News 12 finds school lacks adequate handicapped parking

Posted: Updated:
HAWTHORNE -

Action is being taken after News 12 revealed that an elementary school in Westchester is failing to provide adequate handicapped parking.

By law, every public school in New York must provide adequate handicapped parking for its students, but it appears this is not the case at Hawthorne Elementary School.

News 12 was alerted to the situation after receiving a Facebook message from the mother of a student with special needs. The parent didn't want to reveal her name, but alleges her complaints to the school a year ago were not addressed.

She wrote that the school is out of compliance. The mother said that the one spot there, which she described as poorly marked, is usually occupied by a vehicle that does not have a plate or placard. News 12 went to investigate and found that the car did not have a handicap notification. Mount Pleasant police later ticketed the car.

According to the Americans with Disabilities Act, there should be two disabled parking spaces in the lot instead of just one, and it needs to be identified with signs that include the international symbol of accessibility. The only distinguishing mark at the spot is a faint blue line.

School Superintendent Dr. Susan Guiney told News 12 she was unaware of the apparent violation until News 12 called. She did admit there are a number of ADA compliance issues they are in the process of addressing and said they would add this concern to the list.

The superintendent says a funding issue prevented the school from addressing  ADA issues earlier, but that they now have the money to make repairs because voters approved a sizable bond last fall.

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