Digging Deeper: Independence Post Office not handicap accessible - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Digging Deeper: Independence Post Office not handicap accessible

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INDEPENDENCE (KWWL) -

The Independence Post Office is not handicap accessible.

The post office is located in the 200 block of 2nd Avenue, and it was built in the 1930's.

It has no ramp to get inside, and it's creating a problem for handicapped patrons.

With no way to get inside, handicapped patrons have to call ahead and meet a postal worker at the back door of the post office to do business.

One customer says it's not right.

"You have to pull up to the back dock, and either call them on the phone or honk your horn or whatever, and someone will come out and take care of your business for you," Keith Heidenreich says.

Keith is from Arizona and lives outside Independence in the summer.

He says the post office in town isn't easy to access for people who have trouble getting around like him.

"I can't imagine what it's like in the winter time to ride a cart or a wheelchair up to the post office and not have a handicapped ramp to get in. They have to stand out in the cold to take care of their business," Keith said.

From the handicapped parking spot to the front door of the post office, there are 14 steps up the stairs.

People like Keith say it doesn't make sense, and it's not right.

"The easiest solution would be to put a ramp up to the dock in back, and let them ride up to the post office. Up front, it's a lot more steps, and it might be a lot more difficult, but it could be done," Keith said.

Keith said he talked to lawmakers about the problem with little luck.

"They're not required to do that or make it handicapped accessible by law, and I find that hard to believe, but it seems to be the case," Keith said.

After digging deeper into the story, we found according to the Architectural Barriers Act of 1968, the United States Postal Service is obligated to make buildings handicap accessible. 

"The United States Postal Service, in consultation with the Secretary of Health and Human Services, shall prescribe such standards for the design, construction, and alteration of its buildings to insure whenever possible that physically handicapped persons will have ready access to, and use of, such buildings."

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