City Officials Recap One Year of Improvements in Access for People with Disabilities

Published: Monday, November 4, 2013 | 10:59 AM

A City official said last week that accessibility for people with disabilities who frequent City facilities has significantly improved over the past twelve months as the result of a number investments in technology.

Human Services and Recreation Director Mercy Santoro reported that lifts, Braille embossers, listening resources and other devices have been deployed.

Santoro said the swimming pool located at Robinson Park has been outfitted with a lift device that assists individuals unable to walk in and out of the swimming pool.

The Human Services & Recreation Department also purchased a new electronic embosser for producing City documents and publications in Braille. The new embosser is faster and more efficient than the one it replaced and can utilize paper in a range of sizes and weights, she said.

In September 2013, the Jackie Robinson Community Center installed a hearing loop system in the center’s multipurpose room, lobby television area and reception counter that assist those who have cochlear implants or hearing aids with T-coils. Additionally, receiving devices are readily available at the front counter for individuals who do not use hearing aids or whose aids do not have T-coil.

Moreover, the Council Chambers and  Jackie Robinson Center have installed new assistive listening resources for people who are hard of hearing, Santoro said.

“Until recently personal receiver devices at Council Chambers that delivered audio to a person’s ear did not work well for individuals who have cochlear implants or hearing aids with T-coils,” she explained. “Now such people benefit from the system by having the option to use an adapter to receive units.”

Signage that also conveys the ability to use assisted listening devices in certain City facilities is prominently displayed to ensure that the public is aware of the aforementioned improvements.

For more information on these and other improvements, please contact Robert Gorski, Accessibility issues Coordinator, at (626) 744-4728 or