Dear Independent Political Report,
I wanted to let you know about the latest actions of the Disability Party.
Thank you for your coverage of smaller and newer parties.
Andrew Straw, Esq.
Indiana & Illinois Chair
USA & International Chair
PR: Disability Party Leader Andrew Straw on Parking Lots and Access
September 11, 2013
Attorney Andrew Straw, leader of the Disability Party, today announced actions for access. September is National Spinal Cord Injury Awareness Month and these actions will make businesses and governments more accessible.
“The Disability Party exists to increase access and opportunity for disabled people,” Straw said. ”In the course of just 2 weeks, I have found my small Village of Streamwood is filled with businesses that have no handicap parking or access.”
“Driving around with my handicap parking placard, I discovered the local Chamber of Commerce has no handicap parking,” Straw said. ”Further, an elementary school, an employment agency, a dentist, a 24-hour fitness center, and a grocery store have no handicap parking. I have promised to sue them if they do not provide lawful access.”
“The Chamber president told me it didn’t matter that their 60-space parking lot had no handicap spots because it is hardly ever full,” Straw said. ”A national disabled veterans organization told me being ‘full’ is irrelevant, and that businesses need to follow the law.”
“The U.S. Treasury is investigating disability discrimination in lending by the Illinois Advantage Participation Loan Program,” Straw said. ”This is a loan program for disabled people. When the state official in charge interrogated me regarding my disabilities and treatments and evaluated how disabled I ‘seem,’ everything is backwards.”
“Indiana’s Secretary of State is being investigated by the U.S. Department of Justice for disability discrimination in elections,” Straw said. ”We want veteran amputees overseas to be able to sign ballot access petitions online and have a voice in who gets on the ballot back home. We need vote-by-mail everywhere to increase access. We want forms to be accessible to vision-impaired citizens.”
“When the Indiana Democratic Party keeps its South Bend headquarters and parking lot inaccessible for 19 years and thumbs its nose at responsibility, we know there is work to do,” Straw said. ”Parking lots and entrances still violate the law after 23 years of Americans with Disabilities Act. This shows a lawlessness we hope the Indiana Civil Rights Commission will remedy.”
“All three branches of government must become disability-friendly,” Straw said. ”Elections need to be 100% accessible, and the judicial branch needs many more disabled judges and lawyers to protect our rights.”
Straw is conducting a study of all 50 state supreme courts’ admission and discipline rules to determine levels of discrimination against lawyers due to disability. He also wants disability access officers at the state supreme court level in all states.
Straw has asked all 50 state chief election officials “50 questions for 50 states” on election procedures. ”Disability rights are everyone’s rights,” Straw said. ”If every state adopted vote-by-mail to comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act, over 50 million more people would vote in 2016. With online candidate petitions, voters would have more access and choices. In our democracy, disability rights are essential.”
Straw wants passports to have encoded information regarding protection orders. Police in all countries can use this information to protect domestic violence victims across borders. Disabled people are much more likely to be victims of domestic violence than others. Straw’s 2001 proposal for a USA-wide database of protection orders at the FBI was recognized as one of the top 8 e-government ideas in the United States by the Kennedy School of Government and the Council for Excellence in Government in Washington, D.C.