Door handles, drinking fountains, toilets, signs, steps and stairs, narrow doorways, high countertops, pathways to be paved \u2014 the Institute for Human Centered Design is finding lots of work to do, studying town accessibility problems. The study, started last summer, doesn\u2019t have a completion date in sight. But work to address problems it\u2019s finding has begun. \u201cWe\u2019re not waiting for that,\u201d First Selectman Rudy Marconi said of the final report. \u201cWe\u2019ve begun to the do the low-hanging fruit as much as we can, like the water fountains in this building, signage at all buildings.\u201d \u201cSignage is important,\u201d said Town Social Services Director Tony Phillips. \u201c...It tells everyone where to go and what services are provided.\u201d Battling through obstacles to get to a locked door can discourage people with mobility problems. The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) sets rules about signs. \u201cThey have to be block letters, high contrast; interior signs need braille and are generally placed at the right height on the latch side of the door,\u201d Phillips said. The Institute for Human Centered Design (IHCD) is a Massachusetts-based consulting firm that\u2019s been working since last summer on a comprehensive study that will list accessibility problems in 90 to 100 town and school properties. They can then be prioritized and serve as a to-do list. The town has been allocating about $75,000 a year to address accessibility issues. \u201cIHCD has been doing a very nice job working with us,\u201d Phillips said. \u201cThey came down to do site visits three or four times since we began. They have visited almost every site, and we believe there are only a few items left that still need review.\u201d The firm began sharing draft write-ups on various locations in December. \u201cRight now, we are reviewing to ensure accuracy, content and make sure there are not areas that were missed,\u201d Phillips said. Teen center and elsewhere The Barn teen center, a smaller site off Governor Street, generated four pages with eight photos. The listed problems include: entrances, kitchen, toilet room, outside benches and picnic tables. The cost estimate is $3,552 \u2014 almost half of that will be spent on the toilet room. \u00a0 \u201cThe flush control at the single-user toilet room is not located on the open\/transfer side, the rear grab bar is shorter than the 42 inches required and there is no audible and visible fire alarm provided,\u201d the report said. \u201cAdditionally the lavatory lacks toe and knee clearance and has exposed plumbing underneath.\u201d Areas still needing to be looked at include schools, playgrounds and fields, open spaces that host programs, and the town website. \u201cRight now, I\u2019m focused on making sure our final product\/document has everything we need in it to create a road map to making corrections,\u201d Phillips said. With the report, \u201cwe can really prioritize specific items, what should go first, or locate the projects we think will be easier to complete or that can also have a big impact,\u201d Phillips said. Narrow doors Issues range from easy no-cost fixes \u2014 like furniture-crowding pathways \u2014 to modest-cost problems, like high countertops and \u201cdoor knobs that need to be changed to door handles that can be operated with a closed hand.\u201d There are also structural problems. \u201cOlder buildings that have doorways that are narrow or that require a step to get into,\u201d Phillips said. Elevators or \u201cLULAs\u201d \u00a0\u2014 limited use, limited application lifts \u2014 may be needed. \u00a0 \u201c...Some schools require stairs to get onto their stage, the Barlow Mountain pool bleachers require stairs and the second floor of both the police and fire departments require stairs.\u201d Parking lots need to re-stripped to accommodate wheelchairs and possibly repaved, maybe leveled to reduce slopes. Fields and playgrounds are being studied, but the reports aren\u2019t in yet. Goals include accessible pathways from schools to ball fields. \u201cScotland, VP, Branchville and Ridgebury have large elevation changes between the school buildings and the fields and have long distances to cover,\u201d Phillips said. With multiple issues at about 100 sites, there\u2019ll be decisions to make. \u201cIn my mind, I would probably start with fixing issues that can have the biggest and in many cases \u2018basic\u2019 impact, especially when I think of basic access to a facility\/program; like parking, ramps, pathways, signage and bathroom access,\u201d Phillips said.