Disability Rights

190 petitions

Started 10 hours ago

Petition to Craig Estes, James Frank, Mac Thornberry, Greg Abbott, Donald Trump

Provide services for the 143,192 Texans with disabilities on waiting lists

In Texas, there are currently 143,192 individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities on waiting lists to receive services through different Medicaid waiver programs. Those on waiting lists are denied services paid for by Medicaid which may include: physical and specialized therapies, supported employment, adaptive aids such as wheelchairs, medical supplies, day programs, respite care, speech and language pathology, transition service assistance, and so much more. Texas continues to sit at the bottom of the ranking for removing people with disabilities from waiting lists. Our most current number (September 2017) shows there are 143,192 individuals with I/DD in Texas waiting for services. That's more than of all of the population of Wichita Falls, Burkburnett, Vernon, Holliday, Henrietta, Electra, Archer City, Iowa Park, Petrolia, Dean and Jolly combined!  To see a visual comparison of other states from 2015, click on the following link: this graphic, you will see that in 2015, Texas was home to over 43% of people on waiting lists out of our entire country. Our most recent number (2016) for the 30th Senatorial District located in North Texas shows 3,411 people waiting for services.  At The Arc of Wichita County, we encounter people on a daily basis that are on waiting lists and we can see the negative impact this has on their lives. Our hope is that by bringing this to light, that those with disabilities in our area along with the other 130,000+ people in Texas will be moved off of the waiting lists and receive the support so desperately needed. Serious change has to take place for the waiting list to be significantly reduced, and the only way that is possible will be for the I/DD community to speak up!  Thank you and be sure to spread the word!  

The Arc of Wichita County
84 supporters
Update posted 1 week ago

Petition to Tammy Baldwin, Kamala Harris, Tammy Duckworth, Jim Langevin, Brian Mast, Nancy Pelosi, Dianne Feinstein, Joe Donnelly, Richard Blumenthal

CONGRESS: protect passengers with disabilities in an emergency evacuation

Addressed to members Congress: Dianne Feinstein, Kamala Harris, Tammy Baldwin, Joe Donnelly, Richard Blumenthal, Tammy Duckworth, Nancy Pelosi, Jim Langevin, and Brian Mast Protect passengers with disabilities in an emergency evacuation! Those of us involved with the disability community have concerns about an unmet safety need for travelers who use wheelchairs and are unable to walk on or off a mode of transportation, cruise ship, or hotel. When these passengers travel, their lives are in peril during an emergency evacuation until they can be swiftly moved to an exit.  We want legislative action taken to mandate that the Department of Transportation require all airlines, trains, buses, cruise ships, and hotels provide individuals with disabilities with a flame-retardant, water-resistant, personal assistive device and require crew members to be trained in its use. This will ensure safe and swift emergency egress for all passengers. Currently ADAPTS is the only such device available for use on an airplane.  In addition, we request: 1) feasibility studies to ensure passengers with disabilities are included in the current airworthiness tests whereby passengers are evacuated within 90 seconds with half the emergency exits available, 2) studies to determine where the safest seating options are for the traveler with disabilities on an airplane which have not been updated since 1977 and 3) a review current airworthiness tests which have not been updated since 1988 despite the increase in numbers of people with disabilities who are traveling today, increased seating capacity, and the shrinking distance between rows.  Our goal is to get 100,000 signatures in 60 days to bring legislative attention to this unmet travel safety need.   

Robin Wearley
1,028 supporters
Update posted 1 week ago

Petition to Ohio Governor, Ohio State House, Ohio State Senate, U.S. House of Representatives, David Hall, Heather Bishoff, Timothy Derickson, Nan Baker, Cheryl Grossman, Jim Buchy, Emilia Sykes, Margaret Conditt, Terry Johnson, Tony Burkley, Brian Hill, Tim Brown, Nino Vitale

