Neighbors object to family’s ramp and driveway

CREEC is representing a family whose neighbors are objecting to a ramp they installed because their daughter uses a wheelchair.   The matter got some coverage on Colorado Springs’s KKTV   {Image description:   Screen grab from KKTV broadcase showing bullet points:   Fair Housing Act says:   Family has a right to have the ramp; Right to use and enjoy their home; Nobody can interfere with that right.} Can you tell I don’t know how to embed video yet?   If you click on the image, though, you’ll get KKTV’s video and print article, including my interview: The Fair Housing Act says that someone with disabilities has the right to have something like this ramp. The family has the right to use and enjoy their house, and the law prohibits anyone from interfering with that right. . . . We’re sending a letter today to the neighbor, and again, the tone of that letter is very explanatory. Just hoping that if they understand the law, that this problem will be resolved. Of course, if they want to meet, we’d certainly be open to a meeting....

Stop Texting and Driving or You’ll Turn Black. Or Latino. Or Christian.

I often try to convey why non-but-should-be-obvious disability prejudice is in fact prejudice — and wrong — by swapping out the disability feature for another human category:   race; national origin; religion.   Though imprecise and fraught with opportunities for me to put my foot in my mouth, it’s a useful thought exercise. Let’s try it with the appalling tendency to use disability as a threat. Here is a half-hour long documentary by Famed Director Werner Herzog — that’s his title, right? — on why texting and driving is a bad idea.   Just get yourself to the 1:55 mark or start again at the 15:00 mark.   Big trigger warning:   I knew what was coming, but it still kicked my butt. {Video description:   Most of it is audible, but at the 1:55 mark, following a long description of the mother’s high hopes for her son, we see him come home from school in a power wheelchair with a tracheotomy and vent.   While he appears to happily interact with his mother and sister after a day at school, the portentous music and voiceover of failed hopes continue.   At the 15:00 mark, a story about a woman brain-injured in an accident begins.   While she does eventually speak for herself, much of the dialog — by her sister — occurs with the two sisters sitting side by side in lawn chairs, the woman with the brain injury sitting passively while her sister describes her limitations.} Thought exercise:   Somber music.   Long portentous introduction — “I had high hopes for my son; I used to love...

It’s all about merit … until it isn’t.

I realize this is a bit of old news, but an article in today’s New York Times reminded me yet again that we’re a meritocracy — no affirmative action allowed! — just so long as it’s euro-derived/white/straight/Christian/cis/non-disabled people who own the merit. In today’s article about Asian golfers in the L.P.G.A. — the Ladies Professional Golf Association, though you have to scour their website for confirmation that the “L” in fact stands for “Ladies” — we’re reminded that, as Asian players started to succeed in the tour, the L.P.G.A. commissioner at the time . . . proposed that foreign-born players who had been on the tour at least two years face suspension if they could not speak fluent English. Because ability to speak English is a well-known merit-based qualification for playing golf.   The article notes that, under pressure, she retracted the proposed condition.   But like the quotas — ceilings — on the number of Jews admitted to Ivy League schools in the 1920s and the number of Asians these days and like the objections to Oscar Pistorius’s participation in the Olympics, and of course like good ol’ fashioned legacy admissions to elite colleges, the response to the rise of Asian golfers is more evidence that merit is myth....

The Ramps of Route 1

Every summer or so, we visit my brother and his family at their place in Maine.   To do this, we generally fly into Boston and then drive the four hours from Logan to mid-coast Maine.   The first three hours are on I-95; the last hour or so on Route 1 from Brunswick to Thomaston.   It has long struck me, as we meander up the barely two-lane road — often at 30 mph behind a giant RV or tractor — the amazing number of very small businesses that have ramps. This past weekend I made the trip with no deadline and no one else in the car, so I had the time* to take some photos of these examples of readily-achievableness. (Ready achievability?)** Disclaimer, because every now and again some defense-side attorney (hi, guys!) may read this:   I did not evaluate these ramps for compliance with the Standards.   I don’t know their dimensions or slope.   If you try to introduce this as evidence in one of my cases, I will file a Motion for Judicial Notice of Completely Missing the Point. The first couple were actually near Manchester, NH, where I had taken a detour to visit a college classmate. These next two are churches, which aren’t even covered by the ADA (unless they have some sort of commercial business on the side):     Onward to Rte 1: This actually might have been someone’s house.   Along Route 1, the distinction between house and business is often sort of vague. Just north of Wiscasset. Jean Kigel Studio, Damariscotta. Cheap cigarettes in Waldoboro. Somewhere...