Accessibility Surveyed

News briefs

September 11, 1991

In an effort to improve services for the disabled, the county is conducting a survey on access for the handicapped at 40 libraries, parks, senior centers and government buildings.

Visitors will be asked to fill out a two-page survey asking whether the county-owned facility is readily accessible. Respondents can note whether parking, ramps,entrance doors, elevators, restrooms and telephones are easy to use.

The county Office of Disability Services plans to use the study to correct problems with access to meet new standards mandated by the 1990 Americans with Disabilities Act. The measure outlaws discrimination in employment, public services and accommodations.

A county task force is studying how to improve access, transportation and employment for the disabled to comply with the bill. The task force has selected the 15 most used county buildings for $400,000 worth of renovations in the next months.

The Office of Disability Services is surveying visitors to determine which parks, libraries and government offices need the most improvements, said director Anne Gibson.

CountyExecutive Robert R. Neall urged all visitors to fill out the survey.

"The few minutes it takes to complete this simple form will make a big difference in the quality of information we will have to improve accessibility," he said.

UNITED WAY STARTS UP

United Way kicked off its annual fund-raising campaign in Anne Arundel County yesterdayat Opportunity Builders Inc., a program that helps employ mentally handicapped adults.

The county chapter wants to raise a record $1.3million in the next year to support social services programs that have lost federal subsidies. United Way gives money to 59 county agencies, from the Association for Retired Citizens to counseling services,homeless shelters and Boy Scouts.

Despite the economic slowdown, the county's contribution to the United Way of Central Maryland in 1990 broke records. County contributors pledged $1.23 million in 1990, a 12.4 percent increase over 1989's $1.23 million total.

The central region includes Howard, Carroll, Baltimore and Harford counties. Anne Arundel County outpaced its neighbors in 1990.

The recession has increased the demand for social services, said spokesman Mel Tansill.

The theme of this year's campaign is "Together, we are making a difference," he said.

United Way wants to emphasize its role in providing help for the homeless and hungry, for drug and alcohol abusers, for seniors and the sick, for nursing services and the SalvationArmy.

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