The Americans with disabilities act is our civil rights just like the civil rights act is to the black community, Now if a shop or restaurant said “black people don’t look good in our clothes so we won’t let you in” There would be a riot the store would be sued and closed down.
Yet in my seven years in a chair at least 100 times a year I have been told by a clothing boutique or jewelry store or gallery or restaurant, some version of “you can’t afford us” “we don’t want you wearing our clothes” or “you’re not our target audience so we didn’t put a ramp in or we don’t have to be ADA compliant”
Let’s get some things straight readers
1/ if you open your doors for business you cannot refuse someone entry based on a disability perceived or real
2/ If you have a liquor license and a health department clearance to prepare and sell food you can lose both for refusing the disabled and their service animals
3/ it is illegal to refuse a service animal entry, service animals do not have to be leashed, they do not have to have service dog vests on.
4/ there is no paperwork service dog users are required to carry that is a myth there are only two questions you are allowed to ask and they are.
A/ is it a service dog.
B/ what service does it provide
5/ neither allergy or fear of dogs is legal grounds to refuse entry
6/Supermarkets and department stores are required a clean uncluttered 30 inches of aisle space from front of fixed display to front of fixed display. That means the bolted to the floor retail shelving that forms the aisles in a store must be 30 inches apart and nothing is allowed to be placed in that space temporary or permanent. That means Halloween or Easter or Christmas all those cardboard retail stands selling things are illegal under the ADA because of clear access requirements for the disabled in case of fire or emergency evacuation.
7/ THIS ONE IS THE MOST COMMON EXCUSE “were grandfathered in because of the age of the building” THERE ARE NO GRANDFATHERING EXCLUSIONS UNDER THE ADA
8/ When a person disabled or otherwise enters a cross walk whether it has lights or is simply a stop sign crossing, no matter where they are in the act of crossing 1 inch or half way across it is illegal to enter that crossing space with your vehicle.
So when a wheelchair is rolling across the street and there is 6 feet left in front of them, that does not give you the right to flatten your foot and take the break!
The main problem with the ADA is it is the most under enforced federal law in the land, I am not being racist but it is a fact if we were talking about any of the above being perpetrated on a person of color there would be rioting.
Next time you are listening to someone who wants your vote ask them where do they stand on the enforcement of the Americans with disabilities act? We are citizens, we pay taxes, we vote so why are we ignored AMERICA? We need you to speak for those who cannot, Stand up for those who can’t and Fight for those who need their rights enforced.
No one in a wheelchair is asking for special treatment, all we want is the right to roll down the street and shop where we want, travel when we feel like it and earn a living unimpeded by the bigotry of those too cheap to provide the basics under law.
Remember to open a restaurant you need building permits, you need certificate of occupancy, health department clearance and a liquor license. Someone has to be cpr qualified and the servers have to have a health department course license. This is all accepted as the cost of doing business, so why does the local government enforcers fall down on proper disabled facilities such as the width of doorways and spacing between tables and aisles? Because they still hold the antiquated antebellum attitude that we should be home being kept inside looked after by family, or to quote someone at Atlantic cities Borgata casino
“EWW DISABLED PEOPLE, NOBODY WANTS TO SEE THEM THEY RUIN YOUR BUZZ I CAME OUT FOR A GOOD TIME”
Sounds extreme but sorry I get that whether verbally or by inaction every day I’m out and about.
So what will you do to change the public perception of the
disabled community’s right to equality