The City Council opened its vision for Bellevue with the statement “Bellevue welcomes the world. Our diversity is our strength.” Diversity is defined broadly here, including people with differing abilities as well as races, beliefs and sexual orientations. Our appreciation for people of all abilities is part of what makes Bellevue such a great place to live, work, and play.
Expanding inclusion to people with disabilities happens both internally and throughout the community. Internally, city staff are creating and participating in programming specific to education, advocacy and an interdepartmental commitment to accessibility. Externally, the city’s commitment to encouraging disability inclusion and engagement can be seen through our growing partnerships with local and regional disability advocacy groups, and our efforts to better understand and meet the needs of those with disabilities. Below are just some of the ways in which Bellevue is creating more equitable access to resources and services in our community. Through the council’s vision and the Diversity Advantage initiative, the city will become a more equitable place for all.
Power Wheelchair and Mobility Scooter Charging Stations
In 2019, the City of Bellevue installed power wheelchair charging stations in key locations throughout the community. The charging stations are specifically designed to connect to the charging ports on power wheelchairs and mobility scooters, giving users the ability to access nearby power if they are in the city and find their batteries running low. The connections are also intended to serve as a critical power resource during disaster events or widespread power outages.
Currently, the charging stations are available in Bellevue City Hall, Crossroads Community Center, Highland Community Center, North Bellevue Community Center, South Bellevue Community Center and Northwest Arts Center. Many of these locations are close to transit service and are known gathering centers for the community. Since Community Centers will be natural places for the public to go during an emergency or disaster, locating the charging stations there provides public access for any situation. Community Centers are equipped with generators and will be able to provide energy stability even during a power outage.
Hearing Assistance Devices
Bellevue has installed state-of-the-art hearing loop systems in City Hall in the City Council Chambers and the Council Study Room. At Bellevue Youth Theatre, hearing loops have been installed at the stage as well as the box office. At North Bellevue Community Center, a hearing loop has been installed in the Banquet Room. In addition, Bellevue Botanical Garden, Highland Community Center, Crossroads Community Center and South Bellevue Community Center have all been surveyed and it was determined feasible to install hearing assistance devices at these locations as well. These projects are projected to be completed in 2020.
These systems enable people with hearing aids or cochlear implants to connect directly to the sound system with much better sound quality and amplification. People without a hearing aid can use receivers and headsets to benefit as well.
ADA and Title VI
The city's Accessibility page offers more information about the city's compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act and Title VI of the Civil Rights Act.