January 30th Austin City Council amended the single family building code to include Visitability standards. Starting in July 2015 ALL new single family and duplex homes will have to have:
- a no step entrance (back, side, front or garage door);
- an accessible path through the first floor;
- a 32 inch clear bathroom or half bath on the the first floor and
- light switches, electric outlets and other environmental controls between 48″ and 15″ (the same as in public buildings and newer apartments.)
In 1998 Austin passed similar requirements for single family homes that were built with city assistance. Since then over 7,500 visitable homes have been built and only 10 waivers were needed. With such a successful track record, ADAPT, the Austin Mayor’s Committee and other disability groups felt it was time for the next phase. Many of the affordable housing developers also supported this effort. We are proud that Austin has taken this important stride toward integration and inclusion, and we are elated that persistence has paid off. We want to acknowledge and thank Eleanor Smith and Concrete Change for their leadership in the Visitability movement.
Khira Patel, a 13 year old entrepreneur, has launched a website Cookies for A Cause, which sells cookies and 50% of the proceeds go to ADAPT of Texas. We met Khira and several of her classmates when they were working on a website competition. Their topic was ADA Legacy and they interviewed many ADAPT folks and other disability rights leaders. We were impressed by their questions and delighted when their team won 2nd place in this international competition. Now they are helping us with some other outreach and history projects. So buy the cookies and keep your eye out for other exciting new developments.
Austin, TX, December 5, 2013. Personal Attendant Coalition of Texas (PACT) and ADAPT of Texas combined forces to send a message to Angel HealthCare to “Stop the Bullying” of attendants as well as the elderly and disabled clients they assist. Angel HealthCare threatens clients, including those on Medicaid, and attendants with a $5000 fine if they leave the agency within a year of each other. Twenty ADAPT/PACT members rolled into the offices carrying signs reading “You Don’t Own Me”, “Medicaid Doesn’t Allow Me to HAVE $5,000″, “Shame on Angel”, “Angel or Devil” and similar messages. The group demanded a meeting with Mollie Francis, Executive Director of Angel HealthCare in order to convince her to drop Angel’s onerous policy of fining people $5000 or any amount. “Ms. Francis became angry and went back into her office.” said Danny Saenz. “But the co-owner and Chief Financial Officer, C.B. Francis came out and willingly discussed the issue and agreed to end the discriminatory policy.” He agreed that the policy was indeed unfair and signed an agreement saying that Angel HealthCare will discontinue using this part of the contract.
This is a big win for consumers and attendants that use Angel HealthCare as their home care agency. We also hope this sends a message to other home care agencies that this form of intimidation of clients and attendants will not be tolerated.
– Cathy Cranston
The first two in a series of disability rights posters are now available! Perfect for holidays gifts and New Year’s inspiration. Order yours now. Order form is on the Support Us page
Display your pride in decades of activism with the first two releases in ADAPT’s “Rights Worth Fighting For” original poster series. Make a statement in your home or office and help sustain ADAPT’s powerful nationwide grassroots advocacy for all Americans with disabilities. Each 18″X 24″ poster is only $10, shipping included. Order 11 or more posters for a 10% discount.
ADAPT of Texas has just won a Best of Austin 2012 Award from the Austin Chronicle. Named Best Champions for Equal Access in their Crictic’s Picks the Chronicle says:
ADAPT has been championing the rights of disabled folks for decades. Over the last few years, our local branch of these awesome activists launched lawsuits across Texas to expand access to public places for folks with disabilities. Lots of local faves – including bars on Sixth Street, legendary restaurants – and the Domain shopping center, are on that list. Let’s get rolling, folks!
Hey, isn’t it time you got with a winner!?! Come join us and advocate for life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Access is a Civil Right! We Will Ride! Free Our People! Our Homes, Not Nursing Homes!
We have links to 2 new great videos, one on ADAPT and Freeing Our People
and one on the PACT and attendant issues.
Links are on the About Us page. (And they are captioned too)
Do you know someone who wants to get out of a nursing home? Texas is one of 17 states to get a federal Money Follows the Person grant to help people move out of nursing homes and other institutions. Call ADAPT for more information 512-442-0252.
The Americans with Disabilities Act, ADA is more than two decades old. A lot has improved, but not everything. Know of a business that needs access improvements? Contact David Wittie or Nicky Boyte 442-0252. Do you have curb cut or other community accessibility issues? Contact Jennifer McPhail 442-0252. AND come to the Tuesday Access Club (Tuesdays at 12:30 at the ADAPT office) to get involved.
We won Best Champions for Equal Access 2012!
Access to mainline Capital Metro buses and bus stops is another issue Austin ADAPT is working on, Contact David Wittie 442-0252. Austin Cab,Yellow Cab and Lone Star Cabs provide wheelchair accessible taxi service in Austin. Having problems getting rides on those accessible taxi cabs? You can report it to the city of Austin 974-1554. And let us know too -David is collecting this information.
Are you interested in basic access in newly built single family housing? Contact Jennifer McPhail 442-0252. We need your help! Also we’re working for housing that is REALLY affordable to people on a disability income.
Looking for an affordable, accessible apartment? Contact Jennifer McPhail 442-0252. We are working to keep a partial list of places with vacancies, and ways to get access modifications.