A Bill to protect disabled people from abuse is introduced into the South Australian Parliament

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PHOTO: Attorney General John Rau has introduced a bill into South Australian Parliament to protect disabled people from abuse.
MAP: Adelaide 5000
A bill to protect disabled people from abuse from support workers or service providers has been introduced into South Australian Parliament by Attorney-General John Rau.

Mr Rau said the bill would make it a crime for anyone to use undue influence to engage in sexual activity with a person who has a cognitive impairment.

The Attorney-General said it aimed to protect people with an intellectual disability or a brain injury, without undermining their sexual autonomy.

“It basically reverses the onus in terms of the proof that there was no undue influence,” he said.

“It’s, I guess, similar to the situation we have now where the law is very strong on the idea of teachers taking advantage of their students for sexual purposes, being a very bad piece of behaviour.

“We’re basically extending that type of protection to those people who are in a caring or responsible relationship, professionally, with people who have a mental disability.”

Mr Rau said there was universal support for what the bill would try to achieve, but conceded it was a complex area of the law.

“I’m not pretending this is an easy area of the law, it’s not. It is really, really difficult but at the moment there is no particular protection at all for these people,” he said.

“Bear in mind these people are individuals who may not normally be capable of giving what the law would consider to be informed consent. We have to provide some protection for them.”

Mr Rau said the obvious difficulty with the bill was the huge spectrum of people it would cover.

“If you just take people with autism, for example, [in] the spectrum there is enormous between people who are relatively mildly affected to people who are profoundly affected,” he said.

Mr Rau said the introduction of the bill was also part of the Disability Justice Plan already released by the Government.

“There is no perfect answer to this,” he said.

“This is, however, something that the disability justice consultation has strongly come back to me with a message and they want something like this in our legal system, so we’re responding to that request

Hey business owners “my kind” have rights

Attention businesses of any kind the answer to are you acccessible of “no we don’t allow your kind” is not only offensive and reprehensible it’s illegal. The americans with disabilities act states that it is illegal”To refuse or give a lesser standard of service provision of goods or accomadation and entertainment because of a disability either real or percieved” if you have a service your opinion of whether “my kind” should be doing it means zip.
The legal definition of accessibility is not that you have a door, or “get a few friends to lift you and you can get in” it is that a disabled person under their own steam without third person aid can enter, and take part of any and all services that a able bodied person can.
The federal law is called http://www.ada.gov/ otherwise known as the americans with disabilities act learn whether you love it or hate it but break it and suffer the consequences

Able bodied student rents a wheelchair for week to test accessibility on campus

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Guest columnist Andrew Ridout sits in his rented wheelchair outside Jester Center. Ridout spent a week navigating campus with the wheelchair, seeing how accommodating the University is for disabled students.

My hands were blistered, and my arms felt like they were about to fall off. I began to wonder what I’d gotten myself into. It was only the first day of my week in a wheelchair. I was trying to experience what a disabled student might endure when trying to navigate the UT campus. I felt like giving up a hundred times, but I knew I had to hang in there, so I pushed on through the pain. You might wonder why I would subject myself to this. My intentions were twofold: to understand better what my handicapped classmates were dealing with on a day-to-day basis, and to see where the University might be able to improve on its accommodations for them.
I was nervous, to say the least, when I sat down in my rented wheelchair for the first time. Within a few minutes, I headed past Robert Lee Moore Hall on Dean Keeton to the intersection of 24th Street and Speedway. Sliding through the crosswalk, hoping the cars could see me, my hands started to throb and my back tightened as my mindset began to change very quickly. I stopped wondering about what would be the fastest way to get to my next class and started strategizing about the only way to get there. Which path had the fewest stairs, the easiest access to an elevator, even the smoothest sidewalk? Every obstacle seemed to be amplified, even the tiniest pothole on the pavement.
Other students rushed past me, oblivious to my hardship. I felt invisible and yet also awkwardly conspicuous. No one offered to help that first day. They all had their own struggles. Just grab the wheels and push, my mind seemed to say, and eventually I got to my biology lab, only 15 minutes late. I hurt from head to toe, and it was the first time I actually remember feeling relieved about getting to class.
Over the next few days, I spoke to several students here on campus about their own experiences.
“When I used the community bathrooms for the first time at my new dorm, Kinsolving, they didn’t have grab rails to hold onto,” said Shalom Hernandez, a business freshman who uses a wheelchair to get to most of her classes. “The bathrooms didn’t have anything to hold on to. There was a stool to sit on in the shower, but it was broken. So the first few days of being here were difficult, to say the least. I went directly to the [Services for Students with Disabilities] office, and they immediately moved me to a newer, more accommodating dormitory.”
Next, I spoke to a University alum, Max Ritzer. He broke both of his feet and a leg in a car accident. I asked Ritzer how he found his experience on campus after his injuries.
“I only needed to use the wheelchair for a couple of months,” Ritzer said. “I thought that I could have just powered through it and that there would be some kinds of services to help me get to class. It was hard, to nearly impossible. Stressful to the point where it would have adversely affected my academic performance and my mood, even taking a minimal load of classes.”
Ritzer also cited dorm issues.
“I wanted to live in Carothers [dorm]; however, it was not wheelchair accessible after hours,” Ritzer said. “Each evening, someone would have had to have come down and let me in from the front desk. I tried to talk to some of the staff there, but they did not seem like they had encountered this type of situation before.”
Mia’s thoughts
Able bodied people hiring a chair for a week to go to school? so when he gets to class he stands up shakes it out and says “wow poor things I have no idea how they do it day in day out”
On the surface this is great this is amazing but why has it taken a abelist to get a headline when everyday on every college ,highschool and elementary and middle school the attitude is “but why should we change everything for just a few?”
last year in texas a two story school , a highschool was busted when their fire evacuation plan was revealed it went like this” turn off the elevators during a fire push the wheelchair using students to the top of the stairs and leave them and hope they survive till the firemen come”???
We have the ADA there is no grandfathering in the ADA it doesn’t matter how old a school is it must be accessible.
so with a federal law already in place tens of thousands of students who are ACTUALLY disabled appealing to their schools for better access every day and being ignored on a grand scale What do we promote a healthy non disabled student laying at being disabled? it is to disability what white face is to being black !

