Recently my friends and I visited the Raynham Public Library to do a wheelchair accessibility review. We’ve been visiting various town libraries to see which ones are fully wheelchair accessible and which ones have adaptive equipment and offer specialized services for the disabled.

There is a main entry door on the front side of the building. It is not automatic so you will need help with opening the door. There is a tiny lip at this entry door that could be difficult for some wheelchairs to wheel over it. Once inside we were in a foyer that had stairs leading to a bottom level and a top level. It is tri-level building. Then we saw one of those scary looking elevator/lifts that I call a “freight elevator”. The Librarian noticed me and right away she came to my assistance in bringing the key to operate the elevator/lift. She told me that this elevator/lift would get me up to the main level!

I asked the librarian if there was another entrance to the Library so perhaps I could avoid taking this elevator/lift and she said that there is a ramp on the other side of the building but the door at this ramp is locked so she offered to unlock it for me. I was thrilled to hear this so I went to check it out. The ramp is wooden and wide enough for my wheelchair and it has safety railings on both sides. The door is locked and not automatic but the librarian opened it for me. I had asked the Librarian if I could speak with the Coordinator and I told her the reason I was there was to do a wheelchair accessibility review of the library.

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In meeting with the Coordinator, I asked her if there were any adaptive equipment or specialized services for persons with disabilities. She told me that Raynham Public Library doesn’t have any adaptive equipment or specialized programs or any amplification devices or reaches (grabbers) to assist the disabled in getting books from high places. I told her about all of the great assisted devices and the Kursweil computer program that magnifies and narrates what is on the screen that the Plymouth Library offers. My friends and I recommended that she check it out. You can read my Plymouth Library review at Plymouth Public Library.

The aisles in this library were wide enough to maneuver my wheelchair around but it was tight for me to turn my wheelchair around at the end of each aisle. You may need help from a friend or the Librarian. The librarian told me that library staff or the Librarian would always offer any assistance to anyone who was in need of help.

I give Raynham Library ONE STAR for wheelchair accessibility. They could earn the other Four Stars by installing automatic doors at all entrances; clearly marking the wheelchair accessible ramp entrance; keep the door at the top of the ramp unlocked for disabled to access anytime; convert the freight elevator into a regular elevator where a disabled person wouldn’t need to be dependent on getting a key or having someone operate it; and purchase some adaptive equipment and a specialized computer program that would assist the disabled. The Librarian and Coordinator get FIVE STARS for sensitivity and respect and for assuring that there will always be assistance offered if a disabled person needs to enter the building. I appreciate the time she took to show me around the library.

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