Know your rights!

Access Living’s Legal Department fields scores of calls every week from people with disabilities who have questions about their civil rights. There are a number of laws that protect people with disabilities against discrimination and ensure that people with disabilities can receive reasonable accommodations in order to perform daily activities. The Legal Department staff at Access Living equip people with disabilities with knowledge about their rights so that people can advocate for themselves, and in some cases, the staff advocates on behalf of people with disabilities.

Recently, a woman who is blind contacted Kim Borowicz, Access Living’s Staff Attorney. The woman was denied transit services because she requested assistance getting from her front door to the bus, and onto the bus. After hearing from the woman, Kim researched the issue and soon learned that under the Americans with Disabilities Act a driver is required to help a person with a disability onto the vehicle from either the curb or the door.

Equipped with the information discovered by Kim, the woman called the transit agency and advocated for her right to receive assistance from her front door. As a result, she now receives door to door transit services. Congratulations to all involved.

Not every story ends in success, but this is just one example of the power of knowing your rights, and advocating on behalf of your rights.