Friday, February 3, 2023

Travel Marquette, SAIL highlights handicap accessible businesses

MARQUETTE COUNTY, Mich. (WLUC) – Two Marquette County groups are making an effort to take care of everyone, regardless of their abilities.

Travel Marquette and the Superior Alliance for Independent Living have made a point to highlight many of its handicap-friendly businesses. According to SAIL accessibility advocate Jamie Glenn, those living with disabilities can often be overlooked when designing a city or business.

“We definitely have some work to do in terms of accessibility,” Glenn said.

In late 2021, the groups printed their first access guides. Travel Marquette President and CEO Susan Estler said, however, that the project began much earlier.

“Before COVID hit, we started working with SAIL to do assessments of individual businesses in Marquette County,” Estler explained. “After COVID hit, we put the project on hold to create the accessibility guide.”

Estler added that these accessibility guides were funded by an MDARD grant and explained the reason for their creation.

“Its purpose is to give just kind of a general sense of what’s achievable and where there might be some challenges for different businesses,” Estler said.

The guide shows which restaurants, shops, hotels and parks in Marquette County are most accessible to those with disabilities. Businesses like Ore Dock Brewing Company in Marquette have ramps in the building for people who use wheelchairs.

Ore Dock Brewing Company is one of over 60 businesses and parks surveyed by SAIL employees for the guide. SAIL employees surveyed businesses to determine how easily navigable they are for the physically challenged.

“The guide covers entrances, accessible parking, the threshold and various aspects of the accessible business,” Glenn said of some of the aspects SAIL covered for each business.

According to Estler, Travel Marquette and SAIL plan to update the guide in the fall. Estler added that the groups plan to add new businesses and change the format of the guide.

Physical copies of the access guide can be found at Travel Marquette. The group is located in the Flagstar Bank building at 117 W Washington St.

A digital version can also be found on the Travel Marquette website by clicking here.

Copyright 2022 WLUC. All rights reserved.

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