Fayette County

Lexington to hold its first celebration of disabilities

The city will hold its first Celebration of Disabilities Expo on Friday, highlighting community services including transportation, employment, recreation and day programs.

In announcing the expo, Mayor Jim Newberry called it "one-stop shopping for services and products" targeted to the disabled.

First District Urban County Councilwoman Andrea James, who serves on the Mayor's Commission for Citizens with Disabilities, said that in the past 18 months, the commission has worked on a variety of issues related to disabilities, including transportation and parking.

The group also has addressed sidewalk accessibility, said Morry LaTour, chairman of the commission.

"Sometimes sidewalk cafés put their tables so they encroach into pedestrian space, and that makes it difficult for people in wheelchairs," LaTour said.

The commission worked with restaurant owners, and "these problems have been remedied," he said.

Evelyn Kircher, who attended the press conference, said the city "has come a very long way" in making buildings more accessible in the 22 years that she has been in a wheelchair.

"There once were buildings I could not access. That situation is much better today," Kircher said.

The press conference was held at Toyota Bluegrass Miracle League Field in Shillito Park. The field allows children and young adults with disabilities to play baseball, said Kevin Haury, the field's executive director. A special surface accommodates the use of wheelchairs and walkers to run the bases.