ROCKFORD (WREX) — Anderson Japanese Gardens, a world renowned Japanese garden located in the heart of Rockford, unveiled a new project Thursday, that makes its paths accessible to everyone.
The Walkways for Everyone project converted the gardens’ crushed stone paths into flat concrete, in partnership with RAMP, the Rockford region’s disability advocacy center.
“On the surface one could say converting crushed stone pathways to sidewalks may seem insignificant to most of us however these improvements may mean that someone new could visit the gardens for their very first time,” Rockford Mayor Tom McNamara said.
“As the Executive Director of RAMP and a member of the disability community, I am so honored to feel considered and included by Anderson Japanese Garden’s expansion of their Walkways for Everyone. When I received the email from Anderson Gardens describing their Walkways for Everyone I knew instantly they were an ally. Eric Brown, our Education and Advocacy Coordinator, worked closely with Anderson Gardens to ensure they were considering accessibility in every aspect of the way they operate. Together they reviewed their website and their communication regarding Anderson Garden’s accessibility. Anderson Gardens worked to improve accessibility in many ways and so I’m thrilled today to recognize Anderson Gardens as a Community Partner, as they seek to further RAMP’s mission of building an inclusive society where individuals with disabilities are empowered to live independent lives. Thank you for working to make your beautiful community asset accessible to us all.”
Carolyn Morris, RAMP Executive Director
Businesses who wish to improve accessibility for their employees or customers can contact RAMP for free technical assistance. RAMP staff are also available to conduct an onsite Accessibility Assessment and suggest modification in written form, if desired, based on the Illinois Accessibility Code and the Americans with Disabilities Act.
For more information about receiving an Accessibility Audit from RAMP, contact Eric Brown, RAMP’s Education & Advocacy Coordinator, 779-774-1004 or [email protected].