefore I have no authority over nor responsibility for it.

   

  Sincerely yours,

   

  Sharon Alston Ellis, J.D.

  State ADA Compliance Director

  Michigan Dept. of Technology, Management & Budget

  Direct: 517.241.1217

  Cell: 517.515.8589

  Fax: 517.241.5428

  elliss1 at michigan.gov

   

   

   

   

   

  From: joe harcz Comcast [mailto:joeharcz at comcast.net] 
  Sent: Sunday, September 22, 2013 6:14 PM
  To: Ellis, Sharon (DTMB)
  Subject: i thought you wereworking on this?

   

  > Americans with Disabilities Act celebration turns sour at Flint site that isn't ADA-compliant By Paul Egan Detroit Free Press Lansing Bureau LANSING -
  It
  >
  > was billed as a celebration of the landmark federal law intended to make sure disabled people have equal access to public facilities. But the site in
  Flint
  >
  > chosen to celebrate the 23rd birthday of the Americans with Disabilities Act - Kearsley Park - did not meet requirements of the ADA. A wooden ramp had
  >
  > unsafe railings, broken planks and protruding bolts. Sidewalks weren't level. A playground area was inaccessible. People who used wheelchairs had to roll
  >
  > across grass to reach portable toilets that lacked raised signage for the blind. It was supposed to be an ADA anniversary celebration," said Scott Heinzman,
  >
  > 51, an organizer with the group ADAPT who uses a wheelchair because of a spinal cord injury at age 20. That's why it makes it kind of weird to hold it
  >
  > in a place that I wouldn't say is compliant with the ADA. The July 26 event at a Flint city park, one of a handful of events held around the state, was
  >
  > sponsored by the Disability Network, a nonprofit agency, and the Genesee Health System, the county mental health agency. Disabled activists say it was
  >
  > a poignant example of the frustrations and indignities they experience at state and local public facilities on a daily basis. State buildings still fail
  >
  > to meet many requirements of the ADA, and the state still lacks a transition plan - required under federal law - for coming into compliance. Though data
  >
  > comparing Michigan with other governments is lacking, a 2010 survey by the Chicago-based Great Lakes ADA Center gave Michigan an overall grade of C on
  >
  > its ADA report card and a C+ for removal of physical barriers from buildings. That was slightly better than Illinois, Ohio and Wisconsin fared, the same
  >
  > as the grades Indiana received, and slightly worse than Minnesota's score. Joe Harcz, a Mt. Morris resident who is blind, pointed out that even the state's
  >
  > library for blind people inside the Michigan Library and Historical Center in Lansing - recently renamed the Braille and Talking Book Library - does not
  >
  > have an entrance sign in raised lettering and Braille, as required by the ADA. Harcz said he has not found a single state building, including the Capitol,
  >
  > that fully complies with that requirement. And state officials do not dispute that. The state is trying to negotiate the settlement of a federal lawsuit
  >
  > brought against it last year by Michigan Economic Development Corp. employee Jill Babcock, who uses a wheelchair and sued over accessibility problems
  at
  >
  > Cadillac Place, a huge state office complex in Detroit's Midtown area that includes an office for Gov. Rick Snyder. Late last year, the Snyder administration
  >
  > appointed Sharon Ellis as its first statewide ADA compliance director. She will help oversee a transition plan spelling out how and when the state plans
  >
  > to come into compliance with the law. We hope to have the transition plan completed within the next six months," Department of Technology, Management
  and
  >
  > Budget spokesman Kurt Weiss said Sept. 4. While the current administration cannot speak to what occurred prior to 2011, the current focus is on improving
  >
  > our state facilities and signage so that we are meeting the needs of people with disabilities," he said. A statewide ADA compliance audit - the first
  since
  >
  > 2008 - is under way, and improving signage across state government buildings will be a major piece of the transition plan, Weiss said. For the Flint event,
  >
  > a group of ADAPT activists that included Heinzman, Harcz and Bill Earl, who uses a wheelchair because he has cerebral palsy, went prepared. They brought
  >
  > video cameras to document the deficiencies and confronted organizer Mike Zelley, who is president and CEO of the Disability Network in Flint and chairman
  >
  > of the Michigan Civil Rights Commission. In the videotaped interview, Zelley - who uses a wheelchair because he was paralyzed in a motor vehicle accident
  >
  > 35 years ago - acknowledged most of the shortcomings the activists cite. We're rebuilding the ramp right now to make it to code," Zelley said in the video.
  >
  > The rails are too tall. The park is not fully accessible; it's pretty accessible," Zelley told Earl in the interview. We're improving it as we go along.
  >
  > Zelley said Sept. 4 that he had 100 volunteers on hand to make sure people could cross the ramp safely and to assist with other accessibility shortcomings.
  >
  > Flint is strapped for cash and volunteers built the ramp, unfortunately not to code, he said. It will be fixed in time for next year's celebration, Zelley
  >
  > said. Tisha Deeghan, senior vice president and chief operating officer of co-sponsor Genesee Health System, said the Disability Network handled logistics
  >
  > for the event, which has been held at Kearsley Park in previous years. Her agency had not heard of complaints this year, she said. If there were individuals
  >
  > who could not fully participate, we would apologize," Deeghan said. It's tough to find a venue that's as compliant as we would like things to be. We'll
  >
  > strive to do better next summer.
  >
  >


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