PHILADELPHIA — In honor of Disability Pride Week, the City of Philadelphia, through the Mayor’s Office for People with Disabilities (MOPD), unveiled major upgrades to ADA accessibility, including over 600 tactile, high contrast signage with braille for all rooms in city hall.
As part of MOPD’s mission to advocate for residents with disabilities and make the city more accessible, the ADA Unit was created in 2022 to accomplish as many low or no cost corrective actions as possible from the ADA Transition Plan. Nearly 17 percent of Philadelphia residents identify as living with a disability, one of the highest rates among large cities according to the American Community Survey.
“It is crucial that the heart of City government be truly accessible and inclusive – especially for those with disabilities who have long been underrepresented,” said Mayor Jim Kenney. “We are thrilled that the addition of accessible signage and other upgrades throughout City Hall has made the building a safer and more accessible place for everyone.”
In spring 2022 MOPD received a $300,000 grant from the Operations Transformation Fund to support the funding and installation of ADA compliant signage and corrective actions, such as grab bars in ADA restrooms, lowering mirrors, soap and towel dispensers that are too high for wheelchair access on the wall, reducing door speeds, and more. In addition to the work done at City Hall, the MOPD alongside the design team at Alexander Perry, also worked to make certain library locations and Parks & Recreation facilities more accessible.
“Everyone deserves to have equal access to buildings and programs, and the city has made significant improvements to make that possible,” said Suzanne Erb, a Philadelphia resident and blind and disability advocate who participated in the ADA focus group for City Hall upgrades. “Projects like this benefit the blind and disabled communities but it truly benefits all people when we make things accessible.”
“We are proud to celebrate the installation of signage and other crucial corrective actions throughout City Hall that supports a more inclusive city,” said Amy Nieves, Executive Director, Mayor’s Office for People with Disabilities. “This is an exciting day as we put equity into action, and we look forward to continuing to improve accessibility for all residents across the city.”
The Mayor’s Office for People with Disabilities:
The Mayor’s Office for People with Disabilities houses the Mayor’s Commission on People with Disabilities and the Office of ADA Compliance. Both offices work to make Philadelphia a better place for people with disabilities.