Lubbock couple frustrated with accessibility to courthouse for handicapped and elderly

KAMC News
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LUBBOCK, TX- The Bakers’ are trying to get some changes made at the Lubbock County Courthouse. 

The Lubbock couple believes there needs to be more ramps for people with disabilities, or more handicapped parking on the side of the building where the ramp already exists. 

Right now, the ramp and accessible entrance is on the east side of the building, but the majority of available parking is on the west side of the building. There are two handicapped spots on the east side, but the Bakers said those are typically full. 

For the Bakers, this makes it very difficult for them to get into the courthouse. 

Lavell Baker is handicapped and said she has a hard time getting around. Typically she can only go 20 or 30 feet without getting too exhausted to continue. 

Her husband David said he used to help her walk or carry her oxygen tank upstairs, but as he gets older, that’s getting harder as well. 

They said they went to the courthouse recently to pick a copy of a document for their son. They parked on the northwest corner, opposite of the ramp. Because of Lavell’s condition, they went to the door facing the west side and were surprised there was no ramp, and only stairs to get to the door. 

“There’s no ramp and he said ‘you gotta be kidding me,” and I said “Look, there’s no ramp,” Lavell Baker said. 

The Bakers said this isn’t just a problem for them, but for thousands of other elderly and handicapped people living in Lubbock. They said they hope the county will think about fixing the problem soon. 

“The courthouse needs to put a handicap ramp in and think about the people who are unable to get up or down the stairs on that side,” said Lavell Baker. “If they can’t park on the east side of the court house, then what are we supposed to do?”

The accessibility manager for the courthouse couldn’t talk with us about the Bakers’ complaints. But, the facility director for the county said the building is compliant with the American Disability’s Act, which sets the guidelines for architects to follow the building. 

“What if your wife was handicapped or your child, what would you do,” said Lavell Baker. 

The Bakers hope the county will either add a second ramp to the west facing entrance or add more handicapped parking to the east side of the building. 

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