Tag Archives: accessibility

Braille Purple Keyboard with hands on it for Voting

Accessible Voting for the Blind Certified in Florida

By Disability Independence Group, Inc. |

After years of advocacy, the Florida Council of the Blind and their members have fought for the right to independently cast a secret ballot through the vote-by-mail process in Florida.  Today, they have finally won this right. While over a third of Floridians currently vote by mail, this year the numbers are expected to… Read More »

black and white pictures of persons in wheelchairs in an institutional setting

Valuing and Devaluing the Disabled Human Life in Florida

By Disability Independence Group, Inc. |

The response to this outbreak is far from the empathetic “American Way,” but instead, we have lapsed into the Hobbesian ethic, where we deny essential testing to the most vulnerable, deny scarce life-saving equipment, rationalize the denial by claiming that the old and disabled would have died in any event.  Then to place insult onto the injury, Florida may immunize those who deny care from total immunity.  Even in the event we are overreacting to this pandemic, it still should be a clear signal that disability discrimination may be the only tenet that will be alive and well in our society.

Albert Schaw, a man in a bright green manual wheelchair wearing grey pants and a grey t-shirt about 20 years old with brown hair and a beard with his left arm around a huge black hound, great dane mix that is the same height as Mr. Schaw when he crouches in his wheelchair.

Are you requesting to saddle the camel or cut off its hump?  Reasonable accommodations under disability rights laws

By Disability Independence Group, Inc. |

By Matthew W. Dietz, Esq. On September 18th, the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals decided Schaw v. Habitat for Humanity of Citrus County, in a very easy to read opinion that spelled out the process for determining whether an accommodation for a disability is reasonable and necessary.  U.S. Circuit Court Judge Kevin Newsom, the… Read More »

Hooters Logo - Orange Letters saying HOOTERS with the two eyes of the owl as the two o's

How Hooters killed a Bad Florida Pro-Business ADA Protection Law

By Disability Independence Group, Inc. |

A settlement is an agreement between two parties as a resolution of a case and does not affect the rights of any third party.  Even a judgment only affects the parties involved.  The only method to insure compliance with the ADA or any other statute that includes standards for compliance – is to comply with such standards.  With the Americans with Disabilities Act, It’s been almost 28 years since the statute has been enacted.  For defense attorneys who do not obtain compliance with the standards to obtain a settlement, their clients will always be subject to additional suits.  In other words, it’s a gamble, and it could be penny wise and pound stupid.

Summer Fun in Sunny Florida

By Disability Independence Group, Inc. |

By: Lorinda Gonzalez …it’s a smile, it’s a kiss, it’s a sip of wine … it’s summertime!      – Kenny Chesney The temperature is rising and soon everyone will hit the beach. Summers in Florida are epic, and people travel from all over the world to feel the warm sun on their face. As… Read More »

No Wheelchair Users Allowed in a Miami Beach Condo!

By Disability Independence Group, Inc. |

Turns out that the least of Abbot House Condominium’s worries should have been whether Rachel Siler would not be able to get around in her wheelchair and would injure herself. Maybe instead of assuming she was an invalid who sleeps with her personal assistant, the Condominium Board should have started with the premise that she had a job, a life, and a passion for helping others. The real liability was the failure to acknowledge Rachel Siler as the die-hard disability advocate who works to help others destroy attitudinal barriers and harmful stereotypes.

Work Incentives Protecting Health Coverage for PWD

By Disability Independence Group, Inc. |

By: Lesly Lopez Extended Medicare Coverage For Working People with Disabilities As long as your disabling condition still meets our rules, you can keep your Medicare coverage for at least 8 ½ years after you return to work. The 8 ½ years includes your nine month trial work Period. Your Medicare hospital insurance (Part… Read More »

Annual Family Cafe Cooks Up Feast of Fun and Facts

By Disability Independence Group, Inc. |

By: Andrew Sagona The Family Café is a free conference for Floridians of all ages with disabilities and their families to learn about the latest developments in the Florida disability community and to attend the annual Florida “Governor’s Summit on Disabilities.” I have been attending Family Café for over ten years, and I still… Read More »

Diversity – Does it Matter in the Legal Profession?

