The ADA Turns 19. Are Businesses Listening?

Posted by – July 26, 2009

There is, deservedly, much talk this ADA anniversary of the broken promise that the ADA guarantees people can live in “the most integrated setting” and how Obama just signed the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) while continuing to ignore long-term care (and the CRPD’s article on community choice).

But what about the most basic accessibility?  The most fundamental provisions of the ADA involve a guarantee of disability access to buildings open to the public.  But we’re not there yet.  Even in the Big Citysteps block wheelchair access to businesses.

19 YEARS after the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) enshrined accessibility in federal law, we’re still dealing with this crap!

We wanted to get into this Popeyes on Ann St. but couldnt because of this one step.

We wanted to get into this Popeyes on Ann St. but couldn't because of this one step.

ADA FAIL

ADA FAIL

They’ve had almost two decades to build basic and inexpensive ramps, but haven’t.

It is UNJUST that we can’t access restaurants just because we’re disabled. These are some of the injustices that the ADA was primarily written to rectify. But the law is moot when unheeded and unenforced.

Does the ADA matter if businesses aren’t listening?

Nick

  • icedlatte

    Ah, Nick? I think I get the point about accessibility and the law, but Popeyes? Really? Seems like maybe ADA non-compliance saved you from a stroke.

  • fridawrites

    Like Nick, I run into a lot of problems with accessibility. I can't get into about half the businesses I would like to, even though some of the changes would be very easy and truly inexpensive. I wanted to take my kids to Starbucks for a treat recently (for them, not me, my mom gave us a gift card); there was a ramp and curb cut, but the sidewalk access was blocked by a permanent concrete trash can. In addition to that 50%, motorcycles will park on the sidewalk, people will block curb cuts with their cars so there is no way in, etc.

    When my husband was driving this week, I assessed and confirmed that I really couldn't get into 50% of businesses; it's not just the particular businesses I want (hairdresser, dentist, major concert venue, 1998 kids' playground that could easily be ramped, the chiropractor, restaurants, certain doctor offices, etc.). That doesn't even include whether the inside is accessible.

    This happens with major chains too. A lot of places don't have any disability parking, which creates big problems for people with vans.

  • Dr. Latte:

    hey, if you're only physically able to eat one meal a day (the rest is tube feeding) why not make it damn tasty? 😀

    And obesity isn't a concern. Throughout my life I've had the opposite problem: maintaining a reasonable weight.

  • fridawrites

    Like Nick, I run into a lot of problems with accessibility. I can't get into about half the businesses I would like to, even though some of the changes would be very easy and truly inexpensive. I wanted to take my kids to Starbucks for a treat recently (for them, not me, my mom gave us a gift card); there was a ramp and curb cut, but the sidewalk access was blocked by a permanent concrete trash can. In addition to that 50%, motorcycles will park on the sidewalk, people will block curb cuts with their cars so there is no way in, etc.

    When my husband was driving this week, I assessed and confirmed that I really couldn't get into 50% of businesses; it's not just the particular businesses I want (hairdresser, dentist, major concert venue, 1998 kids' playground that could easily be ramped, the chiropractor, restaurants, certain doctor offices, etc.). That doesn't even include whether the inside is accessible.

    This happens with major chains too. A lot of places don't have any disability parking, which creates big problems for people with vans.

  • Dr. Latte:

    hey, if you're only physically able to eat one meal a day (the rest is tube feeding) why not make it damn tasty? 😀

    And obesity isn't a concern. Throughout my life I've had the opposite problem: maintaining a reasonable weight.