Sorry I have been away a while, been recovering from surgery and some serious health scares. It is hard to type with only one arm. In the past couple of hours I have been contacted by a person in Ohio who, like me, has wheels under their ass and just wanted to do something normal and go to an amusement park. The amusement park was owned and run by those Cultists who masquerade as Christains under the guise of the Salvation Army. Upon arriving and excuse the details as I’m getting this in bits and pieces as I type, it seems this person was aggressively confronted and forceably removed from a park owned by those that speak in tongues (you might notice I have a slight attitude re: Salvation Army but that is for another day) and screamed at the entire time, when my wheely friend told them that there was no exception to the ADA and that what they were doing was illegal. They screamed back at her that under certain circumstances there are exceptions and that they qualified for those. Now at this point as info is still coming in, I’m not sure if they are claiming excemption as a church of for some other reason, but to date I have written over 3500 stories for this blog and I would estimate conservatively that half of those have come from people being told that someone has an excemption from ADA regulations.
Let me make this very clear. So clear that I will do it in capital letter: THERE IS NO SUCH THING AS A GRANDFATHER CLAUSE UNDER THE ADA*. THERE ARE NO RELIGIOUS EXCEMPTIONS UNDER THE ADA AND EVEN THOUGH THAT SOMETIMES I MYSELF MIGHT THINK THIS IS UNFAIR IT DOES NOT MATTER HOW LONG YOU OR YOUR FAMILY HAVE OWNED A BUSINESS, OR HOW OLD THE BUILDING IS (YES EVEN COLONIAL) IF YOU CHOOSE TO OPERATE/RUN A BUSINESS OF ANY DESCRIPTION OUT OF ANY BUILDING IN THE US, JUST LIKE YOU MUST ABIDE BY HEALTH REGULATIONS AND BUILDING CODES, FIRE CODE, AND ENGINERING REQUIREMENTS TO OPEN THE DOORS ON DAY ONE, YOU MUST BE ADA COMPLIANT.
Furthermore, I recently had a supermarket tell me they had been there since the ADA was written and therefore they were not covered. The laws are very literal, if in the life of your store (the period you had been open or had operated) you change, alter, rearrange promotion of a product that equals more than 1/3rd of the retail floor space as listed on your lease, then when the moment you start those alterations, under the ADA it is considered a new business and from the date those alterations commence so must all alterations to the entire space must become ADA compliant. For example, a mom and pop supermarket that has been there 50 years decides to move the deli counter from back to front and enstall brand new check out lanes, then they must also enstall 1 out of every 6 lanes wide enough and low enough for a person in a wheelchair to be served. If they offer any public toilets for anyone they must now also offer disabled access facilities. If they had any staircase into the store or within the store, they must now make it wheelchair accessible. It is also popular to put security caging similar to jail bars at front/ back of supermarkets, they must now be removed because they are now deemed a fire hazard making it impossible for disabled folks to leave in a fire.
This goes for amusement parks no matter how long they had been there. If you cannot afford the cost of doing it right for all citizens of America you don’t get to cherry pick. As I have said before, you either respect our existance or expect our resistance.
Updates to come as the person keeps me in informed.
*=Americans with Disabilities Act
The ada can be sourced at WWW.ADA.GOV