DJ Stemmler waits for a crossing signal at the corner of Forbes and Oakland avenues. (Photo by John Hamilton / PublicSource)

Adequate access is all DJ Stemmler, who uses a wheelchair, wanted from the new build-your-own sushi restaurant near her Oakland office.One thing that Ting Yen, the restaurant owner, wanted was for Stemmler to stop writing online reviews saying his restaurant was inaccessible to people with disabilities.

As the two stared at each other from across a table at the 2013 inaugural meeting of Stemmler’s advocacy group, Accessible Oakland, it seemed for a moment that the gap wouldn’t be bridged.

“That saying, ‘If looks could kill,’ that’s really what it was,” said Stemmler, 56.


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