DESPITE 2010 ADA STANDARDS FOR ACCESSIBLE DESIGN STILL BATTLES FOR COMPLIANCE

Thankyou to th blog access advocates for the following piece
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October 25, 2014 by Hank Falstad

The Federal 2010 ADA Standards for Accessible Design amended the 1991 ADA (Americans with Disabilities Acts) Standards that required “full and equal access” to buildings and public spaces for people with disabilities. They mandated old buildings be converted for accessibility and new buildings built to be ADA compliant. Such accommodations were required in state and local government facilities, services and transportation, child care centers, schools and municipal playgrounds. In addition, wheel chair ramps had to be safe.
Almost 25 years after the first ADA act, and almost five years after the second version, there are still battles across the country around compliance.
At first glance, it would seem that the Hollister Co. Clothing Store is being compliant. There are wheel chair ramps that lead into the store. However, the ramp doesn’t extend to an elevated porch. There are steps leading up to the porch from the mall and steps down from the porch into the inside of the store. Most of the 249 Hollister Co. stores in the United States are built the same way. Advocacy groups, along with the Department of Justice as amicus, won in district court, arguing, “(1)..the existence of an elevated porch violates the ‘overarching aims’ of the Title III of the ADA because people who cannot use the stairs cannot enjoy it; (2) the porch itself is a ‘space,’ and all spaces must be accessible; and (3) the accessible entrance must be the one used by the ‘majority of people.’” However, in mid-October, The Ten th Circuit Court of Appeals disagreed on all three counts. The court is located in Denver, but covers Oklahoma, Kansas, New Mexico, Colorado, Wyoming, and Utah, plus those portions of the Yellowstone National Park extending into Montana and Idaho.
The October 19 Juneau (Alaska) Empire reported the plight of Ivan Nance, who uses a wheel chair. He produced a video showing the difficulties he and his girlfriend/caretaker experience getting around Juneau, and accessing public buildings and services for individuals with disabilities. His neighborhood does not have curb cuts, so he is forced to use the street. The video also shows difficulty maneuvering in doorways and urinals in public restrooms. There are no automatic door openers to rest rooms, making it difficult for the health care worker to push a person in a wheelchair into the bathroom. Further, Nance and his girlfriend argue, since there are no “family friendly rest rooms,” where the female helper could help the male client, entering an all-male rest room is uncomfortable. Family friendly rest rooms are not part of the ADA standards.
There is some good news. On October 18, Staff Sgt. Brian Mast, a double-amputee veteran of the war in Afghanistan, his wife and two young children, received the keys to their new ADA compliant home in the Watercrest development in Parkland, FL. Standard Pacific Homes donated the land, the philanthropic organization, Help A Hero, donated $100,000 of the $450,000 cost, and subcontractors contributed in kind donations. The new Mast home includes “spacious family gathering areas along with four bedrooms and three baths, hardwood and tile floors, flush thresholds, wider hallways, wider door entries… a roll in shower, roll under sink, grab bars, and a roll in shower with an elongated shower seat.”
If you are a person with a disability and believe you have been discriminated against, or find inaccessible areas, please contact us at Access Advocates. Keep in mind that not all disabilities are visible. A disability, as defined by the ADA, can also be a health problem, such as cystic fibrosis, or cognitive, mental health, intellectual, developmental, learning among others.

NYC MTA wouldn’t know disabled rights if it crawled over them!

