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Man fights to bring more accessibility to Adel post office

Robert Fisher is requesting that the Adel post office install a handicap button so the facility is more accessible to wheelchair users like him.

ADEL, Iowa — A wheelchair user in Adel is on a mission to make his local post office more accessible for others like him.

Robert Fisher has been in a wheelchair since he was a child and says rolling into the post office is difficult, so his goal is to get a handicap button installed. 

The post office is privately owned, and Fisher reached out to the owner to ask for these accessible adjustments. 

So far, lighter doors have been put on, but Fisher said request to install a handicap button was denied. 

"It will help other people in wheelchairs," Fisher said.

Local 5 reached out to the owner for comment and has yet to receive a response. 

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Local 5 also reached out the United States Postal Services to find out whether the owner is permitted to deny the installation of a handicap button.

Mark Inglett, USPS Strategic Communications Specialist for Iowa and Nebraska shared the following statement: 

"The USPS is subject to the Architectural Barriers Act of 1968 (ABA) rather than the more recent Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA) and power operated doors are not required by either statute."

Though the owner refused Fisher's request and the postal services said handicap buttons are not required by law, Fisher said he is not giving up hope.

So, he enlisted the help of the advocacy group Progress Iowa

They're helping him spread the word on why a button to help those with disabilities open a door is needed.

"No one should have to wonder or worry about whether they can have access to basic public services like that. And the post office should be a place where everyone has that access," said Matt Sinovic, the executive director of Progress Iowa.

Fisher said he doesn't have a timeframe on when he hopes the post office can make the changes he wants, but the sooner the better.

"Every time you have to turn in the parking lot of the post office, they [people with disabilities] have to call the people who work there and open the door every time, and that is demeaning for people in wheelchairs," Fisher said.


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