Public Facilities Accessibility Report Pt 1

General Recommendations:

  1. Adequate, appropriate, signed handicap parking.
  2. Adequate outside lighting.
  3. Automatic door openers at handicap entrance.
  4. Paint bright yellow stripe on edges of steps to highlight stairs.
  5. Use of door handles rather than doorknobs.
  6. Stairs should have non-skid surface and always have railings(34-38”high)
  7. Use microphones during meetings.
  8. Availability of chair in office areas for public use.

Town Hall

Town hall is wheelchair accessible with the recent installation of the automatic door opener. Inside, the main corridors and department doorways are wheelchair accessible. All doors have door handles with the exception of the Visitors’ Center. All departments are wheelchair accessible but not all are wheelchair usable. By this we mean that the counters in all departments, with the exception of the Selectmen’s office (where there is no counter), were found to be too high and/or lacking open knee space. In the Assessors, Health, and Building departments the turnaround space for a wheelchair is inadequate. The two handicap bathrooms are acceptable, as is the water fountain. We did not review anything to do with the elevator. Recent noteworthy improvements are the benches and chairs in the hallways, the safety measures installed at the main entrance and the use of the CART system at town meetings.

We recommend an additional handicap parking space on the left side of town hall’s main entrance adjacent to the walkway. It would not be van accessible. It is for people who can walk a short distance and still manage stairs. This allows for shorter and easier access to the town’s business offices.

Modify existing office counters to be wheelchair accessible, except for Planning and Conservation’s. These modifications might also provide adequate wheelchair turnaround space. The counters in the Planning and Conservation offices are portable, unable to be modified and should be replaced. Our detailed town hall on-site review sheets (with modification suggestions) are available if desired.

At the Visitor’s Center, change the doorknob to a door handle.

In Meeting Room B, provide a microphone system to be used during meetings to assist the hearing impaired. Also, the wall phone should be lowered to a height of 48”.

Council on Aging
The COA is considered wheelchair accessible due to the recent installation of the automatic door opener. It is also safer with the recent installation of the glass door panels. Inside, the COA is reasonably accessible for an older building. There have been a few complaints from people getting splinters from the round railing. There were two other survey suggestions: first, put one or two regular (not van accessible) HP spaces nearer to the steps at the accessible entrance for those who can do steps and walk only a short distance (they find the ramp too long); second, was to improve the safety of the crosswalk for those walking from the senior housing to the COA.

Paint a yellow stripe on the outside stair edges to highlight steps.
Keep the railing sanded and painted or replace it with a composite railing.

With regard to changing the present handicap parking spaces, we make no recommendations due to the possible change of COA venue and also due to the difficulty in changing the present parking setup.

Visually improve the crosswalk that leads from senior housing to COA either by painting the crosswalk, using signage, or both.

Brewster Ladies Library
The library has been aggressively addressing accessibility issues for the past few years. It is now wheelchair accessible and is continuing to improve accessibility especially for the hearing and visually impaired. Access to the book drop-off site is difficult due to the granite curbing.

Make a curb cut in front of the book drop-off site.

Paint a yellow stripe on the edges of the outside steps to highlight them.

Fire Station
The fire station is not presently wheelchair accessible for several reasons but due to possible construction/remodeling, we did not review the facility.

Police Station
The entrance doors to the police station are not wheelchair accessible due to lack of an automatic door opener. There are two handicap parking spaces, none designated ‘van accessible‘.
Install an automatic door opener to make entrance wheelchair accessible.
We recommend that the corner handicap parking space adjacent to the crosshatched area be designated “van accessible”.

DPW Office
The entrance door to the public area of the DPW building is not wheelchair accessible due to lack of an automatic door opener.

Install an automatic door opener. The doorway and inside area are adequate for turnaround space.

Water Department
The new water department building is not wheelchair accessible due to the lack of an automatic door opener. When alerted to this during construction, Supt. Hicks was able to make modifications to better allow for future retrofit for an automatic door opener. Funding for the installation of the automatic door opener will determine when the automatic door opener is installed. Since the building is new, it must meet ADA standards inside so our committee did not do an on-site review.

Recommendations: Install an automatic door opener.

Stony Brook School
The school where town meetings are held is not wheelchair accessible due to lack of an automatic door opener. Our recommendation is to install an automatic door opener; however, we are not sure if an automatic door opener could be installed due to school security issues.

Handicap Parking and Lighting
When one enters the school grounds, there is no indication where the handicap parking is. There is a total of four handicap parking spots located in two areas. One parking spot is van accessible but lacks the proper signage. Also, according to our survey, when a special needs bus is parked in the HP parking area by the walkway, there is not much room for other handicap parking. The handicap parking area could have better lighting.

Place a sign at the entrance to the main parking lot directing people to where the handicap parking area is. Designate a few more handicap parking spots possibly including another “van accessible” spot. Improve the lighting in the handicap parking area.

Dump At the Dennis dump, there is a special area where a disabled person can park and then be assisted with unloading their trash. Is it possible to offer help at the Brewster dump for those who are disabled? If so, have a sign put up at the dump saying that this service is available for those who need it and tell them how they should proceed.

Thrift Shop It is not wheelchair accessible as it has no automatic door opener. Our recommendation is to install a doorbell/buzzer to alert those inside that someone needs help with the door. It doesn’t seem practical to us to install an automatic door opener.