Recently Finished Projects Makes Watertown Library More Friendly to the Disabled

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The Watertown Free Public Library.

The following announcement was provided by the Watertown Free Public Library:

The Watertown Free Public Library recently completed two Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) improvement projects.

First, the front patio was extended three feet to allow everyone, including people with mobility devices, to enjoy the coveted outside space. Inside, automatic door openers were added to the entrances of the children’s, teen, and Watertown Savings Bank Room, the large meeting room on the first floor.

“Given that our library was renovated in 2006, we don’t find many accessibility issues with the building. That said, we are always listening and watching to make sure we’re providing the best for our community. If there are opportunities to improve, we want to take advantage of them” said Library Director Leone Cole.

And that’s what happened.

In fall of 2018 the Massachusetts Office on Disability (MOD) announced it was requesting proposals for grant funding to make ADA improvements to municipal property. Assistant Director, Caitlin Browne, explained “earlier in the year, we’d received a complaint that wheelchairs and mobility devices could not navigate the tables on the patio. Unfortunately, that wasn’t a cheap problem to fix. When we heard about the MOD grant we jumped at the chance to make this improvement along with automatic doors which had been sitting on the wish list for some time.”

In total the project costs $32,935 with $28,780 funded through the MOD. The remaining funds were provided through the library’s annual state aid grant and a $2,500 contribution from the Watertown Commission on Disability (WCOD).

“We were thrilled that WCOD was willing to contribute to this project,” said Browne, “It’s important to us as an organization that we are finding ways to support all members of the community, and we’re grateful to know that WCOD supports our efforts.”

About the Watertown Free Public Library

The Watertown Free Public Library provides access to a wide variety of popular materials, resources, services, and programs that fulfill the informational, cultural and recreational needs of Watertown and surrounding communities. The WFPL works to create an environment that attracts and welcomes users of all ages and abilities.

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