For the 16 almost 17 years  that I have called New York home whenever the 7 train pulls up at queensboro plaza to connect with N or the Q  or reverse either way the connection is always right across the platform.

The signs around the subway stations have been advertising that the seven would stop at queens boro plaza instead of going all the way to grand central What they didn’t say was that when the q or the n got to queens boro plaza on the way to connect with the 7 to take us home to flushing that they had decided to stop it 40 feet below its normal platform at a station with no elevator.

So we approached the station customer service person pointed out there screw up had myself and any other disabled person crawling down 40 ft. of steep angled stairs on our asses his reply “no one forced you to catch a train”?

If you as a wheelchair using person catch the same train to connect to the same train for 16 years and it is always 10 feet across a flat platform you assume without public announcement it always will be.

Not tonight, I was forced to crawl out of my wheelchair onto the scummy slimy staircase floor then with Ella holding Zeus’s leash and a stranger carrying my chair for me to the bottom I was stepped over abused, sworn at laughed at and photographed and all the while not a single person helped or offered but the MTA public assistant officer did walk down the stairs past me and totally ignored me?

Way to go MTA  my dignity was left at the top of the stairs  and I’m probably on YouTube but when I have finished  with the MTA they will be wishing I was on a plane to anywhere else.

Flinders lane restaurant ave A and 10th if you’re accessible or Australian I have a bridge to sell you!

I have often written on these pages about the ends my darling goes to to pre plan our days out, and today was no different.

Ella was informed by a client mid-week about a new Aussie eatery called flinders lane, Aussie beer, Aussie tucker and wheelchair accessible? Can it get any better? Yes they had beer from my home town, now Ella not being one to listen to hearsay rang the establishment and a young very Aussie voice said “accessible yes we are pretty well and if you need help we will work it out”

Now our Buddhist group had an exhibition of  ancient Buddhist relics, so we went to Tibet house then we went organic food shopping in union square and had lunch at the ever amazing W hotel then we thought let’s roll to the new Aussie eatery  and check them out for another time? So we rolled all the way to ave A and we found it.

And as an aussie  I was embarrassed as a breed were normally pretty smart, but as you see below their version of accessible was to have a 6 inch step then barely two feet then the ramp which enters through a door so narrow my knuckles scraped on each door jamb. Then we turned to see the bar and it was down another 6-8 inch step?

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Who puts a step in front of a ramp?

There excuse “no one has complained before” WHEN WILL AMERICA GET THE MESSAGE WE DON’T TRAVEL WITH MUSCLEBOUND ASSISTANTS TO LIFT US, WE DON’T TRAVEL WITH PORTABLE RAMPS.

ACCESSIBLE MEANS ACCESSIBLE, IT MEANS WE CAN ROLL FROM THE STREET TO THE BAR FLAT OUT ON LEVEL GROUND PERIOD, THAT’S NOT MY OPINION IT’S FEDERAL LAW.

Federal law just like the health code, just like the liquor laws, just like the building code you don’t get to open by abiding by only half.

Get it together flinders lane you failed the AMERICANS WITH DISABILITIES ACT and don’t get me started on your bullshit excuse for an Aussie menu or wine list.

“Your kind always complain wheelchair users are a pain women with strollers never complain!

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Yesterday morning, like every other Wednesday morning for the last 6 months has found me in the vicinity of 13th and 5th aver for PTSD therapy.

Yesterday I found myself two hours before  therapy with nothing to do, So I rolled down 6th ave to greenwhich, Someone told me that citarella has vegemite so I rolled into their 6th ave store near 10th ave.

As I approached the electric door it opened and hit something so it only opened three quarters. I sat halfway in the door and halfway out asking for staff but no one came so I got louder,  and finally a woman came and asked rudely what the problem is “the door won’t open “ I said, she looked and said it’s the baskets Sorry?

She replied ‘what are we meant to do?” move them so she called someone in Spanish and they proceeded to move over 100 plastic shopping baskets stacked along the wall of the entry way after a few complaints .

After ten minutes I could finally enter and the door opened completely, As I rolled in a Hispanic man in his fifties in a white coat rushed up to me and said quite abruptly  “what’s the problem?”, I said to him “it’s solved now there were baskets stacked blocking  the doorway but they were moved “, well I told them to put them back mothers in strollers never have a problem, it’s just your kind in wheelchairs that always whine and complain he said.

I looked over my shoulder and all the orange plastic baskets were back blocking the doorway.

As I rolled quickly around the store every second aisle was blocked by boxes and displays. As I rolled back towards the door to leave I spoke to the manager, and his first response again was mothers with strollers don’t have problems just wheelchair users again and again” He also was mutterrring about “damn dogs in his store”

So the most famous name in upmarket food stores in Manhattan, is run by a bigoted law-breaking idiot who goes out of his way to harass the dis and otherwise abled.

Well mr “mothers with strollers never complain” I will be whining all the way to corporate about your inane offensive utterings.