Question: Does the town have any bylaws requiring private businesses to be handicapped accessible?
This is a question that was prompted by an email from a reader who was concerned that a local doctor's office was not handicapped accessible. She said she had witnessed two elderly men having to carry an elderly woman in a wheelchair into the office on multiple occasions.
Answer: For the answer to this question, we went to Steve Sadwick, Tewksbury's director of Community Development. According to Steve, private businesses fall under state guidelines when it comes to handicapped accessibility.
"Handicap accessibility is covered by 521 CMR which is promulgated by the Architectural Access Board pursuant to authority granted by M.G.L. c. 22 section 13A. These are state regulations and general law. If someone is interested in filing a complaint, the number is 617-727-0660.
"Makes sense for businesses to have a state-wide regulation that is consistent across municipal boundaries."
(One final note -- Handicapped accessibility requirements for municipal buildings is covered under the Federal Americans With Disabilities Act.)