Sunday, November 16, 2014

Accessible Sidewalks

MCIL wants to help build accessible walkways and curb-ramps in Memphis

By Tim Wheat
Fire plug blocking the curb-ramp in Memphis
There are many things that go into making and planning for accessible routes around the city of Memphis but the bottom line is: can you get to where you are going? The Memphis Center for Independent Living wants to look into all those issues, but we really want to know what barriers you find in your way.

Inaccessible businesses are one issue that MCIL is working on, but in this format we are asking you to help us identify the problems with sidewalks and curb-ramps. A curb-ramp, also commonly called a curb-cut, are typically at intersections and make it possible for someone using a wheelchair to cross the road like everyone else. 

We have found that many curbs in the city have no curb-ramp at all, so people using mobility devices cannot cross the street. There are other issues that people have identified, like utility poles in the middle of the walkway so that it blocks a wheelchair user. There are also broken sidewalks and curb-ramps that are not maintained that make it impossible to use.

What ever the issue, we are looking for some help from our community to locate where the barriers are. If you cannot use the walkways like other Memphis citizens can, that is a barrier that we would like to hear about. 

The Memphis Center for Independent Living has created a short online form to fill out to tell us about a barrier. We don't ask for your name or any other information than time, location and what the barrier is. You may also tell how the obstruction made you feel and how it impacts people with disabilities. If you would like to send a photo of the barrier you can email it to:

Link to the online form: