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Community centers to become more accessible in Colorado Springs

Posted: 6:21 PM, May 02, 2019
Updated: 2019-05-02 23:01:08-04

COLORADO SPRINGS – The City of Colorado Springs is rolling out phase three of their Americans with Disabilities transition plan to make the entire city more accessible.

It’s part of a fifteen phase plan to be rolled out in the next ten years.

Phase three is focused on community centers across the city.
Phase one and two previously focused on making city admin and police department buildings more accessible.

One man who spoke to News 5 says this will help make the difference between enjoying his city — or trying to avoid it.

Paul Spotts has never been inside a community center.

He says getting around in his wheelchair can be nearly impossible as it is.

“If you really wanna go somewhere and you know you can’t get into that place once you get there so yeah it becomes frustrating after a while,” Spotts said.
“You know, sooner or later you just don’t want to go do anything.”

But the City of Colorado Springs wants to change that.

“Our main goal is to be inclusive for all of Colorado Springs,” said Robert Hernandez, the ADA Title II Manager for the City of Colorado Springs.

They’re sharing their plan to improve accessibility at seven community centers by replacing and installing new ramps.

Advocates say it’ll help paint a more accurate picture of our diverse community.

“It’s the space that we say that everybody should come together and interact and become more comfortable with what it looks like to be a vibrant and diverse community,” said Courtney Stone, Senior Manager at The Independence Center.
“But when community centers don’t involve or don’t easily involve a specific group of people, that limits that exposure to everybody else.”

The city is now accepting comments through May 28th.

“I want to know what the public wants. This is for them,” emphasized Hernandez.

“The more that people input into that plan, the more effective it’s going to be,” added Stone.

Spotts is optimistic.

“It makes me feel good that they’re actually putting in the effort to do it,” he said.

He even says he’ll venture out more once these changes are complete.

“I would be more willing to go check things out, yes, I would.”

The city says it could take two months to more than two years to upgrade community centers.
If you’d like to submit your feedback, you can find instructions on how to do so here .