This Is Carolina: How a button changes accessibility in Myrtle Beach

“Don’t go for the minimum standards because this is a world class community, and we want to make it so.”
Published: Aug. 11, 2022 at 6:30 PM EDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. (WMBF) - Buttons are everywhere. They’re on TV remotes, coffee machines and even our clothes.

Donna R. Gore is used to pressing buttons.

As a retired speech-language pathologist, Gore spent decades advocating for those with challenges and educating others, so everyone can live on an equal playing field. But, when she visited Coastal Carolina National bank, without a button to push, the 67-year-old knew something had to change.

“I just noticed the tension on the door was really hard to pull,” said Gore.

Gore grew up with spastic cerebral palsy and has difficulty with coordination and balance. She said she understands the difficulties of getting around that others may take for granted.

“Part of this initiative that I did with Coastal Carolina National Bank was not only to make things easier for me being a customer but also to educate them to the concept of universal design,” she said.

In February, Gore asked bank management to install an automatic door system that falls within the universal design, which is a decades-old concept to create spaces that are accessible to all types of people.

“Being a community bank, our doors are always open, and when we heard that a door wasn’t open, we needed to open that,” said Maura Utley.

Coastal Carolina National Bank Senior Vice President and Director of Marketing, Maura Utley, said, she and her team got to work and spent thousands of dollars to retrofit the old building on 38th Avenue in Myrtle Beach, to be ready within months of Gore’s request.

“To satisfy a customer, to help the community is priceless. So, we don’t really care how much it cost,” said Utley. “It’s the fact that it’s there and we know that people are using it and they’re appreciative of it. Really, we owe that to Donna. She really opened our eyes to ways that we could really go above and beyond to support the community and that’s what we’re all about.”

This button is just the beginning of Gore’s mission after moving to the Grand Strand in 2019. She said her goal is to make Myrtle Beach and surrounding areas a more comfortable home for everyone.

“Don’t go for the minimum standards because this is a world-class community and we want to make it so,” said Gore.

Click here if you’d like to learn more about Gore’s mission and her other advocacy work.

If you have good news to share, email or message Loren Korn on Facebook.

Copyright 2022 WMBF. All rights reserved.