An Arizona woman who worked as a Starbucks barista for seven years has filed a lawsuit against the company for allegedly discriminating against her because she’s deaf. She claims she repeatedly asked for reasonable accommodations to help her on the job and was repeatedly denied, and that she was finally fired because of her disability.
Divit is a guide dog, who has been trained to keep his owner safe and independent and to have impeccable manners in public. Yet Divit’s owner says that they were left at the curb on their way to a vet appointment, simply because the driver assigned to their ride didn’t want to have a dog in the car. Even a service dog, which in theory is allowed to go anywhere that its owner or trainer does. [More]
The United States Postal Service is apologizing to a deaf woman in Florida after she said workers at her local post office refused to accommodate her by providing service through writing, instead allegedly mocking her and making her feel humiliated.
While there are many Americans with legitimate needs for service animals, and who are legally allowed to take those animals into restaurants and stores where they would normally be banned, there are some people who exploit the service animal label without any bona fide medical or therapeutic need. Now some Florida legislators are looking to penalize these fakers with fines and possible jail time. [More]
Everyone who likes to eat hot dogs should have the right to enter a restaurant and order some hot dogs. Recently, though, a 60-year-old luncheonette in Miami was sued when a man who walks with a cane sued, claiming 30 separate accessibility violations. Was the man even a customer of the hot dog stand? Turns out that doesn’t really matter. [More]
Let’s point out something very, very obvious: within reason, everyone should have the right to communicate over the phone, even if they live with some form of hearing loss. For that reason, the Federal Communications Commission requires mobile phone carriers to sell a certain number of handsets that work with hearing aids. The agency says that T-Mobile failed to do this, and has fined them $819,000. [More]
We’re guessing that no one at Best Western is checking the hotel chain’s Facebook page today, as it’s full up with people angry that the company not only denied a room to a family with a service animal, but then waited a week to try to make good on its mistake. [More]
In an effort to discourage some ethically questionable visitors who had been hiring disabled “tour guides” (or who pretended to be disabled themselves) in order to skip long lines at Disney park attractions, the company instituted a policy change last October. Rather than moving directly to the front of the line, these guests are given tickets that tells them when to come back so they don’t have to endure a wait in line. But some parents of autistic children have sued Disney over the policy, saying it goes too far and violates the Americans with Disabilities Act.
You might want to keep your voice down if you’re in Portland discussing this news: The American Dental Association has switched up its advice on baby tooth care. Namely, that fluoride toothpaste should be introduced as soon as that first tooth shows up, instead of waiting until kids are three. [More]
More than two decades after the passage of the Americans with Disabilities Act, a new survey of Amtrak stations around the country claims that the overwhelming majority of them still fall far short of being accessible for passengers with special needs and that some are still completely inaccessible to consumers who use wheelchairs and other mobility devices. [More]
The owner of a Massachusetts restaurant thought that he knew what service dogs look like, and the terrier in his dining room didn’t fit the profile. “It just looked like a regular mutt,” he told a reporter. Not like the guide dogs for the blind or alert dogs for the deaf that most people picture when they hear the words “service dog.” He threw the dog and his owner out of the restaurant, prompting boycotts and howls of protest. [More]
Earlier today, we told you about a Whataburger restaurant in Florida that called the police to force a customer to leave because of complaints about her service dog. Now, a rep for the fast food chain gives the company’s side of the story. [More]
Melissa is a war veteran who has post-traumatic stress disorder and is able to function with the help of a service dog trained to help vets like her. She and her husband were recently strongly encouraged to leave a restaurant where they had dined with the dog before. No matter what kinds of documents or federal government websites she showed, the waitress, manager, and owner all insisted that the dog needed to leave…without actually telling the couple to get out of the establishment.
Britt is a paraplegic. While planning a recent trip, she reserved an accessible room at the Best Western where she and her boyfriend would be staying. A room that she could move around in, and that would not require her boyfriend to lift her into bed and onto the toilet. You know, allow her some independence and dignity. When they actually checked in to the hotel, though, they learned that the accessible room had been assigned to another traveler. Worse: according to staffers, this traveler was a regular guest who wasn’t disabled, but just likes having a bigger room.
At some sporting and concert venues, seating spaces reserved for people with disabilities can sometimes be prime spots. So it’s sadly not surprising that unscrupulous scalpers are taking advantage of a loophole in the Americans with Disabilities Act that makes it legal for them to buy up blocks of these seats and then resell them to people without disabilities.