Disability issue forces school meeting to move

November 21, 1996


Staff Writer, Waynesboro

WAYNESBORO, Pa. - The Waynesboro Area School Board has changed its meeting location to the Waynesboro Area Middle School library from its wheelchair-inaccessible Clayton Avenue conference room after a parent threatened legal action.

But former PTO President Stephen Hansen said the board hasn't gone far enough. Hansen, a disabled veteran, said the district has been violating the Americans with Disabilities Act and has refused to budge for two years.

District employees, delivery people and school board members park in handicapped spots without punishment, Hansen said. He said he wants the district to allow police to ticket perpetrators and a letter sent to employees saying they will be punished if caught.


Hansen also said the district's technology committee, which he was a member of, held its meetings at the inaccessible Clayton Avenue office. Hansen, who has two children in district schools, said he felt the location was meant to exclude him from the meetings.

He also said that some handicapped spaces at the high school aren't large enough for vans equipped with lifts.

Hansen said he has talked with a lawyer and will take legal action if the district doesn't meet his demands.

"It has always been my intention to work with the school district," he said. But two years of inaction have led him to pursue legal means, he said.

School board Vice President Donald Weller said in an interview Wednesday night that the board has made every effort to comply with the ADA, including constructing costly ramps and adding accessible doors.

"We try to stay on top of that," he said.

Hansen said he plans to visit every school and check on requirements such as accessible bathrooms.

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