WEST SENECA (WKBW) It has been 23 years since the passage of the Americans with Disabilities Act, bringing up the question of equal access. To buildings, stores, restaurants, and more. But many here in Western New York say things are not equal.
Dozens walked and wheeled their way through West Seneca on Friday, protesting a funding cut that would limit para-transit busing in the area, and prevent several wheelchair-bound workers from getting to their jobs.
"It's not conducive for people in wheelchairs to be driving down the street. There's going to be some hazards there. It could create problems for people in their vehicles. It's just not a good situation," Assemblyman Michael Kearns said.
"We will lose our access to our community, to our jobs," Samuel Mattle of the Self Advocacy Association of NYS said.
Mattle has cerebral palsy and is in a wheelchair. Without the busing, he has no way to get to the Developmental Disabilities Services Office in West Seneca where he works.
But he says the issue is about more than that, saying it's about access for the disabled community, which he says is still limited more than two decades after the Americans with Disabilities Act was passed.
"Like on Elmwood or Delaware, there are businesses that aren't wheelchair accessible that if they were I would go into that business," Mattle said.
"It's a right to be part of this society, they have rights under this law and I'm going to make sure those rights are complied with," Assemblyman Kearns added.
Kearns says he'll take the fight for those rights to the NFTA to try to restore the bus route.