It's Ice Cream for Everybody; Parlor Is Handicapped-Friendly

Article excerpt

Byline: Dan Scanlan, Times-Union staff writer

James Webb said he always wanted to own an ice cream parlor.

So when he decided to open his new Ice Cream Patch store at 9766 St. Augustine Road, he said he took great pains to make it handicapped-friendly because his wife is in a wheelchair.

Now a customer in a wheelchair will find two handicapped parking spots up front, a ramp and an accessible restroom in the 1,064-square-foot store's front door and a sales counter low enough so they don't have to reach up to grab their sundae.

Jack Gillrup, chief of the city's Division of Disabled Services, said it is probably one of the first new businesses in the city to make use of recent changes in state and city laws regarding handicapped accessibility. And as he stopped by on its first day of business Friday, he promised to supply them with Braille menus for the blind.

"It makes me feel like an equally welcome customer coming into the store. My comfort as well as my dollars are being thought of," said Gillrup, leaning on the counter from his electric wheelchair. "This counter has been mandated, but it really hasn't been for existing or really small businesses, or something people have been paying attention to. Sometimes it will slip by the inspectors, or won't even be looked at. But it is one of 300 items in the Florida ADA code for people's comfort and safety."

Webb's wife, Lynne Chryk, in an electric wheelchair because of multiple sclerosis, said the store's design will allow her to join her husband.

"I have been part of the planning," she said. …