An audit of accessibility issues for people with disabilities at county government buildings has turned up a list of possible improvements.
Although county buildings are Americans with Disabilities Act-compliant, county staff members and the Disability Services Board reviewed the buildings for areas of possible improvement. Those included suggestions like bringing handicap-accessible parking closer to the government center in Leesburg, adding automatic doors to the Ridgetop Circle building in Sterling, enlarging stalls and adding grab bars in restrooms, staff training, and ensuring video remote interpreting is available in all customer service areas.
Chair Phyllis J. Randall (D-At Large) said the work came about after she fractured her foot and was briefly on crutches, and she found county buildings difficult to navigate.
The total cost of those improvements was estimated at $240,000. Assistant County Administrator Erin McLellan said county staff agree those fixes are a priority, and they fit into the county’s maintenance budget and will be addressed over the next year.
Disability Services Board Chair Lori Daly asked county staff to also emphasize training for staff members to understand access and respectful language.
“Just about everyone will have some sort of disability, either short-term or long-term, in their lifetime, and that’s when you kind of get to experience things for yourself,” she said.