Tag Archives: Americans with Disabilities Act

Do I still have a claim? – Effects of Cummings v. Premier Rehab on the future of claims under the Americans with Disabilities Act or Section 504

By Disability Independence Group, Inc. |

By Matthew W. Dietz .pdf version On April 28, 2022, the United States Supreme Court, in Cummings v. Premier Rehab Keller, P.L.L.C., 142 S. Ct. 1562 (2022), found that damages are unavailable for discrimination without a physical injury in all federal disability laws (such as the ADA and Section 504), and some sex and… Read More »

Black and white picture of boys, ages 10 to 18, in military dress in front of a building

Reclaiming my Deaf Lineage

By Disability Independence Group, Inc. |

It is important to recognize and understand our ancestors and the struggles that they may have had as being part of a minority population that has been stigmatized and hidden in the shadows of family trees. By reclaiming and retelling our family stories and including, and being proud, of what they had to go through, whether they were queer, disabled or otherwise marginalized, like putting a stone on their headstone, it honors their lives and blesses their memory.

National Disability Employment Awareness Month 2021 – “America’s Recovery: Powered by Inclusion”

By Disability Independence Group, Inc. |

As a disability rights lawyer who represented persons with disabilities for the past 25 years, I am often asked by persons with both visible and invisible disabilities about best practices in attempting to find a job and to keep a job. So, for National Disability Employment Awareness Month, I will share my top 10 points.

Shawn Cheshire in arizona with her bike helmet blue shirt and red reflective sunglasses with the reflection of her taking a selfie. Shawn is smiling and in the background is the tire from her vehicel with a sign that says Caution Blind Cyclists Ahead. the desert is in the background.

Paralympian Shawn Cheshire Wins Gold When Fighting for her Rights to go to LA Fitness and Work Out Independently

By Disability Independence Group, Inc. |

It is always an honor to work for a person whos talent and dedication is world-class.  this year, I had the opportunity to work for Shawn Cheshire to vindicate her rights to be able to work out independently at an LA Fitness by her home in Florida.  Shawn is a Paralympic cyclist who raced… Read More »

Picture of a border collie, with a white body and a black and white head superimposed on a picture of boats on a dock, with the words, Piper The Dog vs. Boca Ciega Yacht Club

Is your club truly private? Piper the Service Dog vs. Boca Ciega Yacht Club

By Disability Independence Group, Inc. |

Piper is a dog, but she also has an uncanny talent for killing bees.  This talent has aided her partner, Samantha Ring, who lives with severe allergies to bees and sunflower seeds and has a history of anaphylactic reactions to both. Piper saved Ms. Ring’s life by killing a bee while Ms. Ring was out on her boat without her EpiPen, so she decided to keep Piper and train her to be a service dog. On July 12, 2021, Piper the Dog finally got her day.  The Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals reversed his partner’s case and found that there are certain questions of fact that need to be resolved before deeming the Boca Ciega Yacht Club in Gulfport Florida, a “private club” for purposes of the private club exemption under the Americans with Disabilities Act.

Photograph of the Florida Capitol Building

New Florida Statute Requiring Resource and Benefit Information for Individuals with Disabilities

By Disability Independence Group, Inc. |

On June 16th, Governor DeSantis signed a bill into law requiring more information to be provided to persons with disabilities for services that are available.  The purpose of the law is to provide information for services available for persons with disabilities other than services on the Medicaid Home and Community-Based Services (HCBS) waiver. Currently, there are 35,000 individuals receiving waiver services through iBudget Florida, and as of December 1, 2020, 22,718 eligible persons with disabilities are on the waiting list to receive waiver funding and services.

Bottle and gavel

Mental Health Month – Breaking Down Barriers in the Legal Profession That Stigmatize Mental Illness

By Disability Independence Group, Inc. |

Mental health month is always a good time to remind the legal profession that we still have a profession that stigmatizes applicants and lawyers that have mental illness or past histories of substance use disorder and that has a practice of conditioning the ability to practice law on mandated treatment and conditions that may… Read More »

Lucy the black and white Border Collie mix wearing a black judges robe

Florida Legislature Animal Bill Update and Positions

By Disability Independence Group, Inc. |

Since its inception in 2002, Disability Independence Group has been active in enhancing options for persons with disabilities to benefit from the assistance and companionship of animals. Our advocacy ranges from ensuring that service animals and emotional support animals are permitted in housing and employment to embedding therapy animals in social services agencies that… Read More »

People waiting on a long line to get a vaccine

Last in Line – COVID-19 Vaccine Distribution has Failed Seniors with Disabilities.

By Disability Independence Group, Inc. |

There is no excuse why we are not providing equal access to the vaccine program for seniors with disabilities.  By having a first come/first served regimen to vaccinate, and denying accommodations to the most vulnerable, this places persons with disabilities last.

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.

Changes to Florida Statutes that Effect Civil Rights and Fair Housing in Florida

By Disability Independence Group, Inc. |

By: Matthew Dietz During the 2020 legislative session, there has been significant changes in statutes that prohibit discrimination in the State of Florida.  These changes affect the way that civil rights claims are processed by the administrative agency that investigates such claims, the rights of claimants for they day in court, and it also… Read More »

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 »

Raymond Bishop, an 84 year old man, kneeling at a dock with sailboats behind him, with his two dogs, ranger and roxie at his knees

When Losing your Emotional Support Dogs is Too Much To Much to Bear

By Disability Independence Group, Inc. |

When the police arrived at his unit, Raymond Bishop refused to drop his weapon.  After the police plead with him for three minutes, Mr. Bishop raised his pistol.  He was killed.  His two dogs, Roxie and Ranger were cowering in Raymond Bishop’s bed.  On his desk, there was a suicide note:

greyhound on couch

Can Greyhounds be Emotional Support Animals?

By Disability Independence Group, Inc. |

Greyhounds are very friendly, affectionate, gentle, quiet, sweet, loyal, clean, loving, sensitive, trusting and good natured dogs that would make great emotional support animals.

Are Doctors or Hospitals Required to Provide Interpreters for Deaf Patients and what are the penalties for not doing so?

By Disability Independence Group, Inc. |

A Deaf patient has the right to participate in his or her care to the same degree as a hearing person, including conveying and receiving medical information from doctors or a hospital.  The ultimate result of the treatment does not matter as much as having the ability to understand the entire treatment.

Photograph of Ed Roberts

Happy Ed Roberts Day – January 23rd

By Disability Independence Group, Inc. |

Disability Rights are Civil Rights, and every civil rights movement has its heroes.  For the Disability Rights movement, the father of the independent living movement is Ed Roberts.  At a time when a person with polio was expected to spend his days in an iron lung, and not expected to participate in the community, Ed Roberts persisted, lived, and participated in his life and community. 

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Florida’s Not So Happy Anniversary Present To the Americans with Disabilities Act

By Disability Independence Group, Inc. |

On the same month as the 27th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act, a Florida law came into effect that shields businesses from liability in ADA lawsuits. Section 553.5141, Florida Statutes, permits certification of a public accommodation as compliant with Title III of the Americans with Disabilities Act if an expert designs a… Read More »

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 »

Litigation Article: Can a Woman with No Arms Ride a Roller Coaster?

By Disability Independence Group, Inc. |

Jessica Cox filed an administrative complaint with the Florida Commission on Human Relations claiming that she was excluded from every single ride at Universal Studios Orlando because she was born without arms, and she was not able to continually grasp the restraints with at least one hand. Jessica believed that the restrictions on all of the rides were not based on actual risks, but instead, based upon stereotypes of what she can or cannot do.