Disabled Man Files Complaint Against Bedford Post Office
Bedford, VA - A disabled Bedford County man is filing a complaint against the Bedford post office after he says a clerk wouldn't let his personal aide send packages for him.
Barry Arrington has made a lot of adjustments over the last 19 years. He designed his home with his wheelchair in mind.
Arrington's aide Amanda runs a lot of his errands, so Barry doesn't have to leave home.
On Monday, Amanda went to the Bedford post office for Arrington.
"As she has done previously, many times," Arrington said. "She offered to pay for the packages with her money and the clerk would not accept her money."
There's a reason Arrington sent Amanda to the post office in the first place.
"I would have went in and posted the complaint myself in person. I wasn't able to get in there," Arrington explained.
There are a couple of handicapped parking spaces right in front of the post office, and a wheelchair ramp toward the front doors. The double doors are wide enough for a wheelchair to get through, but there is no push button to make the doors automatically open.
Beyond the doors, there is another door inside, and that is where Barry says he really runs into problems.
Amanda came out to the post office and measured the interior door.
The opening is 31 inches wide, which is the exact amount of space Arrington needs to get his wheelchair through.
The problem is the door only opens one way and it doesn't give Arrington enough room to turn to get to the service counter, he says.
Mat Staver is the Dean of the Liberty University School of Law.
"There was the 1968 Architectural Barriers Act, and that probably is the one that particularly applies in this case," Staver said. "There are certain exceptions on a case by case basis. Based upon all the facts, circumstances and depending upon when the building was constructed."
The post office was built in 1975, seven years after the barrier act.
ABC 13 contacted the Bedford postmaster, who referred us to a spokeswoman in Philadelphia. Our calls haven't been returned as of this writing.