Tag Archives: disabilities

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 »

a child dressed in a captain america uniform with a shield.

What happened to the COVID-19 case about immunocompromised children with disabilities in public schools in Florida?

By Disability Independence Group, Inc. |

In this matter, the development of vaccines and boosters are winning the race against the mutations of the COVID-19 pandemic. However, next time, science may lose to the application of bleach, horse medicine, and ultraviolet light treatments, and our schools and state would be willing to sacrifice children and persons with disabilities in a pyrrhic victory for parental rights to avoid inconvenience for their child.

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.

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 »

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 »

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.

hands in handcuffs

Young children should not be arrested in school and sent to psychiatric hospitals

By Disability Independence Group, Inc. |

By Matthew W.  Dietz and Carlos J. Martinez   Twenty years ago, when a 7-year-old had a temper tantrum in a public school, the school would suspend the child. The police would not be called, and it would be unthinkable to subject the child to an involuntary mental examination in a psychiatric ward of… 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 »

DIG Builds Partnerships

By Disability Independence Group, Inc. |

In 2016 DIG Builds Partnerships at the INTERSECTION of Domestic Violence and Disability In 2016, one of DIG’s greatest accomplishments was becoming part of the solution for the serious problem of access to domestic violence and sexual assault services for persons with disabilities.  We did this by spending the year building partnerships with three… Read More »

What is Substantial gainful Activity or SGA according to The Social Security Administration?

By Disability Independence Group, Inc. |

By: Lesly Lopez  To be eligible for disability benefits, a person must be unable to engage in substantial gainful activity (SGA). A person who is earning more than a certain monthly amount (net of impairment related work expenses) is ordinarily considered to be engaging in SGA. The amount of monthly earnings considered as SGA… 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 »