In Home Care Provider Says Many Buildings in Yakima are not Handicap Accessible
YAKIMA, Wa - A man who provides in home care to disabled people in Yakima says the city is not making sure buildings are handicap accessible.
Mike Hunell says he's been complaining for almost two years now, and no one is doing anything about it.
Hunell says the biggest problem he sees is with parking.
"See I need more than 16-feet," says Hunnel after he opens a ramp he uses roll people in wheelchairs out of his van.
The state requires all buildings to have a van accessible handicap parking space. Hunnel says the space needs to be 16-feet across for a ramp, but many buildings don't have spaces that are wide enough. He also sees many spaces without a required sign posted next to the space.
"There's a lot of new structures, but very few comply," says Hunnel.
He's taken patients to grocery stores, restaurants, even doctors offices that are not handicap accessible. Carolyn Riley is one of the patient's he cares for. She's been disabled for 55-years.
"It hurts every time. I feel like a second class citizen," says Riley.
Hunnel says he's gone to Yakima's Code Administration. He's also tried talking to the City Council.
Hunnel says it can be expensive to make buildings handicap accessible, but it's the law and these property owners must obey the law.
He's says the city also must make sure they are in compliance.