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Haddayr Copley-Woods [userpic]

'Drive-by' ADA Lawsuits?!?? (crossposted)

August 24th, 2010 (02:25 pm)
annoyed
Tags:

current mood: annoyed

Apparently, 20 years is just not long enough for folks to figure out how to obey the ADA.

‘Drive-By’ ADA Lawsuits Have Business Owners On Edge
http://www.disabilityscoop.com/2010/08/23/ada-lawsuits/

What bothers me most about this article isn't the whiny business owners; I am quite aware that most folks think the ADA is not really a LAW per se as some guidelines it would be nice for them to follow if they can afford it, after they get to everything else.

I'm most annoyed by the reference to so-called 'advocates' who tell disabled people that suing isn't good for the rest of us: "Advocacy groups refer to the suits as 'drive-by' and question whether they actually help the community or just line the pockets of a few individuals. What’s more they say the suits can turn business owners against the ADA."

I really want to know which groups. (After clicking through to the full article, I see. One 'advocate.' Self Reliance Inc., "a Tampa-based, nonprofit center for independent living." They're a service provider, and depend on seeing disability issues as individual issues rather than systemic ones to earn their bread. They must be advocates!)

Oh no no no no! Don't actually DEMAND equal access. Oh, no no no! That's going to ruffle feathers! That's going to make people not like us! Oh dear oh dear oh dear! :insert handwringing:

Who cares if you "turn business owners against the ADA?" I don't want them to feel warm and fuzzy. I want them to OBEY THE LAW. Businesses will not do right by people unless they fear lawsuits. They have no motivation other than money. As a matter of fact, the ADA has no enforcement arm and they depend on people filing private lawsuits to get places to comply.

It's called capitalism, people. Ever heard of it?

I especially love how Brenda Ruehl, executive director of Self Reliance Inc., uses the word "drive-by," too. Because suing a business owner for breaking the law is EXACTLY like driving past someone and shooting them dead!

Comments

Posted by: jasondwittman (jasondwittman )
Posted at: August 26th, 2010 04:21 am (UTC)
haunted

I suppose that's because the disabled don't have enough political clout (read: not enough voters) to get a politician's attention. :-/

What about the AARP? Seems to me they would have an interest in at least some of these issues, and don't they have a hefty membership? What's their record on matters like these?

Posted by: Jesse the K (jesse_the_k )
Posted at: August 28th, 2010 02:57 am (UTC)

Sadly, all U.S. Civil Rights laws depend on the injured party (that's those of us who get refused, ignored, slapped, not-hired &c &c &c) locating and funding a lawyer who's willing to "make a Federal case out of it."

The Federal Dept of Justice has a terrible record in this regard: if you have the perfect suit, they may deign to read your email and say, "no way, we're not using this as a test case."

Completeness demands I add there are a couple shining exceptions to this pattern, in particular Olmstead v. L.C., where the Supreme Court agreed that people who don't have to be in institutions don't have to stay there solely for the crime of being disabled. This decision is still reverberating in our lives.

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