Access Portsmouth helps disabled navigate city

Architectural firm JSA develops website to promote accessibility


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Portsmouth architectural firm JSA Inc. has launched Access Portsmouth, a web-based initiative aimed at helping people with disabilities navigate the city.

JSA said its overall goal is to raise awareness, inspire a spirit of inclusiveness and influence other communities to do the same throughout New England and beyond.

A team led by JSA principal Todd Hanson is visiting local businesses to rate the accessibility of various features, including the front entrance, restrooms and the parking.

“We look for access-friendly because sometimes, in our old buildings, accommodations are not quite fully ADA compliant,” Hanson said. “With some effort, most Portsmouth businesses do what they can to give people of all abilities a warm Portsmouth welcome.”

He added that users of the site can help in the effort.

“As a visitor, if you see something here that can use an edit, give us a shout and we'll check it out,” he said. “For business owners, we're architects, and have one of the country's best gurus on accessibility in our firm. Sometimes even a small fix will make a difference in customer experience.”

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