Rosauers, Man Shops, Einstein Bros Bagels, and more welcome A4A Reviews

Our Accessibility Ambassador teams have been busy reviewing dozens of Spokane area places using our exclusive checklist of 180-plus accessibility features. These places have been endorsed by local people with disabilities and their friends as being accessible and disability-friendly.

So far in August, we’ve been reviewing Rosauers stores, which include Huckleberry’s and Super One Foods; The Man Shops; Einstein Brothers Bagels; Spokane Humane Society and Spay & Neuter Clinic; and Temple Beth Shalom.

What’s next? Spokane Friends Church; Sharp Shooting Indoor Range & Gun Shop; American Cancer Society’s Discovery Shop; four Arby’s of Spokane, and more.

We will be publishing the results of these reviews soon, so stay tuned!

Rochester Heights Park — Night Out Against Crime

Tuesday night, hung out at Rochester Heights Park in northwest Spokane (Rowan and Magnolia) with about 90 people celebrating Night Out Against Crime. Met a lot of great folks. Ate more than my share of hot dogs. Saw more than the usual number of police and fire fighters in one place.

Tried to set up our A4A Spokane exhibit, but it kept getting blown away. Oh, well.

For those of you who don’t know, a group of community members from Spokane’s Whitman, Hillyard and Bemiss neighborhoods have been working on improving the park to make it safe and accessible. Part of the plan is to have a fully inclusive play area. Another is to have accessible pathways that meander in and around the shade trees and open areas.

We are proud to be partnering with the organizers to create a park that all can enjoy!

Kudos to Spokane Public Libraries — Accessibility Reviews complete

Thanks to the wonderful folks at the Spokane Public Library District, A4A Spokane’s Accessibility Ambassadors Alisa Alonge, Amber Joplin, Jude Cormier, Larry Gorton, Dave Reynolds and Deb Wolfer last week completed reviews of the South Hill, Indian Trail and Downtown branches.

All six branches — including the East Side, Hillyard, and Shadle branches we reviewed the previous week — had most of the 180+ accessibility features we were looking for, particularly when it comes to seating areas, restrooms, entrances, and meeting rooms. And the staff and management were very welcoming and interested in learning how to best serve people with a variety of disabilities.

Because the libraries are aging (aren’t we all) library officials are looking at ways to upgrade and adapt to more diverse users and technologies. We are fortunate that they are asking A4A for input as they plan for those improvements.

We are in the process of writing up detailed reports, which we will share after we meet with library managers.

This is another example of how A4A’s positive, collaborative approach is a ‘win-win’ for our entire Spokane area!

A4A Review: Spokane Public Library South Hill Branch

A4A Spokane Accessibility Ambassadors Jude Cormier and Dave Reynolds reviewed the South Hill Library Branch on Monday using our 190-point accessibility checklist. The place is packed with accessibility features and the staff are very welcoming. A full report will be available in a couple of weeks.

Stay tuned!


Spokane Public Libraries Welcome A4A Reviews

At the invitation of branch managers of the Spokane Public Library District, Accessibility Ambassadors from Access 4 All Spokane are reviewing all city libraries for accessibility features. Last week, we reviewed the East Side and Hillyard branches and today the Shadle branch. Next week, we’ll review the South Side, Indian Trail and the Downtown libraries.

We are finding the libraries are very accessible, and are making improvements all the time. The staff are very interested in how they can serve all patrons, and open to any suggestions we have.

Stay tuned!

Elections conference, and 11-year-old accessibility guru

On Friday, June 17, Alisa Alonge, Dave Reynolds and Deborah (Jenkins) Wolfer, did a presentation on the importance of accessible voting and polling places for about 120 people attending the Washington Association of County Auditors’ annual State Elections Conference.

We also explained about the state’s Accessible Communities Act, and how county auditors can take the lead on developing Accessible Communities Advisory Committees. These ACACs are made up of people with various disabilities that advise county and city governments, planners, and educate the community on how to make the world more accessible and welcoming.

We also met inventor and CEO Alexander Knoll from Post Falls, Idaho (who just happens to sport the coolest hair — ever!) Alex is developing the Ability App. It’s a mobile tool for people to locate accessibility features. We were delighted to see that he has come up with some of the same ideas we have . . .  and he’s just 11 years old!!!

We talked briefly about finding ways we can partner with this amazingly talented entrepreneur.

More exciting news to come!

Endorse accessible and disability friendly places

Access 4 All Spokane needs your help.

We’re building a website directory to help you find places with accessibility features across Spokane County that people with all sorts of disabilities have told us are important to them.

These features include such things as wheelchair ramps, automatic doors, Braille menus, accessible parking, closed captioning, and adequate lighting levels, just to name a few.

We also want to spread the word about places where the employees make sure everyone feels respected and welcome.

Please answer four quick questions to recommend a place in our area that you feel is accessible and friendly to people with disabilities.

Click here to start:

Thanks for your help!

Visit to Inland Northwest Lighthouse

Deb (Jenkins) Wolfer, Alisa Alonge and Dave Reynolds had a wonderful meeting this morning with about 20 employees at Inland Northwest Lighthouse for the Blind.

We explained the mission of Access 4 All Spokane and the mandate of the Spokane County Accessible Communities Advisory Committee, both of which are about increasing accessibility and disability-friendliness across our county.

They helped add new businesses to our list of places that have been endorsed for being both accessible and welcoming to customers with disabilities.

They told us they mostly appreciate restaurants that have Braille and large print menus, stores that provide shopping assistance when requested, and places that understand about service dogs.

We look forward to seeing our new friends, again, before too long.

Thanks Lighthouse!

Spokane Public Library visit

Last Friday, Access 4 All Spokane members Alisa Alonge, Amber Joplin, Jude Cormier and Dave Reynolds spent the morning at the Downtown branch of the Spokane Public Library.
At the invitation of the new branch manager, Jason Johnson, we looked at space that will soon be transformed into small meeting areas, technology work centers, gathering and presentation rooms, etc.
Jason gave us a tour and welcomed our input on how to design the area to best meet the needs of patrons with disabilities. They are currently at the planning stage of the project, so this was perfect timing!
It is so exciting to be invited in at the beginning stages of a project.
Thanks Jason Johnson and Andrew Chanse of the Spokane Public Library.

Accessibility Ambassador update May 12

On Wednesday, teams of our trained Accessibility Ambassadors visited the Grocery Outlet on West Third, Lorien Herb & Natural Foods on S. Perry, and The Chalet Restaurant at 29th & Grand Blvd. We found many accessibility features and wonderfully welcoming staff at all three locations. We’ll be posting what we found. Stay tuned!