NATIONAL DISABILITY LEADERSHIP ALLIANCE (NDLA) URGES NATIONAL PARK SERVICE TO MEET DISABILITY MANDATES
- Jun - 29 - 2021
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Kelly Douglas 910-824-4624 / firstname.lastname@example.org
NATIONAL DISABILITY LEADERSHIP ALLIANCE (NDLA) URGES NATIONAL PARK SERVICE
TO MEET DISABILITY MANDATES
NDLA Sets Deadline of 25th Anniversary of Dedication of the FDR Memorial
WASHINGTON, DC (June 29, 2021) – Today the National Disability Leadership Alliance (NDLA) and allied organizations, call on the National Park Service (NPS) to implement recommendations set forth in the recent report completed by Dr. Cheryl Fogle-Hatch regarding accessibility at the FDR Memorial in Washington, DC. NDLA sets a deadline of May 2, 2022, in celebration of the 25th anniversary of the dedication of the FDR Memorial.
NDLA is a coalition of leading national disability organizations led by people with disabilities and supported by grassroots constituencies living with disabilities in all 50 states and the District of Columbia. Member organizations have joined forces because the disability community has already waited too long for equal access and federal agencies have not met their federally mandated obligations for accessibility. The Rehabilitation Act of 1973 prohibits discrimination against people with disabilities by any program or activity that receives federal funding.
It has been 24 years since The Washington Post reported on accessibility concerns in the 1997 article titled FDR Memorial's Braille Letters Pose Sizable Problem For Blind. Dr. Fogle-Hatch’s report further outlines the deficiencies ranging from the same inaccurate Braille to the safety concerns with removable stanchions around the fountains.
The NDLA call to action echoes that of Congressional Resolutions - S. Res. 86 and H. Res. 183 calling for accessibility improvements by Senator Tammy Duckworth and Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton. Their resolution urges the National Park Service to “continue to increase access to the Memorial for individuals with disabilities, as required by law, including through the installation of tactile braille on signs and placards.”
“The FDR memorial, by honoring a great President, reminds us that there are no heights Americans with disabilities cannot reach,” Norton said in a statement. “Our parks and memorials should be accessible to all Americans.”
The following NDLA organizations have signed the letter: American Association of People with Disabilities, American Council of the Blind, Association of Programs for Rural Independent Living, Autistic Self Advocacy Network, Autistic Women & Nonbinary Network, Disability Rights Education & Defense Fund, Little People of America, National Association of the Deaf, National Coalition for Mental Health Recovery, National Council Independent Living, National Federation of the Blind, Not Dead Yet, Paralyzed Veterans of America, Topeka Independent Living Resources Center, and United Spinal.
FDR Memorial Legacy Committee
The FDR Committee brings together historians, disability and civil rights advocates, artists, academics, leaders in government, business, and non-profits, and interested people across the country. The mission of the FDR Committee is to document, preserve and share the leadership and legacy of the disability community’s campaign for representation at the FDR Memorial in DC, and to promote education and awareness of other underrepresented stories and themes related to the FDR Memorial, Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt and their times. The FDR Committee operates independently under the non-profit status of the National Council on Independent Living (NCIL), which serves as a fiscal sponsor. www.fdrmemoriallegacy.com.