Cape Coral man, with Multiple Sclerosis, gets up every day fighting for people with disabilities.
Posted Jul 25 2010 12:00am
July 25, 2010
As director of the ADA Advisory Board of Southwest Florida, Cape Coral resident Kevin Berry gets up every day fighting for people with disabilities.
The 60-year-old, who has multiple sclerosis and uses a wheelchair, is in charge of investigating local ADA complaints. He often visits businesses to help them become Americans With Disabilities Act-compliant.
“We’re not looking for 100 percent compliance,” Berry said. “We’re just looking for a good-faith effort from business owners.”
Sometimes, however, business owners aren’t accommodating.
“I had one person tell me that he was going to break my legs,” Berry said. “He was in charge of a private agency in south Fort Myers and I told him that right of access means someone with a disability has a right to look at those Chamber of Commerce brochures, but there was no access to his building. That’s when he said, ‘If you call me one more time, I’m going to break your legs.’”
Berry said the owner, whom he declined to name, is no longer in business locally. Meanwhile, Berry keeps fighting. The former aircraft mechanic has led the local ADA board for five years.
“I think businesses are starting to become more aware of ADA,” Berry said. “Especially now with the way the economy is, you can’t afford to send anyone away from your door, so you might as well make your business accessible for everybody.”