Strasburg community works to make town more accessible

Community members in Strasburg come together to find ways to make the town more accessible.
Published: Jan. 23, 2023 at 5:27 PM EST
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

STRASBURG, Va. (WHSV) - Community members in Strasburg are working to improve accessibility in the town.

For some people, going in and out of doors or going up and down stairs is a simple task. It’s something that doesn’t even take a second thought. However, for others, it can really be a challenge. It’s something you may plan your entire day around.

That was the case for local town councilor and insurance agent, Brad Stover.

“Coming to work every day, some days are better than others,” Stover said.

Brad Stover has cerebral palsy.

“Sometimes things just won’t unlock... and the muscles just will not cooperate, and you have to hold on to the railings of the stairs,” Stover explained.

Just getting to his office was so difficult some days that he would do what he could to work from home.

“I literally would try to jam my appointments into one or two or three days, so I wouldn’t have to come in,” Stover said.

It was a struggle that caught the attention of the town’s police chief and a community that wanted to help. So, a group got together to build a ramp.

“It was amazing to see 20, 30 people out there, and people honking and people in tears because they see people coming together. It’s not just about a ramp, it’s about people taking care of each other,” Kent Cammack, a caring citizen that helped with the project, said.

After a week, the ramp was built, and a barrier was removed.

“If they see a need, and they can help you, they will love you. That’s one of the things I’ve always loved about Strasburg. They will come together. There’s not really thankfulness that I can put into words for this to have happened,” Stover said.

This project extends beyond Stover, benefiting the entire community.

“It’s not just about Brad and him accessing his business, now his customers and the hair salon’s customers can access this business,” Charles Harbaugh IV, the CEO of Access Independence, said.

And this is only the beginning. Community members are now working together to see what other improvements can be made throughout the town.

“The doors with the buttons on them that I can hit it and it would pop the door open for me,” David Woodson, who lives in Strasburg, said. “Especially at the bank... I would actually really like a ramp on the post office here because I have no way of getting in there. That was actually one of the buildings we’ve been talking about getting that one handicap accessible.”

The hope is more towns will start taking steps to make their communities more accessible.

“Look at your community, wherever you live, and say I can get in there, but they can’t. Why? One step. It would be wonderful to transform, but it’s not just doing that, it’s actually people coming together and just inspiring one another to do more,” Cammack said.

Access Independence is able to help make those improvements all across the northern Shenandoah Valley.

They do free walkthroughs and accessibility reviews to flag the areas that could be updated.