MORGANTOWN, W.Va.— The restrooms on the main floor at the Supreme Court of Appeals of West Virginia are now fully accessible due to the efforts of the West Virginia Access to Justice Commission.
Based at the West Virginia University College of Law, the Access to Justice Commission is charged with increasing equality in the state’s justice system. This includes investigating the state’s courthouses for compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act, which marks its 30th anniversary this year.
The restroom improvements at the West Virginia Supreme Court include adding grab bars and electronic door buttons and reconfiguring the facilities for wheelchairs.
Attorney Duane Ruggier, a member of the Access to Justice Commission, raised the issue with the West Virginia Human Rights Commission, requesting that the court’s restrooms be updated to ADA standards.
Ruggier, a 1998 WVU Law graduate, has multiple sclerosis and frequently argues before the Supreme Court.
“If there is one place in the entire state of West Virginia that should be fully accessible to all citizens, it is the West Virginia Supreme Court of Appeals,” Ruggier said.
Greg Bowman, dean of the College of Law, is chairman of the West Virginia Access to Justice Commission.
“I hope that on this year’s 30th anniversary of the ADA, steps like this one taken by our Supreme Court will serve as a call to action for the numerous public facilities across our state to evaluate and address existing barriers that continue to hinder accessibility for all. We appreciate the Supreme Court’s attention to this issue,” he said.