Link to Original Story & View Actual Court Documents Go HERE: http://www.deadline.com/2012/06/disability-rights-group-sues-two-warners-shows-over-studios-wheelchair-access/
By THE DEADLINE TEAM Tuesday June 12, 2012 @ 6:50pm PDT
The Disability Rights Legal Center today filed separate lawsuits against Time Warner Entertainment’s Conan and Warner Bros Television Distribution’s Dr Drew’s Lifechangers claiming that the shows failed to accommodate an audience member in a wheelchair. In the suits filed today in Los Angeles, plaintiff Emmanuel Ramirez said he was denied access to both tapings last year, with Lifechangers refusing him tickets outright because the show’s Glendale, CA-based Victory Studios “isn’t wheelchair accessible”, according to the suit. Conan tapes at Warner Bros Studios in Burbank. The lawsuits assert claims under the Americans With Disabilities Act and related California civil rights laws, and seek policy changes, the removal of barriers, and damages “so that Mr. Ramirez and other people with disabilities can have the opportunity to participate in television show audiences”, the DRLC said today. Warner Bros had no official comment.
June 13, 2012
ORIGINALLY POSTED ON WWW.ABCNEWS.GO.COM
A dream 17 years-in-the-making came true for a California boy when he got out of his wheelchair and walked to accept his high school diploma.
Patrick Ivison, a senior at Scripps High School in San Diego, was just 14-months-old when he was run over by a stranger’s car while walking with his mom, Jennifer Kayler. The September 1995 accident left Ivison with a spinal cord injury so severe he was paralyzed from the waist down.
After six weeks in the hospital, Ivison was sent home in a wheelchair. The family’s life was changed forever, but they kept their spirits high.
“I was just grateful. I was grateful he was with me,” Kayler told local ABC affiliate ABC10. “I was grateful that I get to hear him laugh and the fact that he was going to be in a wheelchair didn’t matter.”
Ivison kept the same attitude as his mom and transformed his disability into a capability. He learned to kayak, ski , hand-cycle marathon-length distances, play rugby and even surf, using adaptive equipment to ride the waves. His passion for surfing took him to Costa Rica twice to film a surf documentary and to the competitive U.S. Open of Surfing for five consecutive years, according to his family’s website. Three years ago Ivison focused in on another goal, walking across the stage to accept his diploma at his high school graduation. He spent as many as six hours per day in intensive physical therapy in a California-based rehabilitation program called “Project Walk” to build his muscles and increase his coordination.
“I’m actually pretty nervous. There’s going to be a lot of pressure,” Ivison said in the weeks before the big day, as reported by his mom on the family’s blog.
On Tuesday night, in front of a cheering crowd of his classmates, teachers, friends and family members, Ivison had nothing to worry about.
Video of the ceremony shows Ivison standing up and, aided by his trainer and a custom-made walker, walking to accept his degree. Also walking next to Ivison was his service dog, Richochet, who received his own special award for helping his owner through high school.
Ivison, who graduated with a 4.0 grade-point average, plans to attend the University of Southern California’s film school, his “dream school,” in the fall. Don’t be surprised to see another story about him in four years.
“Maybe do like jumping jacks at college graduation or something like that?” he told ABC10 of his next goal. “I don’t know… let’s not put that for sure because I can’t commit to that one.”
Posted: 06/12/2012 8:46 pm Updated: 06/13/2012 9:22 am
Maya sits by her iPad with the app Speak for Yourself launched. It was pulled from the Apple Store last week.
A little girl has become the face of an embattled iPad app giving those with speech problems the ability to speak.
But this app, designed by certified speech-language pathologists, is in the midst of a legal battle and has been discontinued, for now. Apple removed the app from its App Store last week.
“Over 1,000 pageloads today and it’s only 10:45. The word is spreading,” Maya’s mother Dana Nieder tweeted this morning, as she wages her own war on the companies fighting the app with a personal campaign online.
Both sides have also released statements on Facebook (scroll down for those). Dana Nieder says she is fond of the role social media can play as this story develops.