By Disability Independence Group, Inc. |

By: Matthew Dietz The Florida Bar is fully committed to the enhancement of diversity within the Bar, the legal profession, legal education, and in the justice system, and affirms its commitment toward a diverse and inclusive environment with equal access and equal opportunity for all. –The Florida Bar Board of Governors, May 2010 On… Read More »

Stereotypes & Misconceptions about Disability

By Disability Independence Group, Inc. |

By: Lorinda Gonzalez “Your assumptions are your windows on the world.  Scrub them off every once in a while, or the light won’t come in.” ― Isaac Asimov Deaf people can’t dance.  Blind people don’t like art.  People in wheelchairs can’t have sex.  These are just a few of the stereotypes and misconceptions that… Read More »

Litigation: Is Your Child A Runner?

By Disability Independence Group, Inc. |

Some children with autism, developmental or intellectual disabilities may wander off without any comprehension of possible danger.  This might include running off from adults at school or in the community, leaving the classroom without permission, or leaving the house when the family is not looking. While most children are drawn to water, many autistic… Read More »

He’s Got the Moves

By Disability Independence Group, Inc. |

By: Lisa Goodman He’s got the moves! Nyle DiMarco is without doubt a “triple threat.” His website even describes him as such,“Nyle DiMarco is an actor, model and spokesman.” No offense to whoever wrote his website, but they dropped the ball when they failed to include dancer, which makes him a quadruple threat. Currently,… Read More »

Summer Fun and Discrimination against Kids (with or without disabilities)!

By Disability Independence Group, Inc. |

Happy Summertime! The Summer should be a time where all kids, kids with disabilities and kids without disabilities, should be able to have fun. Discrimination about kids in the Summer is not fun, and here are some tips on how kids can avoid discrimination in the Summer.

Employment Support for People with Disabilities

By Disability Independence Group, Inc. |

If you are disabled and you are pursuing employment, you are not alone. You can find many agencies providing employment support that will help you reach your vocational goal. Vocational Rehabilitation (VR) Centers for Independent Living Employment Networks Disability Program Navigator Initiative Disability Rights Florida The Job Accommodation Network (JAN)

A Note from Matt

By Disability Independence Group, Inc. |

Back to School – This graphic is the symbol of accessibility at Florida State University. It reflects the importance of a free and equal education for all persons with disabilities, which is essential to ensure that there are persons with disabilities who are leaders in society, including, lawyers, doctors, teachers, politicians, and every single… Read More »

Casey Martin – Disability Accommodations in Sports!

By Disability Independence Group, Inc. |

The ADA has had an overarching impact on all aspects of life, including competitive sports. Casey Martin, a professional golfer, highlighted the true impact of the ADA in the sports world in 2001 when he won his lawsuit against the PGA tour under the Americans with Disabilities Act. The PGA Tour, the main organizer… Read More »

Kids Crusaders

By Disability Independence Group, Inc. |

By: Julie Fioravanti Welcome to this month’s edition of Kids Crusaders as we celebrate the ADA, a law that went into effect 25 years ago on July 26, 1990. My son was born in April of 1991. While we knew from the day he was born we were going to be faced with challenges,… Read More »

Litigation: Cruise Ship Accessibility After 25 Years!

By Disability Independence Group, Inc. |

By: Matthew Dietz Twenty years ago, accessible cruising was an impossibility. Notwithstanding that a cruise ship – a resort at sea – was the ideal vacation with everything at one’s fingertips — for a person with a disability it was just impossible. There were no accessible rooms, no accessible bathrooms, public rooms on different… Read More »

Rotary Club of Harris County– Meeting their community’s needs

By Disability Independence Group, Inc. |

By Sharon Langer  The Rotary Club of Harris County Georgia has a 17 year history of service to their community. I was privileged to join them this month at a summer breakfast meeting and hear about a unique project they started for persons with disabilities. I am hoping that by writing about this project… Read More »

Ride de Vuelta – Sports without limitations, we all can do it!!!

By Disability Independence Group, Inc. |

By Mick Jackson Mick Jackson, founder and former professional snowboarder from California, knows very well the Chilean terrain due to many competitions and visits to the country and created Ride de Vuelta in early 2014 in Santiago, Chile. Mick’s motivation was to provide opportunities for people with disabilities but from an ecological and inclusive approach,… Read More »