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Man Complains About Lack Of Handicap Access

By Staff | Aug 26, 2009

“People don’t treat you right when you are in a wheelchair,” explained Wayne Headley, who was before the Wetzel County Commission on Aug. 25. Wayne explained to the commissioners that when he arrived to the Town and Country Days Fair on Saturday around 5:30 p.m., he was denied permission to let his van be driven close to the ticket booth so he could exit it and get into his motorized wheelchair.

Because of this, he left the fair and never got to enter. He explained that traffic and parking was really bad that day and and he would have had to park far away. “I would’ve never gotten out (meaning getting into his wheelchair)”, Headley stated.

He told the commissioners that last year he was allowed to do this. He stressed it was “no big deal that I didn’t go to the fair,” noting that he has gone before to the fair. But, Headley wanted the commissioners to know what happened, noting that it was a Wetzel County Deputy that denied him access. “He could’ve been tired that day,” he continued, noting there was a lot of traffic and people to deal with. Headley did tell the commissioners that the officer had on a shirt that said “Deputy”.

Scott Lemley, county commissioner, told Headley, “They should’ve let you pull up close to the ticket booth.” Bob Gorby, vice president of commission, told Headley that the fair board has handicap parking available.

Lemley asked if the deputy assisting in the parking understood he needed handicap accessibility parking. Headley replied that he has a handicap permit hanging on his rear view mirror in his vehicle so people can see it. County Commission President Don Mason told Headley, “I am sorry that this happened out there. We will pass on this information to the Sheriff’s Department and the Town and Country Days Fair Board.”

Headley said they, the commissioners, need to address this problem with the handicap parking in Wetzel County. He explained his concern when people use the handicap parking in town and do not have a permit to park in those areas. “You need to put the Sheriff and police into checking this problem,” he said. Headley also stressed that sometimes someone might have a permit to park in a handicap spot, but walk out of the vehicle with no problem, forcing those with wheelchairs to not have the parking spot needed for them.