“If something like this happened pre-Facebook or pre-Twitter, we would just be really upset by ourselves. There would be nothing that we could do,” she told The Huffington Post. “At least I feel I can do something [by posting to social media and a blog]. I can help the story spread and hopefully make a difference.”
Nieder says she’s also observed an outpouring of support and has been amazed how fast the story has circulated the Web. She spoke out on her personal blog after Apple removed the app:It disappeared. It no longer exists.
The PRC/SCS that she’s referring to is Prentke Romich Company and Semantic Compaction Systems, which brought the app down with a claim that over 100 software patents were infringed on, per TIME. The case is still in court, but Apple apparently decided to remove the app now.
Maya still has the app, but her mother notes she won’t be able to get updates and it could fail as updates are made to the iPad iOS. For those who don’t already have it, they won’t be able to get it.
“What if it can be remotely deleted?” her mother also worries.
PCWorld foreshadowed what’s happening here with its piece, “How Tech Patent Lawsuits Hurt Real People.”
Maya’s mother told PCWorld that this is about big companies (PRC and SCS) against Speak for Yourself. If the little guys lose, those like Maya may be forced to get communication devices that can range up to $9,000 — Speak for Yourself retails for $299.99 — “too big (both literally and figuratively),” Dana Nieder said.
Speak for Yourself released the following statement in response to Apple’s move with a Facebook post Monday evening:
We were saddened and disappointed that PRC and Semantic Compaction filed a lawsuit against us, two speech-language pathologists who have emphatically supported their mission that “everyone deserves a voice.”
We came to terms with their decision and actions over these past few months. We have taken all of the necessary and legal steps to defend the lawsuit and protect Speak for Yourself, the app that we created, and that hundreds of people who are unable to talk are using to communicate.
Unfortunately last week, Apple removed our app from the App Store under pressure from Semantic and Prentke Romich. Now our sadness and disappointment have turned to indignation. Speak for Yourself will continue to fight this baseless lawsuit and the obvious, and blatant interference with your fundamental right to a VOICE which is motivated solely by their desire to drive SfY out of existence. That will not happen.
PRC had its own statement in response, posted to Facebook this afternoon:
Last week Prentke Romich Company (PRC) learned that Apple removed a language assistance app from its iTunes® store pending the outcome of a patent infringement lawsuit filed against the company that developed the iPad® app.
PRC and the licensor of the Unity™ system that powers our language devices jointly filed the lawsuit after our patent attorney found numerous instances of infringement on Unity patents in the “Speak for Yourself” app. Apple has a process that allows third parties to provide notice of infringement concerns as part of its terms and conditions. Accordingly, we reached out to Apple on two occasions. We provided Apple with a copy of the lawsuit, expressing our concerns about the “Speak for Yourself” app. We then responded to a later request from Apple asking for an update on the lawsuit. Last week, Apple elected to remove the app.
Maya’s mother had said previously that the legal fight was “literally” putting “my daughter’s voice on the line.”
Apple did not immediately respond to a request for comment
Only when you can consciously step out of your yesterday into today can you hope for a true tomorrow
In the first few minutes that a spinal cord injury is brought into an ER, one of the first tests they inflict upon them to gauge muscle control and response is to insert a finger anally to test sphincter response. When you’re in the spinal unit as I was when I was 16 you wear a gown open at the back and have a blue sheet under you a catheter inserted and if you mess yourself, no when you mess yourself they simply robotically change you, the sheets and the blue sheet in short the second thing to cut away from you in the ER after your clothes is your dignity.
When My friend mark and his wife were told their child was born with down syndrome 25 years ago, they were told if he lives to 2 he might make it to 5 if he makes 5 he might make 10 if he makes ten he might make early adult hood but he will never be educated and he will never have a job never love never marry or ever leave home. They were offered the chance to sign on the dotted line and start again, like he never happened because to the mainstream medical community it is easier to throw away the mentally and physically challenged at a early age into governmental warehousing so they can be trained from toddler years to be compliant to the system than is it to offer ongoing competent care to the patient their family and loved ones.
