One Albuquerque statue draws criticism for not being ADA friendly | KOB 4
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One Albuquerque statue draws criticism for not being ADA friendly

Kassi Nelson
August 14, 2019 06:20 PM

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — The 17,000 pound One Albuquerque sculpture downtown symbolizes a big aspiration: give everyone a seat at the table to make our community safer and more inclusive.

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But leaders with local chapters of the National Federation for the Blind said it sends them the opposite signal.

“Diversity and inclusion, and we just keep getting missed,” ShaRon Dandy said.

She and Tara Chavez said the left half of the sculpture that doesn’t touch the ground is potentially disastrous for them. The white canes they sweep across the sidewalk won’t tell them anything is in their way.

“I don’t wish to meet steel and I would like to keep my skull intact,” Tara Chavez said.

They met with the city Friday, and Parks and Recreation placed large planters to create a barrier. Chavez said she appreciates the change, but doesn’t think it’s a permanent solution.

When the city originally unveiled the sculpture it was placed in front of the Convention Center in the direct line of traffic for people on foot. Chavez said the location wasn’t very ADA friendly. The city paid $5,000 to move it to Third and Tijeras and Philip Clelland with the city's Parks and Recreation Department said it won’t stay there. He said the city is looking into placing the sculpture on a trailer, to limit the cost of moving, and have it travel around to big events like Balloon Fiesta.  

Clelland also said they’ve reached out to a local member of the Americans with Disabilities Act Advisory Council to help build an inclusive city for everyone. Chavez and Dandy just wish they’d done that sooner.

“We get out, we do things, most of us are very, very active and the blindness doesn't hold us back it really doesn't,” Dandy said.

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Kassi Nelson

Copyright 2019 KOB-TV LLC, a Hubbard Broadcasting Company. All rights reserved

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