Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Memphis Access Complaints

MCIL files four Americans with Disabilities Act Complaints

By Tim Wheat
Warton Law Firm front entrance
The Warton Law Firm front steps

Monday MCIL filed four federal ADA Complaints about access to local law firms in walking distance from the Center. At the 24th anniversary of the signing of the ADA Celebration MCIL held over the weekend, our community heard the Memphis Center for Independent Living Executive Director and board members defend our right to be part of the neighborhood.

“Speak up when you see a problem,” said Lynn Jackson on the MCIL board of directors. “Come to the Center if you need support and look to us to continue the fight.”

The Commercial Appeal was at the event and reported the response of three of the four businesses that MCIL named in the federal complaints. There are other local businesses that do not make even the most basic attempt at including our community however, MCIL made the complaints simply to support equal access for all members of our community.

The Warton Law Firm, less than a block from the MCIL office, responded to the Commercial Appeal that “we don’t discriminate against anyone in any fashion.” The photos in the MCIL complaint show a different story. There are steps at the front entrance and steps around back. Not only is there no way for someone with a disability to get in; but how would the Warton Law Firm know they do not discriminate if they never see our community?

Deidre Malone, the President of the Carter Malone Group recognized the problem; in her response to the Commercial Appeal she said: “We will make our building ADA accessible.”
The Carter Malone office entrance
The Carter Malone office entrance

“As someone who has been discriminated against in the past,” said Deidre Malone to the Commercial Appeal, “that is the last thing I would ever want to do is discriminate against anyone who is disabled. We will make every effort to remedy that as soon as possible.”

MCIL hopes to be able to celebrate changes in our neighborhood as well as around the nation next year for the 25th Anniversary of the ADA. It all starts with you and speaking up when you see discrimination.