If You Are Afraid to Take Hits You Can Never Win a Fight…
MESA, ARIZONA, MARICOPA, November 15, 2016 /EINPresswire.com/ — Phoenix, Arizona (November 15, 2016) – Advocates for Individuals with Disabilities – Foundation ("AID.org")
“Finally, after 26 years of ADA disabilities organizations failing and cowering from fear of being attacked, harassed, pressured and intimidated by salacious media and fear of having their funding cut off by business who continue to willfully and openly violate the civil rights of individuals with disabilities, a fearless and powerful civil rights champion has taken up the fight, and oh what a fight it is…,” said Mr. Callan AID’s de facto representative.
Mr. Callan explained, “Disability organizations who largely rely on donations from business, (on average 95% off which are non-ADA compliant) are extremely fearful of losing their funding. If they lose their funding they must close and will no longer be able to help the disabled community. The problem herein lies; do they tolerate and keep receiving money from violating business by turning a “blind eye” to ADA violations? Or do they risk it all by taking a stand for the civil rights of individuals with disabilities and lose their funding? Unfortunately, because of the false and misleading media and their lies claiming that ‘AID is lining its pockets’ as well as pressure from their donors they have no choice but to publicly condemn AID’s effective actions, while secretly admiring and being grateful that finally an organization strong enough and self-funded is now taking on the fight to make a positive change for all individuals with disabilities.”
After 26 years, many with disabilities are complacent and accustom to being discriminated against, just like back in the 60’s before a few activists stood up and took a stand. Many fight for civil rights not only got beat up, mentally abused and even killed… “That is why AID protects its association members by filing its civil rights enforcement actions against ADA violation business in its own name, instead of the member’s names. In the few times that AID’s members have become known to the public they have quickly and viciously been attached, harassed, defamed and intimidated by unscrupulous media as well as subjected to other 3rd party threats and pressures,” proclaimed Mr. Callan.
With approx. 95% of public accommodation business being non-ADA compliant AID had no other option but to utilize commercial office locations that were not ADA compliant in the beginning. While one of AID’s landlords agreed, and became voluntarily compliant in a timely manner one landlord refused and AID was forced to sue them… Dave Biscobing, ABC 15’s pounced on the fact that AID’s landlords locations were not yet ADA compliant and aired several very negative reports bashing AID as a “bad organization” for their landlords not being compliant regardless of AID’s efforts un-bias and aggressive efforts to also cause them to become ADA compliant.
While AID does not have a “magic wand” to waive and instantly cause voluntary ADA compliance, it does have a “big effective stick” in the form of filing ADA enforcement lawsuits against those violators who ignored AID’s 40,000 warning letters. That is unless Arizona’s Attorney General Mark Brnovich (“AG”) is successful in causing all of AID’s 1,289 ADA related civil rights cases to be dismissed WITHOUT requiring even one of the discriminating ADA violators to correct their violations. “The actions of the AG are shocking and revealing of just how far he is apparently willing go to support the law breaking business owners who continue to violate the ADA and discriminate against individuals with disabilities. This is one more black mark for Arizona’s history of support of discrimination and civil rights violation. Brnovich, like Joe Arpaio, has become synonymous with discrimination”, stated Mr. Callan.
To date, AID has spent over $1.7 Million to file nearly 2,000 ADA enforcement lawsuits in the courts and over 9,000 documented ADA civil right discrimination complaints with the Arizona Attorney General’s office. No other private entity in history has caused so many businesses to become ADA compliant both through litigation and through voluntary compliance because of fear of potential litigation, and now the AG is doing his best to stop AID’s ADA compliance efforts.
The key to ADA compliance, especially voluntarily compliance, just like preventing speeding, theft, drunk driving and murder, is the fear of penalties, repercussions and financial expense. The AG is fighting to eliminate fears of any potential penalties or repercussions and to pay expenses for business who are not even willing to pay $25 to put up proper signage in order to comply with the ADA. “Why would they when no government agency cares and individuals with disabilities are afraid to complain for fear of being told that they are banned from that store or location?” asked Mr. Callan rhetorically.
