Friday, June 19, 2009

Friday round-up

From the Peoria Journal-Star in Peoria, Illinois (June 18, 2009) - The father of a severely autistic man has sued the city and three police officers for tasing his son 12 times when they arrested him last December after a disturbance at a Parc group home.

From the Associated Press (June 17, 2009) - The American Medical Association has taken action to support a doctor's ability to discuss obesity with an overweight patient. Under a new policy adopted Tuesday, the AMA formally opposes efforts by advocacy groups to define obesity as a disability. Doctors fear using that definition makes them vulnerable under disability laws to lawsuits from obese patients who don't want their doctors to discuss their weight.

From the Daily News in Queens, New York (June 17, 20090 - The mishandling of greencard applications for the family of a teen girl with disabilities may cause the family to separate. Following a paperwork snafu, 15-year-old Hayoung Lee, her mother and her sister face deportation to South Korea, leaving her father and 5-year-old brother alone in the US. The family faced its first hearing Monday in immigration court. The next step is a legal conference at the end of next month.

From KABC-TV in Los Angeles, California (June 16, 2009) - An investigation by ABC7 News of the LA County Metropolitan Transit Authority (MTA) and its treatment of bus passengers with disabilities has uncovered has widespread disregard for disabled riders. "Undercover video showed broken equipment and drivers who say they're untrained - or too busy - to help wheelchair riders get secured on the bus as required by federal law."

From AP/KPAX in Helena, Montana (June 16, 2009) - A Missoula woman, who was unable to find a physician willing to prescribe drugs that would hasten her death, has died of ovarian cancer. Janet Murdock died Sunday at age 67. Her death was announced Tuesday by the Denver-based patients' rights group Compassion & Choices. The group was a plaintiff in a lawsuit that led to a judge's ruling that physician-assisted suicide is a right protected under the Montana Constitution.

From Chicago Town Daily News, Chicago, Illinois (June 16, 2009) - A Chicago Public Schools principal yesterday accused district officials of routinely denying disabled students access to specialized help, and at times, of barring them from evaluation for learning disabilities. Mary Ann Pollett, principal of Moses Montefiore Special Elementary School, testified before the City Council's Committee on Education and Child Development that officials have discouraged teachers at her school from reporting students' disabilities because it is too expensive to deal with them.

From the Los Angeles Times (June 16, 2009) - Marcella M. Meyer, a prominent deaf advocate who helped found the Greater Los Angeles Agency on Deafness and ran it for almost three decades, has died. She was 84. Ms Meyer, who was deaf since contracting scarlet fever at the age of 6, fought to expand civil rights and establish social services for people with impaired hearing. She pushed for TV closed-captioning in the 1970s, and was instrumental in opening up jury service in Los Angeles County to the deaf and hard of hearing in 1981. (h/t Patricia E Bauer)

From the Minneapolis-St. Paul Star-Tribune in Minneapolis, Minnesota (June 15, 2009) -
Ariel Wade, who uses an electric mobility scooter to get around, is charging a White Castle restaurant with discrimination after she was turned away when she attempted to use the drive-through window. The Minnesota Disability Law Center is weighing whether to take her case. The restaurant chain says it limits the drive-in window to licensed motor vehicles in the interest of customer safety.

From the News Tribune, Benton County, Washington (June 14, 2009) - A deaf man who was jailed in Benton County in late 2005 and early 2006 is suing the county for allegedly failing to accommodate his needs under provisions of the federal Americans with Disabilities Act. William 30-year-old Michael Kral says the county did not provide an interpreter during several court hearings, and that corrections officers refused to allow him to use a phone designed for deaf people and cut his calls short when he did use the teletypewriter, or TTY phone. The lawsuit also alleges that jail personnel wouldn't turn on the jail television's caption for the man.