Churchill accessibility criticized by California Chrome owner - 14 News, WFIE, Evansville, Henderson, Owensboro

Churchill accessibility questioned after rant by California Chrome owner at Preakness

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Metro Disability Coalition Vice President Chuck Rogers Metro Disability Coalition Vice President Chuck Rogers

LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - After being criticized by California Chrome owner Steve Coburn for what he considered a lack of hospitality, Churchill Downs has garnered local support from the Metro Disability Coalition.

"I personally have gone there and have found the premises, you know, accessible for my needs," said Metro Disability Coalition Vice President Chuck Rogers.

After being injured in a car accident more than 30 years ago, Rogers became a disability advocate. Rogers said the Metro Disability Coalition has worked closely with Churchill Downs in the past to make sure the facility is accessible to all.

"When they initially put in the new terraces and the new suites," began Rogers, "they permitted us to come and review the area to make sure they were in compliance with the Americans With Disabilities Act."

California Chrome owner Steve Coburn criticized that compliance over the weekend following a Preakness win in Maryland.

"Even though we won, it was a bad day for my partner and his family," said Coburn during a post-victory conference Saturday. "He had his mother, who you know is 84 years old, trying to get everything done for her so she could be in the winner's circle, so on and so forth. I mean, there were people doing what they could to help us but apparently they didn't do quite enough."

"I understand these people were having issues and it just depends on what they're asking for," began Rogers, "whether what they're asking for is within the bounds of the ADA."

Rogers said the ADA, or Americans With Disabilities Act, required venues to provide certain accommodations including reserved parking and seating. Any needs consumers feel are not being met, Rogers encouraged be brought up promptly.

"Deal directly with the business or entity," said Rogers. "With Churchill, because of how large it is, they can do a lot and they will make the changes, I do believe. They've done it in the past for us."

According to Rogers, no formal complaints were filed with the Metro Disability Coalition following the Kentucky Derby.

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