Tag Archives: Americans with Disabilities Act

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.

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 »

At The Intersection of Disability and Domestic Violence/Sexual Assault Myths and Misconceptions

By Disability Independence Group, Inc. |

By: Sharon Langer Domestic violence myths and misconceptions abound. Nearly everyone will have some form of preconception on what domestic violence actually is; why abusers abuse and why victims are victimized. In the same way as we tend to have a stereotypical picture of what domestic abuse is, we have similar pictures of what… 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 »