When I was baby in the first couple of years of the 1960’s, my parents were told one of my seizures would surely cause retardation so just put me away just sign me away to a home for the retarded and get on with your life.
We as a polite society like to think that surely in the 54 years since I came out screaming onto this globe that we have awakened, that we have become enlightened but alas we have simply invented a more polite way to suggest it. It is only through grass roots parent based groups for diagnosis such as Autism or down syndrome or cystic fibrosis or muscular dystrophy and others that any thing gets better.
If we were left to the mainstream doctor knows best system of old, advocacy would be frowned upon and research would be scoffed at and questions would be answered with looks of disgust and you would be still being told “trust me I know what’s best”.
One of the greatest things to come out of this amazing family based system of advocacy, is that we the disabled, our families and loved ones are encouraged to be our own loudest voice for change. We the people, with wheels under our asses crutches under our arms and guide dogs at our sides have become the army of advocates not only for ourselves but for everyone we the people can reach down into the remnants of the doctor knows best system and lift up with us to the light.
We have expos like the abilities expo that I recently led a symposium at, that comes to the New Jersey-New York area each year to show us the latest the best and the most innovative to make our lives better. We gather around computer screens all over the world asking and answering our own questions and in many cases the latest break throughs in the treatment of what made us different comes from our own efforts.
Out of this movement comes greatness, from time to time some greatness comes like the voices of the Paul Caunes screaming with an intellect and a passion that the abused disabled of British Columbia will not quietly into the goodnight like quite little gimps. Others come in the form of the Margi Tripani’s of the advocacy groups CIDNY, whom without there would be no AMERICANS WITH DISABILITIES ACT. Sometimes it is as simple a solution as the beautiful Kareemah batts, who refuse to let anyone fall short of their best self by showing them that if she an amputee can achieve sporting heights that surpass most able bodied then for the rest of us not even the sky can ever be the limit.
Tonight in a conversation with a great aussie artist I know, we started discussing daredevil stunts and words like insane were bandied about by able bodied folk when a picture of a bicycle poised to go down an alpine ski jump was posted. I took the side of “wow what an adrenalin high” my friends took the side of “must have a death wish” and terms like “I know where your coming from” and ” I know how you feel” were used. I know these lovely friends meant no put down or ill will, they were being kind and compassionate but I’m sorry unless they were probed to test sphincter strength and left to crap on a sheet or told the phantom leg pains were normal even though your leg was no longer there or have almost been thrown away by your parents at birth you will never know where were coming from and you will never know how we feel. I hope to whatever god you believe in you stay that way, because I care about you and wouldn’t wish the qualifying for this private club on anyone.
You see when whether or not it was your fault natures or a road side bomb in Iraq that paid for your lifetime membership for our members only club once you have been through hell and came out the other side and have grabbed what passes for quality of life with both hands you don’t ever again let go you never give up and you never accept someone else’s definition of sane safe or normal ever again. If wheels Fotheringham wants to roll down a 120ft alpine ski jump at 50 miles an hour and do a triple summersault in his wheelchair and land it or I want to climb North Americas tallest rock face with only my upper body that’s my choice because you see when he was born with spina bifida his chance to ever feel your kind of normal was taken from him at birth so every day he steps out of yesterdays definition into today redefines normal for today and then leaps into tomorrow that’s what he does to feel alive because only when you were not ever meant to be will you truly understand why we do what we do whether its ty belnap becoming a champion lifesaver on Australian beaches and beating out so called able bodied competitors even though he is a down’s syndrome adult or wheels landing a triple or me summiting el-Capitan or simple a severely cerebral palsic adult earning a college degree when he was never expected to graduate second grade we choose how we live we choose how we feel life and only by setting our own limits can we break free from the archaic oppressive ones forced on us by a society who would rather we not be here. I love all friends gay straight disabled otherwise abled or even yes the so called normal whatever that is and I believe in everyone’s right to live to their best potential all we the disabled community ask is we be left to achieve ours .Namaste