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Fri Oct 8, 2021, 09:55 PM

Disability rights activist says state building code violates civil rights law

For more than two years, disability rights activist Dorothy Dean has been fighting the city of Burlington and a number of state agencies over what she and her lawyer see as violations of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) — a federal civil rights law — in the state building code.

The ADA, which was signed into law in 1990 after a long fight by activists, extends equal rights to Americans with disabilities by requiring accommodations to allow them to fully participate in society through wheelchair ramps, sloped curbs and accessible restrooms. Title I of the ADA is about making sure people with disabilities have equal access to employment while Title II ensures people have equal access to public life.

“The promise of the ADA is that people with disabilities have every right to be part of the daily life of society,” Dean, the executive director of statewide advocacy organization Disability Justice, says. “That includes the economic, educational, religious, but also the civic. It’s to guarantee that every person can exercise their rights as a citizen.”

The problem in Burlington began when a small retail business requested permission from the city not to construct any restrooms. Under the ADA, when buildings are rezoned they’re considered “new construction” and therefore need to be fully compliant with the law, which requires accessible restrooms.

Read more: https://wisconsinexaminer.com/2021/10/08/disability-rights-activist-says-state-building-code-violates-civil-rights-law/

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Reply Disability rights activist says state building code violates civil rights law (Original post)
TexasTowelie Oct 8 OP
PoindexterOglethorpe Oct 8 #1

Response to TexasTowelie (Original post)

Fri Oct 8, 2021, 10:06 PM

1. Every single one of those businesses needs to spend some time

with someone who relies on the ADA to give them adequate access to stuff.

I am fully abled, so i know I probably understand only a fraction of what I think I understand about this issue. But I am short enough, all of 5' 1.5" and shrinking, which means I have trouble reaching things high up, that I understand a little.

Several weeks ago I was in a store and walked down an aisle where a little person was looking at something on a high shelf, so I said, "Can I help you get something?" She gratefully asked me to reach down something from the top shelf that she needed, and I was happy to do so. In other stores, I'm short enough to need to ask someone taller to help me. I always say something like, "I know you are not my personal servant, but could you please help me here." No one has ever turned me down. And aside from the incident described above, I have often helped people having some kind of mobility or access issues. It's not hard. I may be on the short side, and my strength isn't so huge, but I don't really have any limitations on normal day-to-day stuff. I'm lucky, and I know it.

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