HomeTop StoriesADA bathrooms are coming to Bloomington parks thanks to one mother's perseverance

ADA bathrooms are coming to Bloomington parks thanks to one mother’s perseverance

BLOOMINGTON, Minn. – Sometimes it only takes one person’s persistence to make a change happen.

That’s the case in Bloomington, where the city’s parks are replacing non-ADA-accessible portable toilets with ones that are more accessible.

The change is the culmination of nearly a year of dedication for a Twin Cities mother.

“I think it’s important to remember that as a member of the community you are always in a position of power,” said Dani Indovino Cawley of Bloomington. “I really, really believe that people want to make their community a better place – sometimes it just takes a little push.”

Indovino Cawley said she first noticed the need for accessible bathrooms in city parks last summer when she was planning an event.

“When I got here to do the walkthrough, I noticed it was an inaccessible porta potty,” she said. “I was surprised, and it made me a little sad. I had a friend who was going to an event here at a park. Her daughter is in an electric wheelchair. She lives in Richfield and came to this event, and they had to leave early .”

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It didn’t take long before Indovino Cawley decided to email an elected official.

“I asked, are you aware that the porta-potties are not accessible,” Indovino Cawley said. ‘That you don’t have an accessible bathroom here? I think they were as surprised as I was.’

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Indovino Cawley says accessible bathrooms can make a world of difference for people with mobility or sensory issues.

The city has since responded by adding ADA-accessible bathrooms to nearly every park and playground.

“It wasn’t something I had thought about, but as soon as I got it I thought, wow, what a great opportunity to make our parks more inviting,” said PJ Skusa, the city’s parks maintenance supervisor. “It was great, people were really happy that we did this. I think it’s just a step in the right direction for Bloomington in general.”

“If you’re the person who notices it, many times other people have noticed it,” Indovino Cawley said. “Taking the moment to speak up and be a voice for something so important is simply one of the best things you can do.”

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