Wednesday, April 5, 2017

NEWS - Dec. 10, 2018

Judge Allows ADA Lawsuit Against Lyft to Proceed

A federal judge in suburban White Plains, NY, has denied Lyft's motion to dismiss a class action lawsuit that alleges denial of service in Westchester County, just north of New York City. Harriet Lowell and Westchester Disabled on the Move, Inc. (WDOMI), which operates as an independent living center for individuals with disabilities, are the named plaintiffs. The plaintiffs allege that Lyft has "Lyft "pervasively and systematically" excludes people with mobility disabilities from its convenient transportation services" by not making available wheelchair accessible vehicles.

The denial of the motion to dismiss means that the class action lawsuit will proceed. The suit is still in the pretrial phase of discovery and motions, with lots of time for the parties to craft a settlement agreement before they decide whether to go to trial.

Remembering President George Herbert Walker Bush - He didn't just sign the ADA, he pushed for it

President George H.W. Bush was, at first, an unlikely ally of activists advocating and protesting for a civil rights law for people with disabilities. He was an establishment, pro-business Republican who worked for fewer government requirements, not more, but he also believed in the role of civil rights to guarantee equality of opportunity for all Americans. President Bush's journey to become a leader for the rights of people with disabilities began when he was tasked as vice president for President Reagan with cutting regulation related to the limited federal protections for people with disabilities. People who were to be affected by the retrenchment of disability protections spoke out and then Vice President Bush listened. He also listened to those of his friends in political life who either had a disability or who had a close family member with a disability.

When George Bush was elected president, his staff was divided on legislation for people with disabilities due to potential costs; Republicans and Democrats were divided as well over language about requirements for businesses. Neither side allowed the perfect to be the enemy of the good. The ADA represented the wisdom of bipartisan compromise and it sent a signal to all Americans that erased the stigma of being a person with a disability and that enshrined the idea that people with disabilities are entitled to equal access to opportunities available to their fellow citizens.

Watch a 20-minute video of the signing ceremony, which shows President Bush giving credit to others in the Administration who worked hard to craft and to pass the ADA, to the coalition of activists who pushed for it, and to Congress. He recognized the historic and leading nature of the legislation, which he considered to be a necessary guarantor of civil rights to all Americans who have disabilities. An in-depth exploration of the history of the ADA from the Social Welfare History Project demonstrates how difficult it was to find language that would garner bipartisan agreement and the political implications of that agreement for the President.


The mission of the Transit Planning 4 All project, sponsored by the Administration for Community Living, is to demonstrate the value that inclusive processes can bring to community transportation efforts. For publications and information that demonstrate the range and possibilities of inclusive planning projects, visit the Resources page of this website.