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How the ADA sucks.

  1. Aug 26, 2010 #1
    The Americans with Disability Act is a horrible law.

    First, as disabled goes, I am pretty bad. So I need accomodations and cannot just get around. So in theory the ADA should help me, well it does not.

    The critics of the ADA are correct, all it did was elevate people who are disabled only in their own minds to the level of a protected class.

    Heck, I know in my state, once you turn 60 you can get a handicap parking placard just because you had a birthdate. So now the 6 required handicap spots mean that I will never be able to use them when my wife takes me to the store. And I still have to wheel myself across a parking lot. And towns that used to have free parking for the handicap have eliminated it. Thanks ADA.

    The worst part is that every organization has a defense legal posture when it comes to dealing with the handicap. So I have to jump through hoops just to get a simple accomodation, that any moron who saw me, would know that I required. Now, to the people who are not disabled, who are getting a perk out of accomdations, these hoops do not seem bothersome. why not, they are probably getting out of doing something. But for me, it is a fundamental violation of my right to privacy to have my medical records in someones hands just so I can get equal access.

    Just venting. Going through this at my school.
  2. jcsd
  3. Aug 26, 2010 #2


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    Can't help you, pal. I'm severely disabled myself (COPD), but I'm Canadian so I don't have a problem. I hope that things work out for you.
  4. Aug 26, 2010 #3

    Chi Meson

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    What state do you live in?

    I have two conflicting observations re "handicap" parking spaces:
    1: I have never seen a parking lot that has no HC spaces available. Even when it is a large parking lot that is completely full, and there are circling cars trying to get in (right now I'm thinking of a local RI state beach), there have been ten or more free HC spaces.

    2: I have too often seen a car slip into a space and one perfectly ambulatory person gets out a walks unaffectedly to the door.

    So, I'm not saying you have not encountered maddening circumstances; I know that I am not always looking for those spaces, but my observations bring me to the opinion that
    a) HC permits are far too easily given out (and therefore should require more stringent proof and requirements) and b) even with "too many" permits handed out, there still appears to be ample space. At least it appears so in southern New England.

    Re the other accommodations, the hoop-jumping ought to be necessary to strain out the fakers trying to get what they don't deserve; but you would think that there could be a database or centralized system so that you wouldn't need to go through the wringer every single time. Is there a ADA ID card or something like that?
  5. Aug 26, 2010 #4


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    In my area there are many free handicapped parking spots. I would say 50% empty, with about half the full spots taken by apparent (as Chi says) fakers.

    It seems the problem is with your state being too free with permits. That *is* maddening.
  6. Aug 26, 2010 #5
    I do hear you.

    Whether or not you can do this is immaterial. Just know that I would pull out all stops to do the same if it were me:

    A friend of mine who was injured during the Vietnam war was coming to dinner. As he was a parapalegic and I lived on the third floor of an apartment complex, I assumed I'd have to carry up, and as a young and able-bodied person, I was prepared to do so.

    Five minutes prior to his arrival/call time, I hear this THUMP, THUMP, THUMP outside my door. It's him, just two steps from backing his wheelchair up three flights of stairs to my apartment.

    Naturally, he refused my help.

    We had no ramps - he simply jack-climbed my stairs!

    I understand many others would not have been able to do so. But he did so, and up three flights of stairs at that, and no, he didn't allow me to help him down after dinner.

    Handicap parking spots should ONLY be visited by those who need them. I regularly turn in my neighbors to slide into spots which are simply not for them. I don't care if they hate me or not - it's simply NOT the right thing for them to do.
  7. Aug 26, 2010 #6
    Think that's bad? My apartment complex has handicap spots in front of every building. Only, there is no way anyone in a wheelchair is getting into any of the apartments. There are no ramps, no areas where the sidewalk in front of the apartment is equal to the ground, nothing. Someone in a wheel chair would have to hop up 4 inches to get to the sidewalk, and depending on your apartment another couple steps to get INTO your apartment.

    So we have handicap spots (that are actually only in front of one apartment per building, which makes less sense), but there's no way anyone who would actually need it (since EVERY spot is in front of the apartments) could get in to the apartments anyway!
  8. Aug 26, 2010 #7


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    But not every handicapped person is in a wheelchair. Some have heart trouble, or lung trouble, or kidney trouble...yes, they can walk and even go up stairs, just not for very long.
  9. Aug 26, 2010 #8
    My sister's main complaint (she's a C5 quadriplegic) is that handicap spaces marked as "van access" are always taken up by people who aren't in a van. She ends up having to go to the far end of the parking lot and ride her way all the way up.
  10. Aug 26, 2010 #9
    This is very true, except the handicapped spots aren't any closer to the apartments they are in front of than the parking spots for any other apartment. And since everyone parks in front of their apartment anyway, they don't actually solve any problems.
  11. Aug 26, 2010 #10
    The issue is proportional to your locale. I live in Delaware, and we have a higher than average retired community. And they get handicapped placards and do not need them.

    Most states have handicapped ID's.. you really do not need them. Handicap placards are registered to a person and the police can run them like a plate. But honestly, nobody ever enforces handicapped parking.. That is really the insult to injury. Yeah if it is a city own lot and they enforce parking, but in a grocery store or walmart parking lot.. not a chance.

    In my area a large grocery store was just built, and they only had to put in 8 handicap spots. Considering it is a large retired area that is really like putting in none.

    Honestly. I would be happy if people actually held the door open for me. WHen you are old and disabled, people are helpful. When you are young and disabled, people avoid you, they feel sorry for you and pretty much avoid any contact. You can see them glance when they think you cannot see them.

    Of lot of these issues are why there are ADA lawsuits. For me it has to do with whether they are just trying to comply, or if they actually want to help. For most it is a legal issue. There is a gas station/deli chain that is popular for their coffee and food. Their counter for picking up sandwhiches is at the 5 foot height. I talked to a manager and made the suggestion that they move the hot dog machine and use the lower counter, it would be disabled friendly. He referred me to the corporate office, I called and mentioned disabled and I got the legal rep.

    That is why ADA sucks.
  12. Aug 26, 2010 #11
    I have heard that only one out of ten ADA complaints referred to the EEOC are decided in favor of the disabled person.

    For a condensed perspective on the ADA, please see http://www.nami.org/Content/ContentGroups/Helpline1/The_ADA_%E2%80%93_Americans_with_Disabilities_Act.htm" [Broken].
    Last edited by a moderator: May 4, 2017
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