Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Thursday, November 3, 2016

Voters with Disabilities-- What Candidates Offer, What They Don't

According to PBS NEWSHOUR reporting, 35 million people with disabilities are newly able to vote in this year's election, and about 25% of all voters in the U.S. have a disability or live with someone who does. Although disability and other health related issues often receive special attention in election years, this cycle has been especially noteworthy but for all the wrong reasons.

Candidate Donald Trump continues to receive well-deserved blowback following his mockery of a journalist with a disability.  Hillary Clinton struggles to strike a balance in favor of-- and in favor of fixing-- the Affordable Care Act. But how do the candidates really line up on disability-issues?

Check out these resources more information:
Accessibility 2016: Where Do the Candidates Stand?

Disability Thinking (#cripthevote)

On the Issues: Every Political Leader on Every Issue

Vote Smart

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

VSA Texas and Coalition of Texans with Disabilities Focus on Bogus ADA Lawsuits

Austin, TX

Following up on an earlier reporting series (also noted on this blog) KXAN News recently reports that the Coalition of Texans with Disabilities and VSA Texas (formerly Very Special Arts) are making a point to separate themselves from the hundreds of nuisance ADA lawsuits filed by John Deutsch and his attorney, Omar Weaver Rosales. VSA and the Coalition do not want consumers or the general public to conflate their legitimate pursuits toward a more accessible community with the machinations of Deutsch and Rosales.  For past and current KXAN reporting, please see the links below as well as previous DisabilityIntel posts in the blog archives:

"Disability Advocacy Groups Weigh in on Hundreds of ADA Lawsuits" 

"Hundreds of Austin Businesses Hit with ADA Lawsuits in One Year"

"Austin Business Owners Concerned Over Disability Access Lawsuits"

2016 Presidential Election-- What Effects Will Voters with Disabilities Have?

As this year's election quickly approaches, mainstream journalists are finally taking note of the impact and influence voters with disabilities may have on the outcome. Below are some links to recommended reading related to the topic, and I'll have an editorial on the way soon...

"One in Six Voters Has a Disability- And it's Harder for the Them to Vote Because of It"

"No, Louie Gohmert, Disability is Not a Joke"

"Getting to the Ballot Box Isn't Always Easy"

"Disability Could Play Outsized Role in the Election"

Friday, May 13, 2016

Texas' KXAN Asks: When Does Advocacy Cross Into Lawsuit Abuse?

Austin, TX

Austin's local TV station, KXAN Channel 36 recently launched an investigation into a "cottage industry" of Americans with Disabilities Act lawsuits in the city. Plaintiff John Deutsch and his lawyer Omar Weaver Rosales, whose LinkedIn profile lists him as President of the Rosales Law Firm LLC as well as Director, Producer, and Writer for Upper Realm Films, have sued approximately 30 different restaurants and bars, more than a dozen convenience stores and automotive shops, four banks, and numerous other small businesses in Austin for a total of 382 lawsuits to date.

While Deutsch and Rosales are not the only parties involved in suing local businesses for poor ADA compliance, KXAN notes the hundreds of lawsuits they've filed are clearly for profit, and thus indicative of "systemic abuse" of the system.

All suits follow a pattern of alleging violations to the exterior of the business, none allege any interior violations, suggesting that complaints are made based on "drive-by" tactics with no effort made to contact the business owners or request remediation before bringing suit. The lawsuits also all seem to follow a shared boilerplate.  


Monday, May 2, 2016

Disney Parks: Disability Unfriendly?

Disability Scoop posted an interesting an important article on the recent U.S. District Court decision finding that Disney did not violate the ADA in its overhaul and implementation of a new Disability Access Policy for visitors and family/group members with disabilities. See the original article, Judge Tosses Disability Access Suit Against Disney:  Also see the original article when the suit was brought in 2013: