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View Diary: Is It Legal to Limit Disability Accommodation to Those with Family and Friends? (132 comments)

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  •  no, it's not legal. (11+ / 0-)

    They can't insist on the type of relationship that exists between a disabled person and someone who accompanies them to provide whatever assistance may be needed.

    There may be some cases where an agency or company can insist that a disabled person have "an assistant" with them.

    These would be cases of the type where the individual's disabilities require hands-on support such that might carry a risk of legal liabilities for uninvolved persons such as employees of the company or agency.  For example assistance with life-saving medical equipment, management of emergency medication, intimate assistance in the bathroom, and so on.  

    But cases of those types are relatively rare.  And the assistant can be a friend, family member, nurse, or any other assistant such as a paid attendant or volunteer.  The agency or company can't insist that the disabled person's assistant be a friend or family member, or be a doctor or other health professional: they can't have any say in what the relationship is, because that would put them in the liability loop.  

    "Minus two votes for the Republican" equals "plus one vote for the Democrat." Arithmetic doesn't care about their feelings either!

    by G2geek on Thu Oct 11, 2012 at 12:13:37 AM PDT

    [ Parent ]

    •  I don't require an assistant, so... (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      ladybug53, kyril, Chacounne

      ...is Social Services saying that I will be denied accommodation unless I'm in that category of disability?

      Le nirvane n'existe pas. - Etienne Lamotte

      by breakingranks on Thu Oct 11, 2012 at 12:33:23 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  no, they're saying that they don't know what... (15+ / 0-)

        .... they're talking about.

        The law requires reasonable accommodation regardless of whether someone needs an assistant.

        An agency or company may assert that a disabled person needs an assistant, but that assertion has to be grounded in reality in some manner that will stand up in court if challenged.

        If an agency or company asserts that a disabled person needs an assistant, and their assertion is clearly ludicrous, the disabled person could bring legal pressure to bear, up to and including a lawsuit.  

        Example 1:

        Someone is going to fly on an airplane.  They're paralyzed below the neck, so they use an electric wheelchair with optical guidance (a system that tracks their eye movements), and they can't use the toilet alone.  The airline is required to provide reasonable accommodation such as a curtain that can be pulled across the area just outside of the airplane toilet, to provide privacy for the disabled person and their assistant while using the toilet with the toilet door open so the assistant can aid the disabled person as needed.  

        But the airline can also require that the disabled person have their assistant on the flight, because it is not a reasonable accommodation for the airline to have to order a flight attendant to provide that kind of intimate assistance to someone who is using the toilet.  

        Example 2:  

        Your case with the chair.  The reasonable accommodation is for the agency to direct one of its employees to bring you a chair.  There is no medical risk involved, there is no intimate assistance required: all they have to do is put the chair in the location that you request.

        The agency can't assert that you need an assistant in order for them to bring you the chair.  

        Example 3:

        Someone who is completely deaf needs to interact in-person with someone at a government agency.  The agency does not have an employee who is fluent in American Sign Language (ASL).  

        It is not a reasonable accommodation for the agency to have to hire an ASL interpreter on their staff for this purpose.  

        However it is a reasonable accommodation for the agency to provide the deaf person with a pad of paper and a pen or pencil, with which they can communicate in writing with the person they are visiting at the agency.  

        Further, the agency cannot assert that the deaf person needs to bring an ASL interpreter with them, because the reasonable accommodation of paper & pen/pencil will solve the need.

        However if the deaf person plans to fly on an airplane, the airline could reasonably ask them to bring their own paper and pen/pencil in order to communicate with the flight attendants.  This because pads of paper and extra pens & pencils are not typically kept onboard commercial airliners, aside from whatever supplies the pilot and copilot may have, which can reasonably be said are for their own use only.

        "Minus two votes for the Republican" equals "plus one vote for the Democrat." Arithmetic doesn't care about their feelings either!

        by G2geek on Thu Oct 11, 2012 at 01:01:18 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  And also means the agency cannot require (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          breakingranks, JanetT in MD

          someone with a hearing disability to phone in order to receive services or accommodation.

                      To be clear,
                       Heather

          Torture is ALWAYS wrong, no matter who is inflicting it on whom.

          by Chacounne on Thu Oct 11, 2012 at 05:10:31 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

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