SOURCE: Advocates for Individuals with Disabilities

Advocates for Individuals with Disabilities

July 29, 2016 16:41 ET

AID Foundation Experiences First-Hand Non Compliance Issues and Sets Example for Others With Wave of Compliance

AID Foundation Causes Landlord to Voluntarily Comply With 200 Valley Locations

PHOENIX, AZ--(Marketwired - July 29, 2016) - AID Foundation has experienced first-hand what many Arizona businesses have for 26 years; ADA non-compliance at the building they lease. After just a few months of operation, and having to share limited space with others, the AID Foundation has just completed the daunting task of moving into an existing commercial office facility outfitted for its own use. This move was necessary to meet the needs of the staff required in order to fulfill its lofty goals of bringing a rapid wave of ADA Compliance across the country.

Considering that over 97% of the business locations that AID Foundation surveyed were non-compliant, AID Foundation, like many others, were unable to find a suitable location that was already compliant. Despite the fact that AID Foundation is not a public accommodation and not subject to Title III of the ADA, AID Foundation sprang into action and immediately began working with their new landlord who not only committed to reengineer and rework the entire parking facility at AID Foundations location, but also committed to bring their approximately 200 other locations into compliance voluntarily as quickly as possible. AID Foundation and the property management staff have successfully been working together for several months on facilitating and managing these modifications with a completion date nearly 6 months out, due to the size of the company and their internal approval processes coupled with, design review, necessary permitting, contractor selection and scheduling.

Property managers, businesses and Chambers of Commerce across the Valley are now actively engaging in conversations about AID Foundations enforcement efforts. They are finally taking voluntary corrective actions in order to bring their parking facilities into compliance with the ADA laws.

"The fear of being sued has proven to be the most effective motivator to cause business owners to voluntarily comply with the ADA," said Jennifer Rogers, spokesperson for AID Foundation. "We have had several hundred cases where businesses have shown the same efforts as ours, working with their landlords, to comply. On a grand scale, we are actively working with businesses to not force compliance through legal action, but voluntarily. Our goal is, and always has been, compliance."

AID Foundation has sent over 42,000 pre-inspection courtesy letters to public accommodations in Maricopa County educating them on a few simple rules of ADA parking lot compliance. If the business is not compliant they may contact AID Foundation with notification of their intention toward compliance and this may delay or eliminate the need for legal action, just like the case with AID.org's own landlord. If the business or landlord does not show they are taking any action after they receive the AID Foundation notice, they are subject to an enforcement lawsuit.

Rogers adds, "We hope our story with our landlord shows others that business owners can take action to demand that their landlord abide by the law and make their parking lot ADA compliant. In AID Foundation's situation, the landlord was unaware of the ADA laws and didn't stop at correcting just one location, but voluntarily spread its compliance efforts to approximately 200 locations. We know it takes time, which is why we take the time to work with businesses who want to comply before they receive a lawsuit."

Although AID Foundation's methods are not popular among lawbreakers and their supporters, they are highly effective. As a direct result, after 26 years of failed methods, compliance is now starting to happen, voluntarily, in massive waves. In just a few months, the AID Foundation has rapidly turned a grotesquely non-compliant state into a state where businesses small and large are now talking about and rapidly working towards compliance. Arizona is now on its way to becoming one of the most ADA compliant states in the nation.

One of the reasons that no meaningful change had occurred before AID Foundation was created is because of the huge financial and organizational resources necessary to bring about wide spread compliance. AID.org's work would never have been possible without dedicated and devoted committed individuals providing the efforts and funding necessary to accomplish AID Foundations goals Jennifer Rogers further stated.

AID Foundation continues to use proceeds received from settlement agreements to fulfill charitable needs and grants for those who live with disabilities, as well as to spur and bring about further ADA compliance nationwide. Those with disabilities and their associates can request assistance and grants online at www.AID.org. Compliance, other useful information and videos are also available at www.AID.org. To schedule an interview with the AID Foundation, please email media@AID.org.

About Advocates for Individuals with Disabilities Foundation ("AID.org")

As Civil Rights Champions, AID.org was formed in January 2016 in order to improve the lives of individuals with disabilities through charitable gifts, opportunities and the removal of discriminatory barriers. By spearheading a rapid and widespread wave of compliance through educational and affirmative enforcement actions, AID.org not only rapidly brings non-compliant public accommodation into ADA compliance but also acts as a self-funding catalyst for rapid expansion in both ADA compliance and charitable grants for the benefit of individuals with disabilities.

The AID Foundation is a growing resource for any individual with a disability looking to receive help with various issues relating to their disability or compelling needs such as: wheelchair access, medical equipment, and much more. Advocates for Individuals with Disabilities Foundation aims to help improve the lives of 3 to 4 individuals with disabilities per day though charitable grants.

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Contact Information

  • Jennifer Rogers
    Advocates for Individuals with Disabilities Foundation
    (774) 768-2235
    jennifer@AID.org