Ryan Delaney / WRVO

Syracuse’s homes are old. Virtually all of them, nearly 95 percent, were built before the Americans with Disabilities Act went into effect a quarter century ago. 

That law mandates accessible building standards for people with a disability. But since the ADA was passed, the city’s population has been declining. That means little demand to construct new housing. That’s also resulted in an acute shortage of housing options for people with a physical disability, according to advocates. 

Ryan Delaney / WRVO

It takes several tries for the medical transport van to back up the snow-covered driveway and onto the frozen front yard. The tires spin in the snow, which crunches in the cold air. The van has to get close enough for the ramp that slides out the back to bridge the gap from the van to the porch, rising over the three steps to the door.

Wooden porches like this don the front of many of Syracuse’s old homes, constructed during the city’s boom era.

Ellen Abbott/WRVO

Advocates for the disabled will be out in force in Syracuse Friday, rallying against Gov. Andrew Cuomo's proposed cuts to the New York State Office for People with Developmental Disabilities. The six percent across-the-board budget proposal would mean major cuts to the agencies across the state that provide support and services for the developmentally disabled. Many families are afraid of what will happen if those services go away.