Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Apparently Canton First Mondays Is Violating The Americans With Disabilities Act In Texas

A Pair of Motorized Scooters Scooting Around Canton First Mondays
A couple days ago I got a feedback comment from Gary M. from my Eyes on Texas webpage about Canton First Mondays.

After I moved to Texas, Canton's First Mondays was the first thing I experienced of a particular genre that was better, in this case much better, than I'd experienced anywhere else.

Since then there have been a time or two where I've thought the same thing. Fort Worth's Main Street Arts Festival comes to mind.

Canton's First Mondays may be an incredibly special event, but something about it bothered Gary, rightfully so. Below is Gary's initial email, then my short response, followed by Gary's response to my short response.

Hi, you guys have a great page set up, places I have never thought about. I would like to bring something to your attention about Old Mill and The Mountain in 'Canton Texas'.  Although First Mondays rents scooters, there are places where they are not allowed, Old Mill itself has a sign saying Foot Traffic Only! As does The Mountain. This has been a huge concern for the ADA and the disabled / handicapped community. There are no signs saying no scooters allowed, just foot traffic only signs. Last month a disabled 14 year girl with her scooter and her parents were removed and the police called, apparently Canton's police are not familiar with the laws that protect the disabled and handicapped. I can just picture how dramatic this was for that child. A few months before that there was another incident involving their supposed security guard and a senior man on his mobility scooter, carrying a blue disabled plaque, who was repeatedly told "His kind wasn't welcome". I have heard this type of complaint before, but I think this one regarding the child stepped over the line. This is not a place I want to take my family. And I feel anyone involved with the ADA (Americans With Disabilities Act) should be warned as the man said "Your kind wasn't welcome here." Thanks for your time and I hope you can give a heads up here. 

To which I shortly responded with...

Thanks for the info. That is disturbing. I can see not allowing those scooter carts that people rent into some locations, but to deny wheelchair type access. Isn't that against the law? And what an idiotic security guard. He needs to be either educated or fired. I will likely blog about this.

To which Gary responded with....

Thanks for the Quick Replay. The scooters are "disability equipment" recognized by the Government and State of Texas, just like a wheelchair. They are just like someone's legs, as a seeing eye dog is like some people's eyes. "This is the law in the state of Texas". Of course anyone can rent one. But these people own theirs. There are a lot more handicaps than not being able to walk or get around. "Heart Problems, Mental, Balance Problems, Lung Problems being short of breath, etc.." The older man the security guard jumped on and screamed at used his state approved scooter because of heart problems and did have a handicapped plaque just like using it at Walmart. He didn't obey the so called security guard because he wasn't wearing a security guard uniform, which is required by law, and had no idea what the law was and hinted he had a gun, plus other vulgar remarks and getting in front of him slamming the brakes on in his golf cart. This was all witnessed, not hearsay. Thank you for your time and I hope this broadens the scope of things a bit. Any help will be appreciated. Thanks, Gary 

Well,  I don't know how much help blogging about this will do, but I think it is clearly obvious that Canton's First Mondays needs to have a bit of an institutional attitude adjustment. I can not imagine saying to a disabled person that their kind is not welcome here. Or harassing a 14 year old girl in a scooter wheelchair. Methinks these harassments are criminal acts and a lawyer could have him or herself a field day doing some suing...

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