Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Blumenthal bill would make post office add automatic doors

Sen. Richard Blumenthal last week introduced legislation that would revamp the requirements for handicapped access on federally funded buildings.
And it may mean that post offices need to be remodeled.
The bill, which now heads to committee, recognizes "the need to improve physical access to many federally funded facilities for all people of the United States, particularly people with disabilities."
According to the text of the bill, 71 percent of the complaints received by the Access Board regarding the Architectural Barriers Act of 1968 concerned a post office or other facility of the United States Postal Service.
The bill, which is concurrent with a similar House bill, "recommends that the United States Postal Service and Federal agencies install power-assisted doors at post offices and other federally funded facilities."

It mentions, among other specifics, that "in 2009, 12 percent of all people in the United States reported having some disability, that "in 2008, 16.9 percent of veterans, amounting to more than 13,000,000 people, reported having a service-related disability to the Department of Veterans Affairs" and that, according to the most recent census, "the number of people in the United States that report having a disability is at a 20-year high."
The bill, in response to a report commissioned by the Architectural and Transportation Barriers Compliance Board, would require at least one automated door for people with disabilities.
Connecticut, Rhode Island and Washington D.C. already have similar laws on the books.



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