Published On: Aug 06 2012 09:30:55 PM EDTUpdated On: Aug 06 2012 09:38:02 PM EDT
Sharon Hoffmeyer has Muscular Dystrophy and has been in a wheelchair for about four years.
She agreed to visit the new Duval County Courthouse to see just how accessible it is by wheelchair.
Right off the bat she noticed a problems there are no signs saying where ramps are located. When we did find them at the top of the ramp, Sharon still has to wait.
Hoffmyer says she can't even push a button to open the door. "Just with opening doors, I can't get though," she says. "It's about program access. Everyone should be able to access the courthouse."
In the restroom it was a very tight squeeze. She says it was hard for her to maneuver in the stall.
"I could get in but inside the stall was tight for my chair," says Hoffmeyer.
Hoffmeyer is far from alone.
We also met Robert Davis -- an attorney who uses the courthouse daily. He showed us how hard it is for him just to get to work.
The sidewalks leading to the courthouse have little or no access. He can't get his chair up or down to cross the street and is forced to wheel out in the middle of traffic.
"I have to push down the street over there to the other side where there is an access way," Davis says. "I have already been run over once in traffic just crossing the street."
Just before this courthouse opened, the city was told to make some changes to be more handicapped accessible. But some of those "fixes" caused problems. Judges say ramps installed at the last minute to make witnesses boxes accessible have become a tripping hazard.