To the Editor:

I was incarcerated in an airtight enclosure of approximately two an a half feet by four feet and several inches on Saturday, December 13, in Edgartown’s Old Whaling Church. I was hoping to watch the annual Minnesingers’ Holiday Concert.

I want to thank the Edgartown firemen for a speedy and most kindly response and thankful rescue. I would also like to thank all of those, especially those from the Minnesingers’ parents group, who were there to help.

I am also writing this letter on behalf of all severely handicapped folk and others, who need and want to be able to attend events in public venues. The handicapped elevator in the Whaling Church is too old and too small to accommodate a power chair like mine. I did maneuver my chair in, but when the outer steel door was slammed shut, it pulled back the metal screen which must be shut before the outer door can be reopened. It is also illegal to be unable to call for help. The telephone is located so high that I could not reach it. [I cannot stand or move my paralyzed legs.]

I am asking all of you to call the owners of the Old Whaling Church to replace the present inadequate handicapped elevator for a federally approved accessible entry to the auditorium. It would also be appropriate to have several spaces in the front row [i.e. accessible] for wheel chairs. Remind the beautiful, beloved, and historic Whaling Church that as a public venue, it must be accessible for the handicapped.

Barbara Bick
Vineyard Haven