FDR Memorial Park Not Wheelchair Friendly

A New York park made in honor of President Franklin D. Roosevelt is being sued for allegedly not being accessible to disabled people.

The suit filed in a Manhattan federal court alleges the Four Freedoms Park on Roosevelt Island discriminates against people who use wheelchairs, scooters and other mobility assisting devices.

The suit says this is a direct violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act that prohibits the discrimination of people with disabilities in public facilities.

What makes the situation worse, is that FDR spent the majority of his presidency wheelchair bound after contracting polio in 1921.

According to the suit, the park has various features and stair cases that hinder disabled people from fully enjoying the park.

Three wheelchair bound individuals are named in the lawsuit--Phil Beder, Milagros Franco and Edith Prentiss.

Beder says he was offended by the lack of accessibility in the park.

“I’m not a radical wheelchair-accessibility person — if a restaurant isn’t accessible I’ll find another one...but when it comes to something like a memorial to a wheelchair-using president, it’s just insane that it wouldn’t be 100 percent accessible.”

Director of Communications and Marketing at the Four Freedoms Park Conservancy Madeline Grimes says the park group has yet to review the suit.

"Four Freedoms Park is -- and always has been -- committed to accessibility for people with disabilities. We take accessibility issues very seriously and strive to meet the needs of all of our visitors."


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