Accessibility Audits Can Improve the Community sarah March 20, 2024

Accessibility Audits Can Improve the Community

MY LIFE MAGAZINE - Spring 2024

By Dee Henry

The Center for Independent Living Options (CILO) is starting a new Community Walk & Roll this year. It’s a social event that will also serve as an accessibility audit for our streets and public spaces. Anyone who lives or spends time in Cincinnati is invited to join. 

With the Community Walk and Roll, we hope to: 

  • Build community with our neighbors 
  • Identify and bring attention to inaccessibility in our city 
  • Promote mobility rights and disability justice 

Part of CILO’s mission is to empower people with disabilities to lead independent and inclusive lives. This means that our community spaces must be accessible, including sidewalks, parks, and businesses. 

An accessible space is one that everyone can access and use without barriers. People with disabilities often face more barriers to accessible spaces. 

Barriers are conditions or obstacles that prevent disabled people from using or accessing a space, service, or knowledge. Some examples include a sidewalk not having a curb cut, uneven terrain, or a crosswalk without audible messaging. 

Accessibility means that persons with disabilities have the choice to live independently and participate fully in all aspects of life. 

We have legal protection against exclusion from a public space based on our disability. The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), which became law in 1990, requires public spaces to be accessible to people with disabilities. 

One tool we can use to check accessibility is an audit. An accessibility audit can help determine what barriers to accessibility exist. We can use this information to remove these barriers and prevent others. 

CILO’s Walk and Roll is also an opportunity to meet new friends. Participants will attend a short training course on accessibility and the ADA. 

After the training, we will walk and roll through part of Cincinnati on a predetermined route. Along the way, we will get to know each other as we point out examples of potential ADA violations. Then, we will submit these accessibility issues to the city of Cincinnati. 

A man in a wheelchair uses a red-tipped cane in front of a bench at a bus top in front of a building.
A collage of accessibility features such as a push to walk button that emits a sound and light alerting to when it is safe to cross a street, a ramp leading to a building, and a blue "push to open" button.

Center for Independent Living Options

The Center for Independent Living Options (CILO) is a non-profit organization that provides services for people with disabilities in Greater Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky.  

If you’re interested in joining CILO’s Community Walk and Roll or have an accessibility issue in Cincinnati you would like to report, please contact Disability Rights and Advocacy Specialist Dee Henry, at (513) 241-8046 or dhenry@cilo.net