Accessibility to Vernon, Texas Post Office
Since its establishment in 1917, the Vernon Post Office presented an accessibility challenge for citizens with disabilities. Because the facility did not have an accessible entrance, many citizens had to call the post office and wait for postal staff to come outside to serve the clients’ needs. The building’s design made it impractical to establish a ramp system, since the ramp would have to be 80 to 90 feet long to meet the government-established 12:1 ratio of height to slope.
The National MS Society partnered with citizens of Vernon and led efforts to address accessibility at the post office. With community activists, the Lone Star Chapter developed a community action plan and conducted meetings to address the issue. The meetings brought together a diverse group of local, state and federal elected officials and citizens to develop a solution for improved access. As a result, a new drive-up system was created and implemented to assist patrons who have difficulty negotiating steps at the Vernon Post Office.
The much-needed improvement came about through the efforts of the National MS Society. Although the 90-year-old post office is “grandfathered” and exempt from the 1968 federal Architectural Barriers Act, postal officials had been searching for a system to help patrons who had trouble climbing the steps.