Derby seeks to aid elderly disabled

Legislative Staff Release

Published: 06-Jan-2011

State Rep. David Derby announced today (Thursday, January 6) that he plans to file legislation to aid elderly citizens needing better wheelchair access in public places.

“Unfortunately, logistical challenges often make it difficult for citizens in wheelchairs to gain easy access to a building’s entrance,” Derby said. “Given the challenges these citizens already face, I believe we should do our best to accommodate their transportation needs.”

Derby, an Owasso Republican, said his legislation would create a bright orange disability placard for those transporting citizens in wheelchairs. The placard would be granted only to vehicles that have a wheelchair ramp mounted in the car, giving them the right to use handicap parking spaces.

“Many citizens are having a hard time finding a spot with the five-foot clearance required to operate a chair lift,” Derby said. “As a result, it is not unusual for those transporting wheelchair-bound seniors to have to park at the far edge of a parking lot instead of close to the entrance. That is an unnecessary and potentially dangerous inconvenience that senior citizens and their families should not have to face.”

Derby noted that there are three nursing homes in his district and that he has been contacted about the problem on several occasions.

Derby plans to file the bill later this month. The 2011 legislative session will begin February 7.