For Immediate Release
People with disabilities will be rallying for access to services provided by the Seymour Post Office from 10:15 a.m. to 12:15 p.m. Wednesday, May 13, 2015, due to the Postmaster’s failure and refusal to provide equal access to customers with disabilities and the elderly.
The Post Office facility at 91 Main St. has a steep staircase at its entrance with no ramp, lift, or other means for persons with limited mobility to get into the facility to conduct their business. For years, customers with disabilities could use a service ramp at the rear of the building; but a few weeks ago the Postmaster suddenly shut down that option.
The Postmaster has offered people with disabilities one alternative: Customers may call a number and request that the U.S.P.S. staff to come to the curb.
This is unacceptable for the following reasons:
1) There is no signage or notice indicating that this option is available;
2) The number is not being shared publicly;
2) This option will not work for people who do not have cell phones or who, because of their disability, can’t easily use one; and
3) The sidewalk area is hazardous; and in inclement weather, this option would not work.
“The Postmaster is hiding behind the letter of the Americans with Disabilities Act while ignoring the fact that the USPS is required by Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act to make its services accessible to customers with disabilities,” said Marc Anthony Gallucci, Esq., Executive Director of the Center for Disability Rights. “They have had 40 years to plan for access. Haven’t they had enough time?”
“One must ask, why is it that the mail is ‘First Class’ but customers with disabilities are “Second Class’?”
Demonstrators will be demanding services during the protest, and will press their demands for a long-term permanent solution.
“We demand that the Post Office be made accessible, or that it be moved to an accessible location nearby,” Gallucci said. “In the interim, we also demand that access to the service ramp be restored, and that appropriate signage and door bells be installed so that customers can readily obtain the attention and service of staff when they need it.”