Tag Archives: discrimination

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 »

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 »

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.

AFTEREFFECT – A SWAT team, an autistic man, an American tragedy.

By Disability Independence Group, Inc. |

  Aftereffect is a podcast produced by WYNC Studios, and hosted by Audrey Quinn.  In this series, Audrey weaves Arnaldo Rios-Soto’s story and explains how Florida is ill-equipped to provide adequate community-based services for him, and what he went through.  The synopsis of the eight episode series is as follows:  In the summer of… Read More »

Sandra Faye Twiggs, a 59 year old Black woman in a wheelchair grimacing as she is being berated by the judge

Lessons From the Humiliation and Death of Sandra Faye Twiggs

By Disability Independence Group, Inc. |

On Sunday April 15, 2018, Judge Merrilee Ehrlich stripped any shred of dignity or humanity from a 59 year-old woman, who appeared before her, in her first appearance before the court after being arrested.  In as much as the video and the transcript demonstrate how unhinged Judge Ehrlich acted towards this women, and how the Court staff and lawyers, like palace eunuchs, allow such unabated behavior to continue.  However, the outrage from the surface must be examined, and lead to thorough introspection and change, and not merely the retirement and resignation of this long-time judge.

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. 

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 »

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 »

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)

larry mcdowell

IS HEALTH CARE ONLY FOR THE “ABLE BODIED”?

By Disability Independence Group, Inc. |

People with disabilities tend to be in poorer health and to use health care at a significantly higher rate than people who do not have disabilities. Larry McDowell is not a statistic, but instead a blatant example of an issue which needs to be addressed. Equality in health care is not a benefit, but a basic right.

Deaf Woman Denied Career Choice at Keiser University

By Disability Independence Group, Inc. |

Katy Daniel-Rivera would like the opportunity to succeed in her chosen career and earn a license to be a Radiologic Technologist. With appropriate auxiliary aids and services, a person who is Deaf can perform any job. To deny a person that opportunity is discrimination.

Autistic Man Fired from Cargill because of stereotypes about Diabetes

By Disability Independence Group, Inc. |

People with diabetes face unfair stereotypes and discrimination at work, at school, and elsewhere in their lives