Treat Ohio Service Dog Owners Equally

Why are ALL of us, as owners of service dogs, NOT being treated equally in the State of Ohio? We are being divided into different categories, with the result that some of us are being denied equal access to a State program that provides for free and permanent registration of our service dogs. Ohio Revised Code 955.011 titled “Registration for guide, leader, hearing or support dogs to be free and permanent” contains language that prevents ALL owners of service dogs from having equal access to a State program. Definition of Discrimination by Merriam-Webster ... the practice of unfairly treating a person or group of people differently from other people or groups of people. Ex: John Doe has a disablity and his service dog is privately trained, by himself and an experienced friend over the last 2 years. Jane Doe has a disability and her service dog was trained by a nonprofit agency for 6 months. If both service dog owners walked into the auditor office together and documentation is requested, John Doe and all owners like him (with privately trained service dogs) would be seperated, treated less than, and ultimately denied the free and permanate tag and registration for assistance dogs. The owner must then pay a fee, many are embarassed and some experience negative reactions from others. Jane Doe and all owners like her service dog (whom is agency trained) and can produce a certificate or badge would be approved and acknowledged. ORC 955.011(A) requires that the owner “show proof by certificate or other means that the dog is an assistance dog” in order to be exempt from an annual fee for registration of a service dog. According to the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and the U.S. Department of Justice, "...entities may not require documentation, such as proof that the animal has been certified, trained, or licensed as a service animal...". "There are individuals and organizations that sell service animal certification or registration documents online. These documents do not convey any rights under the ADA and the Department of Justice does not recognize them as proof that the dog is a service animal." Since the ADA provides greater protection for individuals with disabilities and takes priority over State or local laws or regulations, the current language in ORC 955.011(A) is contrary to the ADA and denies ALL owners of service dogs equal access to a State program. ORC 955.011(B) defines the meaning of “mobility impaired person, “blind”, “assistance dog”, “guide dog”, “hearing dog,” and “service dog,” but it fails to define the meaning of the words “leader” and “support” that are included in the title of ORC 955.011. ORC 955.011(B)(3) defines an assistance dog as “a guide dog, hearing dog, or service dog that has been trained by a nonprofit special agency." ORC 955.011(B)(6) defines a service dog as “a dog that has been trained or is in training to assist a mobility impaired person.” The ADA defines a service animal (which includes a service dog) as “any guide dog, signal dog, or other animal individually trained to provide assistance to an individual with a disability." If they meet this definition, animals are considered service animals under the ADA regardless of whether they have been licensed or registered by a state or local government. The ADA does NOT limit the definition of “service dog” to one that provides assistance to a mobility impaired person, while ORC 955.011(B)(6) does. The ADA definition of “service animal” states that the animal is individually trained, while ORC 955.011(B)(3) states that a service animal (i.e. service dog) must be trained by a nonprofit special agency. Since the ADA often provides greater protection for individuals with disabilities and takes priority over State or local laws or regulations, the current language in ORC 955.011(B) is contrary to the ADA and denies ALL owners of service dogs equal access to a State program. Owners with privately trained service dogs vs Owners with agency trained service dogs - They are being divided into two groups based on documentation. One group is not afforded equal opportunity to the same benefits or ability to the same outcome that is provided to the other group. The Americans with Disabilities Act under Section 28 C.F.R. 35.130(b)(3)Provide a qualified individual with a disability with an aid, benefit, or service that is not as effective in affording equal opportunity to obtain the same benefit, or to reach the same level of achievement as that provided to others; In summary, ORC 955.011 denies equal access to a State program that provides free and permanent registration of a dog that provides assistance to its owner who has a disability. Ohio Revised Code 955.011 permits the denial of equal access to this State program by: Requiring documentation, contrary to the ADA. Defining “service dog” to apply to only a mobility-impaired person, contrary to the ADA. Defining “assistance dog” to apply to only those trained by a non-profit special agency, contrary to the ADA. ALL owners of service dogs should be treated equally and respectfully when attempting to avail themselves of this program. Owners of service dogs should NOT be subject to discrimination, intimidation, and embarrassment when applying for free and permanent registration of service dogs through each Ohio county’s auditor’s office. The State of Ohio must ensure that its agents in each county’s auditor’s office are educated about the rights afforded individuals under the ADA. "Staff may ask two questions according to the ADA: Is the dog a service animal required because of a disability, and what work or task has the dog been trained to perform.  Staff cannot ask about the person’s disability, require medical documentation, require a special identification card or training documentation for the dog, or ask that the dog demonstrate its ability to perform the work or task." Your help is needed not only now, but for our future as well. Thank you for taking the time to read this. ❤️ Together we can make this change!   Sources:

Ms. Spitler
3,561 supporters
Update posted 1 week ago

Petition to Gary Farmer

Stop state of Florida DMV from targeting disabled individuals for license suspension

Florida's new license system now requires you have to appear at a DMV office for the initial renewal. The DMV has been targeting individuals with visible disabilities even if they have a clean driving record and threatening to suspend your license. Five years ago I got nerve damage to my right lower arm but I have been driving that way for five years without any issues. When I went to renew my license this week the clerk immediately said she had concerns about my ability to drive safely and started talking about suspending my license. At first they tried to bully me into surrendering my license voluntarily. When I objected to this they told me I would have to take the skills test that same day. I later found out even if you have to retake the test you are supposed to be given a minimum of five days notice. They also have to allow for adaptions when you take the test under ADA rules. I believe the DMV is discriminating against disabled individuals and basing their decisions solely on the fact the person has a disability regardless of how safe their driving record is.    Taking away a disabled person's ability to drive should be done only when absolutely necessary and with due process. For many people, losing the ability to drive means losing their independence or even employment if they work. At the very least, DMV should be made to follow their own protocol and should be made to allow the disabled person to have a fair chance to retain or get a driver's license. So far I have talked to two other people who have had similar experiences at Florida DMV. I believe targeting people based solely on their disability rather than driving record is a violation of ADA. Florida DMV workers currently have carte blanc to intimidate people and label them as "unsafe" drivers.  I appeal to Mr. Farmer and other members of the Florida legislature to introduce a bill that would at least give disabled people due process rights and protect them from this type of harassment. I understand there are some unsafe drivers on the road that need to stop driving; However Florida DMV has to stop this current witch hunt. There needs to be a balance between the duty of the state to remove unsafe drivers and the rights of disabled Florida citizens to be subject to harassment and unwarranted threats to lose their license.            

Janice Ellery
1,240 supporters