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AID.org - Fighting Against Disability Discrimination


  • Published: 2016-06-21 : Author: Advocates for Individuals with Disabilities - Foundation : Contact: AID.org
  • Synopsis: Advocates for Individuals with Disabilities (AID.org) outlines new business model in hopes to make permanent changes in ADA compliance.

AID.org's Mission to Begin the Decade's Largest Fight Against Discrimination.

Advocates for Individuals with Disabilities (AID.org) outlines new business model in hopes to make permanent changes in ADA compliance

AID Foundation is working towards a goal of 100% complete ADA compliance, starting in Arizona and making their way across the country in an effort to put an end to discrimination against those with disabilities entering local public accommodations.

The founders of AID.org were not born with disabilities, but today, they live with disabilities. These disabilities coupled with the constant discrimination they faced, started the conversations that ultimately led to the creation of the Advocates for Individuals with Disabilities Foundation, a non-profit organization also known as AID Foundation and AID.org. The goal of AID.org is to better the lives of millions of individuals with disabilities though charitable giving, education and ADA compliance.

An AID founder recently learned about life with a disability after a tragic accident in which he lost his wife and son. He survived along with his two other children, but their lives would obviously never be the same again. The extremely long and painful rehabilitation eventually allowed him to talk and even walk again, but there are many scars, wounds, disabilities and constant pain which still makes life different, not worse, just different. Life thrust him and his family, friends and caregivers into a new world, opening their eyes to the injustices, the unwanted stares, the pity looks, the rejection and ultimately the blatant discrimination that comes with living with a disability, even when those disabilities are not always visually apparent.

AID's founders knew they weren't alone. They were and are grateful for the lives, abilities and resources they had and agreed they would use those resources to make the world a better place for individuals with disabilities. They want the world to see what they saw and experienced and to change it for the better.

Passion for ADA Compliance

AID.org found barriers. Everywhere, barriers that should have been removed in 1990 when the Americans with Disabilities Act was made federal law.

The founders questioned why these laws, human laws, were not taken seriously. The only apparent answer was that no one was enforcing them. The common public perception with business is "No one else is complying with the ADA, so why should I?" ADA compliance means spending the time learning the laws, effort to become compliant and money to do it right. Those are all reasons and excuses the AID.org team has heard repeatedly about why businesses are still not following the law.

Like any new entity or venture, there is always a learning curve with mistakes and lessons learned along the process. And even AID.org had room to grow and learn more about the community they so wish to serve.

One mistake AID.org made early on was choosing the first name, "Advocates for American Disabled Individuals". AID.org said, "This mistake came about because we were personally thrust into life with disabilities and did not have a grasp on what terminology was offensive and what was appropriate." AID.org was just like the rest of the general public and had been blind to all of the issues that individuals with disabilities can face on a daily basis. In an effort to jump in with both feet, a mistake was made.

Once the foundation discovered their mistake, they quickly changed the name to "Advocates for Individuals with Disabilities" putting the person first, and also not allowing their name to portray discrimination against helping non-Americans. This issue was brought to AID.org's attention by a man who lives with disabilities, David Ritzenthaler. Dave explained, "The person should be first because a person isn't defined by their disability -- we are people before anything else, regardless of what we are each overcoming."

Stay Passionate, While Keeping Compassion

Admittedly, AID.org is extremely passionate about public accommodations (businesses) being in compliance after more than a quarter of a century. They have found, through surveying thousands of parking lots, 97% of the parking lots of public accommodations are not in compliance with the ADA. AID Foundation's spokesperson says, "These barriers are defiant discrimination of US citizens' civil rights, there is no other way to look at it."

AID.org reports that these simple exterior parking issues are, more times than not, symptomatic of rampant non-compliance inside the associated buildings. If the parking lot is non-compliant (in violation of Federal and State Law) then it is highly likely the building's interior is even more egregious in breaking Federal and State ADA and AzDA Laws.

AID.org says," Unfortunately, despite the fact that public notice has been given for over 26 years, most public accommodations still won't own responsibility for their violation of individual's civil rights."

It has been suggested that AID.org should just educate business owners in the hopes that once the violations are noted they might voluntarily comply with the ADA and stop breaking the law without the threat of being sued and held accountable. But AID.org argues that laws don't work that way.

A spokesperson says, "Don't we wish all laws worked this way? That if I speed in my car breaking the posted speed limit, it's the police officer's duty to pull me over, tell me to slow down and not give me a ticket. If everyone knew a police officer would only pull you over and never give you a ticket for anything; then why obey any traffic law? We're not talking about simply violating traffic laws, we are talking about violating individuals with disabilities' rights to able to access a public place, we are talking about outright discrimination. Immediate, massive and widespread action must be taken."

AID.org's goal is to quickly cause compliance at 100% of the public accommodations across the country. Despite this lofty and daunting task, they are determined to aggressively attack the issue as no one has in the past.

AID.org says, "No one in history has had the guts, resources and fortitude to take it on, knowing that nearly every public accommodation business owner in the county opposes this mission. That these business owners will try to attack and fight them for forcing them to stop breaking the law. Law breakers can be very vindictive, and try to point fingers, make excuses and cast the blame elsewhere; we know from experience."

How Does AID.org Plan to Conquer the Non-Compliance Issue On Such a Wide Scale?

Below is the actual outline of how AID.org plans to bring about a rapid and wide spread wave of ADA Compliance after 26 years:

Civil Rights Champions

AID.org knows they will make waves, and ends with this message, "We have seen businesses being portrayed as the victims and advocates for individuals with disabilities labeled as the 'bad guys' for enforcing the quarter century old law which was put in place to protect individuals with disabilities from being discriminated against. Activists, Advocates and Committed Individuals associated with this cause have repeatedly been intimidated, pressured, threatened and bashed by the press (funded by violating businesses) in order to cause activist and advocates to discontinue fighting this civil rights battle. Law breaking businesses don't have to 'waste' even a few hundred dollars to grant equal access to all individuals, regardless of their disability if they don't have to. The issue isn't business being sued; the issue is businesses being upset about being caught and forced to quit breaking a 26-year-old law. EVERYONE knows about the ADA requirements, but very few care."

As Civil Rights Champions, AID.org was formed in January 2016 in order to improve the lives of individuals with disabilities through charitable gifts, opportunities and the removal of discriminatory barriers. By spearheading a rapid and widespread wave of compliance through educational and affirmative enforcement actions, AID.org not only rapidly brings not-compliant public accommodation into ADA compliance but also acts as a self-funding catalyst for the charitable AID Foundation.

The AID Foundation is a growing resource for any individual with a disability looking to receive help with various issues relating to their disability or compelling needs such as: wheelchair access, medical equipment, and much more. Advocates for Individuals with Disabilities - Foundation aims to help improve the lives of 3 to 4 individuals with disabilities per day.

If you agree with AID.org's mission, go to their website www.aid.org and look at how to get involved. They encourage anyone who has not read the law, to check it out at www.ada.gov

AID.org wants to help others. Those with disabilities can make their requests online at www.aid.org

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