If the AG gets his way, violating the ADA will even be less risky and penalty free. The AG is supporting a law to allow ADA violators 120 days from the time that someone complains to fix their violations without any potential penalty, even though the law has been in place for over 26 years. AID knows this is a pointless and discriminatory requirement; it mailed out over 40,000 notices and found tens of thousands of businesses still didn’t take action. “If this law is approved, it would be the same as requiring the police to visit a criminal and tell them they have 120 days to stop committing the crime or they’d risk getting in trouble. There’s no incentive to comply. Only businesses that already care about individuals with disabilities, apparently the less than 3%, would be compliant because they do it voluntarily.” Stated Mr. Callan.
“It is unsettling and common that AID hears about individuals with disabilities being denied equal use of facilities and bathrooms and even threatened, intimidated or banned from the location when they complain about ADA violations. It is extremely sad when we at AID hear of injuries and even death that have been caused by an ADA violation. But this is Arizona, the Wild West, and the AG, who is by law to act as the “Sheriff” to enforce the ADA laws, has apparently decided, on his own, that the civil rights of those with disabilities do not matter… and if you are willing to fight for and protect their rights the “Sheriff” will come after you to stop you,” stated Mr. Callan.
AID’s altruistic intentions remain pure and highly effective… To date AID’s enforcement efforts have cost over $1.7 Million, with nearly $800,000 just in court fees. While ALL of AID’s compliance settlement agreements require timely ADA violation correction guarantees, some settlement agreements also include a negotiated cash component averaging approximately $3,900 per case to cover legal, filing, operational and further compliance actions, etc. Never $10,000 per case and far less than media sources falsely portray. The reason it is necessary for AID to receive these proceeds as part of settlement (approx. $1.2M to date) is to subsidize the costs of identifying, documenting, bringing and managing widespread ADA enforcement actions. Doing so is very costly, and AID does not use any tax funds to investigate and enforce ADA laws. AID’s altruistic efforts and results are made abundantly clear by the fact that AID always has, currently is and anticipates it continue to operate at a substantial loss reaching many hundreds of thousands of dollars. It is definitely clear that AID is NOT “enriching itself”, “lining its pockets” or “just in it for the money” because AID has not and does not expect to make a profit. As the math shows… AID’s expenses of $1,700,000 minus $1,200,000 collected settlement funds equals a current deficit of over $500,000.
AID is pleased with the growing understanding and support of its mission by not only its growing membership base, but also those who support AID’s efforts privately or secretly because of their fears of repercussions or retaliation from those without disabilities. AID is not fearful of such retaliation and will not succumb to negative pressures.
Join AID.org’s fight against discrimination by becoming a FREE member and/or report ADA violations at http://aid.org/membership-report-violation.html .
AID’s Attorneys available for comment:
Peter Strojnik (602) 524-6602
About Advocates for Individuals with Disabilities – Foundation
AID has filed over 9,000 documented ADA civil right discrimination cases with the Arizona Attorney General’s Office and nearly 2,000 additional cases in court. AID has spent over $1,700,000 in bringing these 11,000 plus ADA cases in its Arizona efforts to bring about ADA compliance, and has always operated at deficit.
Advocates for Individuals with Disabilities Foundation, a 501c3 nonprofit company was formed in January 2016 to receive contributions/distributions/benefits/services from the operating entity Advocates for Individuals with Disabilities, LLC. These entities often collectively or individually referred to as AID or AID.org by many, operate as Civil Rights Champions with combined goals of improving the lives of individuals with disabilities through charitable gifts, opportunities and the removal of equal access barriers for the over 43 million Americans who live with disabilities caused by one or more conditions.
AID.org sends warning notices to businesses and then acts as private attorneys general to ensure ADA compliance. AID.org’s focus is on the most readily visible exterior equal access barriers which Federal, State and Attorney Generals have failed to enforce over the last 26 years. AID.org feels that these violations are a clear indicator of interior ADA violations, which we hope the violating business voluntarily correct.
“For the ADA to yield its promise of equal access for the disabled, it may indeed be necessary and desirable for committed individuals to bring serial litigation advancing the time when public accommodations will be compliant with the ADA.” AID.org is committed to bring serial litigation and is primarily self-funded though litigation settlement agreements and private funding.
Those with disabilities and their associates can request assistance and grants online at www.AID.org. To schedule an interview with the AID.org Foundation, please email media@AID.org.
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