The Democracy Center is becoming wheelchair accessible. We recognize that our persistent and incomplete accessibility is a pervasive example of ableism within progressive organizing: systematically shutting out disabled organizers and activists.
All event organizers are required to note that we are partially wheelchair accessible on all publicity for their events. Our ramp is completed, and the door is usable unassisted. We do not have near term plans confirmed for an accessible bathroom, but our interim solution is addressed below. We apologize for the delays in construction that have resulted in this situation.
We encourage anyone with specific questions to reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org or (617) 492-8855.
We are thrilled with the support our community has shown for our ramp, and ask everyone to refer to our accessibility as partial accessibility and refer people to this page for details, so there is no confusion about what our exact situation is. We always welcome feedback on our processes, language, and ways of conveying information. If you are able to contribute financially to make the DC more accessible, please donate here.
Current Physical Accessibility Information
There are 8 steep steps to enter the Mt Auburn St door which is 36 inches wide.
The wheelchair access ramp is at the DeWolfe St door, which is 32 inches wide (with the door open), and the the door is usable unassisted.
There is one gender neutral bathroom on the first floor, which is not ADA compliant for wheelchair use. The internal hallways leading to it are between 28-30 inches wide. The bathroom door is 29 inches wide, the toilet is about 6 feet from the door.
Daedalus Restaurant, our neighbor, has graciously offered wheelchair users the use of their accessible bathroom. To access it, exit the wheelchair ramp and turn left onto Bow St. The immediate next building's back door is a marked accessible entrance, the accessible bathroom is on the right side. We recognize this is not an ideal or equitable arrangement, and we hope it provides an interim solution.
The Mandela, Chavez, and Parks rooms are connected by wide sets of double doors. The internal hallways vary between 27-30 inches wide, the library door is 30 inches wide. There are threshold ramps into the Mandela room from the wheelchair ramp and from the Mandela room into the kitchen.
It is inexcusable that we have been inaccessible since our debut in 2001, and we have installed a wheelchair access ramp to the DeWolfe St side of the building which was completed with an equivalent lock system, automatic door, and threshold transitions in August 2017.
From late February 2017 to early June 2017, we worked with 4 paid, disabled consultants with mobility-related disabilities to guide the improvement of our space. We have also received input from the Cambridge Commission for Persons with Disabilities (CCPD) in August 2017. We will keep everyone as up to date as possible as we negotiate with contractors, the City of Cambridge, and Cambridge Historic Commission. We also hope to do much more than become physically accessible: we hope to use this journey as a way to tackle other aspects of ableism within organizing and social justice movements – again, stay tuned!