J.W. from Fairfield County writes:
Dear Mister Condo,
I have a degenerative nerve disease that is called Chargot Matie Tooth disease. It effects my walking and my hands are losing strength. Consequently, I am having difficulty opening the entrance way door to the condo main floor. Recently, the condo association purchased a golf cart to transport some of our seniors down to the beach. Apparently, some had handicaps. In addition, one renter was allowed to have a treadmill in her condo for migraine headaches. Since the association has already set the precedents of allowing for some handicaps would it be feasible to request that the main condo door have a handicap button that allows it to open automatically? I sense that since the precedents have already been set, my request would not be out of the ordinary. Thanks for your response.
Mister Condo replies:
J.W., I am sorry for your medical condition. I understand that it is a degenerative disease and can be quite painful. I wish you all the help and strength you need to cope with the condition. It certainly sounds like the community you live in is not averse to making accommodations for folks with mobility issues and health issues. I am not sure that a precedent has been set seeing as a golf cart purchase can be used by all owners and the treadmill was actually purchased by the unit owner and was of no cost to the association. That being said, an automatic door opener would, in theory, benefit all unit owners and may not be that expensive to install and maintain. My advice would be for you to contact the Board with your request and explain the difficulty that the current entry system is causing you. If the Board replies that it is too expensive or that they are unwilling, you may wish to seek counsel from an attorney to see if you have any rights under the Americans with Disabilities Act to allow the door. This may not mean the association will have to pay for the door; that expense may still be yours. It really depends on the expense and whether or not the Board is amenable to your suggestions. So, ask nice and hope for the best. Good luck!