In the latest episode of The Accessibility Corner podcast, George and Jesus spoke to local advocate Nathan Coleman about the various barriers individuals with disabilities encounter daily. The barriers are in housing, transportation, education and employment. However, the biggest barrier that individuals with disabilities face is perception. If you feel that you or someone you know encounters a barrier accessing any of the city’s services or programs, you can call Maricruz Chavez, the city’s Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA) coordinator at (915) 212-1681.

The ironic thing about the podcast is what happened the next day. I tried applying for paratransit services (LIFT) via Sun Metro’s website. Sun Metro is a city service. The online application for services was not accessible to me, as an individual with a visual impairment. I contacted the Sun Metro LIFT’s management and the city’s strategic information director to let them know about this issue and they assured me they would address it promptly. Unfortunately, my accessibility problem did not end there.

I tried completing an online digital release form for Congresswoman Veronica Escobar’s office and discovered that her office online form was also inaccessible to me.

I will update the readers once these matters have been resolved so that individuals with a visual impairment can access these online applications and forms without barriers for individuals with disabilities.

The ADA is meant to ensure that people with disabilities can fully participate in all aspects of civic life. Under Title II, all state and local governments must follow the ADA regardless of their size. Title II of the ADA requires state and local governments to give people with disabilities an equal opportunity to benefit from all their programs, services, and activities. State and local governments cannot deny individuals with disabilities the opportunity to participate in community programs. The ADA also prohibits local and state governments from limiting or requiring individuals from participating in different public programs from those available to the public.

The latest podcast is available here.