To commemorate the 26th anniversary of the Americans With Disabilities Act, representatives from the Southwest Center For Independence on Tuesday staged a protest identifying businesses in Cortez that had not installed wheelchair-accessible entrances.
A chalk painting left in front of each business that the center flagged shows a person falling out of a wheelchair beneath the words “No Access.” The demonstrators also left an informational card informing the business that they are disabled along with 19 percent of the U.S. population, and that the businesses were losing customers because they aren’t easily accessed by wheelchairs.
The demonstrators notified Peterson Medical Supply, Garcia Jewelers, La Casita Restaurant, Farm Bistro restaurant, American Family Insurance Christopher McClure Agency and Pippo’s Cafe.
Farm Bistro owner Laurie Hall said she would have liked direct communication from the group instead of a public protest.
“We care very much about all members of our community,” Hall said.
The Southwest Center for Independence staged protests in Cortez and Durango, and both towns have SWCI offices.