I have not given up; have you? I remain optimistic that something positive will indeed rise out of this mess. What will it be, you might ask? I don't know. How will we know when it occurs? That, sorry to say, is an even more perplexing mystery. All I can say is: folks, after a very cool discussion today with a top person at Anna Eshoo's office, I have a feeling that we are a witness to the start of something big. What? I don't know. But, over the past two years, we have opened many eyes. We have revealed a status quo that is very broken; a status quo that protects the rich and discriminates against everybody else. And further inflicts pain upon the disabled community. And I for one shall never, ever give up the fight. And I hope that you won't, either.
And if you made that promise to never give up the fight, won't you join me in a mass e-mail and call-in campaign to Barry Swenson Builder? I have written down a few numbers, and included the link to e-mail.
Main San Jose office: 408 287-0246
Barry Swenson, President: 408 938-6366
Bill Ryan, VP: 408 938-6315
You may e-mail them via these pages: Web Link
In addition to those, here are excerpts from pages on both the ADA and US codes; words intended to prevent all forms of discrimination, and words that Barry Swenson's demolition is clearly going against. The Palo Alto City Council shares part of the blame as well.
From Web Link:
"The ADA prohibits discrimination based on a persons disability in employment, State and local government programs, private and non-profit businesses (referred to as public accomodations), commercial facilities, transportation, and telecommunications. Under the ADA, an individual with a disability is defined as a person who has a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities, a person who has a history or record of such an impairment, or a person who is perceived by others as having such an impairment.
Title II covers all activities of State and local governments regardless of the government entity's size or receipt of Federal funding. Title II requires that State and local governments give people with disabilities an equal opportunity to benefit from all of their programs, services and activities (e.g. public education, employment, transportation, recreation, health care, social services, courts, voting, and town meetings)."
Listing the purposes of the ADA act, as enacted by Congress. From Web Link:
"•(1) Some 43,000,000 Americans have one or more physical or mental disabilities, and that number is increasing as the population as a whole grows older.
•(2) Historically, society has tended to isolate and segregate individuals with disabilities, and, despite some improvements, such forms of discrimination against individuals with disabilities continue to be a serious and pervasive social problem.
•(3) Discrimination against individuals with disabilities persists in such critical areas as employment, housing, public accommodations, education, transportation, communication, recreation, institutionalization, health services, voting, and access to public services.
•(4) Unlike individuals who have experienced discrimination on the basis of race, color, sex, national origin, religion, or age, individuals who have experienced discrimination on the basis of disability have often had no legal recourse to redress such discrimination.
•(5) Individuals with disabilities continually encounter various forms of discrimination, including outright intentional exclusion, the discriminatory effects of architectural, transportation, and communication barriers, overprotective rules and policies, failure to make modifications to existing facilities and practices, exclusionary qualification standards and criteria, segregation, and relegation to lesser services, programs, activities, benefits, jobs, or other opportunities.
•(6) Census data, national polls, and other studies have documented that people with disabilities, as a group, occupy an inferior status in the society, and are severely disadvantaged socially, vocationally, economically, and educationally.
•(7) individuals with disabilities are a discrete and insular minority who have been faced with restrictions and limitations, subjected to a history of purposeful unequal treatment, and relegated to a position of political powerlessness in the society, based on characteristics that are beyond the control of such individuals and resulting from stereotypic assumptions not truly indicative of the individual ability of such individuals to participate in, and contribute to, society.
•(8) the nation's proper goals regarding individuals with disabilities are to assure equality of opportunity, full participation, independent living, and economic self-sufficiency for such individuals.
•(9) the continuing existence of unfair and unnecessary discrimination and prejudice denies people with disabilities the opportunity to compete on an equal basis and to pursue those opportunities for which the free society is justifiably famous, and costs the United States billions of dollars in unnecessary expenses resulting from dependency and nonproductivity."
From Web Link
(ii) Participation in unequal benefit It shall be discriminatory to afford an individual or class of individuals, on the basis of a disability or disabilities of such individual or class, directly, or through contractual, licensing, or other arrangements with the opportunity to participate in or benefit from a good, service, facility, privilege, advantage, or accommodation that is not equal to that afforded to other individuals.
(iii) Separate benefit It shall be discriminatory to provide an individual or class of individuals, on the basis of a disability or disabilities of such individual or class, directly, or through contractual, licensing, or other arrangements with a good, service, facility, privilege, advantage, or accommodation that is different or separate from that provided to other individuals, unless such action is necessary to provide the individual or class of individuals with a good, service, facility, privilege, advantage, or accommodation, or other opportunity that is as effective as that provided to others."
Thanks so much :)