Advisory Board on Disability Services launches program recognizing accessible restaurants

Advisory Board on Disability Services launches program recognizing accessible restaurants

EVANSVILLE, IN (WFIE) - It’s called the AccessAbility program and it helps recognize local businesses that are accessible to people with disabilities. It also helps guide businesses that aren’t accessible yet.

The program is modeled after a similar program in Bloomington. The goal is to encourage and assist restaurants to meet specific accessibility standards.

The program is teaming up with Occupational Therapy students from the University of Southern Indiana and Physical Therapy students at the University of Evansville.

The students will give free screenings at local businesses that focus on parking, paths of travel, entrance, stairs and railings, common areas, restrooms, and customer service.

Members of the Advisory Board on Disability Services will review the screenings to determine which restaurants will receive the decal.

At the end of the initiative, there will be a reception acknowledging restaurants that successfully participated with the program.

"We appreciate all the effort and planning that have been done to bring this initiative to fruition,” said Matt Hoffman, chairperson of the Advisory Board on Disability Services.

Participants will be presented with the decal and featured on the organization’s social media page and on the City of Evansville website.

Restaurants that don’t meet the standards for the decal will receive a letter explaining where they fell short of accessibility, and will be invited to participate in future screenings.

The first screening will be completed in April.

Any restaurant interested in participating can call the Human Relations Commission’s office at (812) 436-4927 or email to hrc@evansville.in.gov.

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