Handicapped Redskins fans hope for more accessibility next year

Posted at 5:30 PM, Aug 16, 2013
and last updated 2013-08-16 19:33:24-04

RICHMOND, VA (WTVR) -- The first year of the Washington Redskins training camp in Richmond has come to a close.

Over the three weeks of camp, nearly 150,000 fans are estimated to have come through the gates of the newly minted facility.

While most fans expressed nothing but positive reviews of the ten-million dollar project, many handicapped fans told CBS 6 they were "disappointed" in the design that appeared to them to not be handicap accessible.

"It is hard for me to push my wheelchair through the gravel," David Shaw, a lifelong Redskins fan, said.

Handicapped fans also noted that the large bump they encounter after entering the gates makes passage difficult. Another problem has been the fact food vendors are located in muddy areas where it is tough to steer the wheelchairs.

But for David Shaw, his biggest complaint is the designated handicapped seating areas.

Shaw says grass is not wheelchair friendly and that the area is so small it can be difficult for handicapped fans to see.

"I was very surprised when I went there because it is a brand new facility," Lizz Billings, a recreational therapist at The Virginia Home, told CBS 6 reporter Joe St. George.

Billings believes the facility is in violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act.

"The main thing would be the grass seating and how small it was and wasn't able to be expanded," Billings said.

Billings told St. George that after March 2012 all new facilities need to have a cement area that is wheelchair accessible for handicapped fans to watch. CBS 6 asked Bon Secours how they planned to address the criticism for future camps.

"All the things that we have seen either on websites or on Facebook -- all of those things will be addressed in an after meeting to plan for next year ," Charlotte Perkins, Chief Performance Management Officer with Bon Secours, said.