SOURCE: Advocates for Individuals with Disabilities

Advocates for Individuals with Disabilities

November 02, 2016 10:42 ET

AID.org Offers a United Front for Individuals with Disabilities Who Have Experienced Discrimination When Others Can't

Those Who Have Experienced Handicap Parking Discrimination Now Have a Resource That Will Fight and Take the Hits for Them

PHOENIX, AZ--(Marketwired - November 02, 2016) - Advocates for Individuals with Disabilities - Foundation ("AID.org") informs all individuals with disabilities who have experienced civil rights discrimination by businesses that violate the ADA in their parking lot that AID.org, at their expense and risk, will take on the fight for them. Just complete the simple form located at www.aid.org/membership-report-violation.html.

AID has made a public commitment to assist those within Arizona that have experienced unequal access to parking lots at public accommodations by offering to keep them out of the public eye while pushing violating businesses to become compliant through litigation.

National and State lawmakers were aware of the potential for retaliation by discriminatory businesses against individuals with disabilities that made a claim for violating their civil rights. Both took action to prevent the type of retaliation experienced by civil rights activists of the past and created measures to safeguard those willing to step up and fight discrimination. The Federal ADA and Arizona's state counterpart to the ADA, the AzDA, have rules and provisions to protect against intimidation, harassment and retaliation for those that file lawsuits for ADA violations (42 US.C. § 12203 ). The Federal statutes are intended to ensure the protected class of individuals with disabilities do not have to worry about the financial risks of litigation against violators and was designed in a manner to encourage and or allow for the filing of a large number of suits to speed up compliance. The State statutes are intended to take the Federal statutes further and prevent intimidation and retaliation against individuals with disabilities out of the courts as well.

"Despite the state and federal statutes; the courts, media and businesses aren't complying and are willfully continuing to discriminate against individuals with disabilities," said Alex Callan, AID's de facto representative, "They've all taken action to harass, attack, defame and intimidate individuals with disabilities and other AID members who are fighting for equal access in the Valley, all while protecting businesses that are willfully violating the law."

AID says its members have received death threats, bigoted emails and phone calls, personal confrontations, denial of access, intimidation and even eviction from their residence as a result of unethical reporting about AID's cause and their involvement. As a result of this, some of AID's members have been pushed back into the shadows to avoid retaliation from discriminatory businesses, vicious media and their associates; which is "…further delaying Arizona's compliance progress and is the primary reason that Arizona remains 95% ADA non-compliant with the 26-year old ADA " stated Mr. Callan.

"We understand why other pro-ADA organizations are scared to take real action against violating businesses after our first hand experiences. Many, unfortunately, rely on donors and cannot survive without donations from businesses that may in fact be in violation; so they turn a blind-eye and don't take action against violators because they'd lose donations," stated Mr. Callan, "They condemn us publicly to retain their donors and praise us privately for the progress we're making. Fortunately, AID doesn't need to seek out donors so there are no conflicts of interest in its mission."

AID says it has cured two major problems others experience when they attempting to enforce the ADA and AzDa; it doesn't require funding from multiple donors and it can choose to keep most of its members private to protect them from retaliation. AID has asked that anyone who has been a victim of discrimination from a business with a parking lot granting unequal access to individuals with disabilities contact them so AID can assist them in filing a case.

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 will 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 civil rights activist at www.aid.org/membership-report-violation.html.

AID's Attorneys available for comment:

Dennis Wilenchik (602) 606-2810

Peter Strojnik (602) 524-6602

About Advocates for Individuals with Disabilities - Foundation

Advocates for Individuals with Disabilities - Foundation, a 501c3 nonprofit company was formed in January 2016 as Civil Rights Champions in order to improve 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.

Contact Information

  • AID.org Foundation Public Relations
    Advocates for Individuals with Disabilities Foundation
    media@AID.org