According to a recent assessment performed by the Disability Action Center NW, several of Moscow’s parks are not easily accessible for the disabled. Only four of the seven assessed so far were fully accessible.
Dwight Curtis, Moscow’s Parks and Recreation Director said this when I told him the numbers:
"That’s not good enough," said Curtis. "It's really not… So we are looking forward to seeing their report so that we can get the rest of the parks and address the issues that they’ve noted. That’s really our primary goal, to be accessible to everybody.”
Curtis said every project is done following guidelines put in place by the Americans with Disabilities Act, which recognizes the rights people with disabilities to participate equally in communities, but that's not always enough.
"Then there's the realities when you actually have a person in a wheelchair or with prosthetics or whatever the issues they might have," said Curtis.
And that’s where the DAC comes in. Curtis said the Parks and Recreation Department really need their input.
The things the DAC looked at for their assessment were van accessibility, paved access to the bathrooms, a paved pathway to the picnic shelter, and a paved pathway to the playground.
The four parks found to be fully accessible are Mountain View, Kiwanis, Lena Whitmore, and Berman Creekside but the DAC notes that almost all Moscow parks have some level of accessibility.
“Bottom line is we were really impressed," said DAC CEO Mark Leeper. "For a small community they've really paid attention to it and the staff has been extremely responsive and we’re really hoping to see that throughout the area.”