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Old 08-05-2012, 03:20 AM
 
172 posts, read 315,318 times
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Every month when you get the City Of Austin utilities bill on the front page before the payment stub a bold face lie appears "The City Of Austin is Complying with the Americans With Disabilities Act" in small print. I also have CPS Energy in San Antonio which doesn't state that. If you are from out of town, or state does your electric bill issue such a false or misleading statement? Have you complained to city officials to have them delete or reword such statement?
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Old 08-05-2012, 07:21 PM
 
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I'm curious- what makes the statement false? Not doubting you, just want to know. I know the city has been sued in the past for accessability issues. For ex, 10 years ago a disabled lawyer friend of mine couldn't even get into the courthouse to try his case
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Old 08-05-2012, 08:04 PM
 
Location: Central Texas
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Ten years ago? And he couldn't get into the courthouse? They used to have elevators back when I was working for a law firm about 20 years ago.
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Old 08-05-2012, 09:02 PM
 
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well, maybe more than that and it was some issue with getting up some steps - he couldn't even get into the area where the elevators were. can't recall which courthouse
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Old 08-05-2012, 09:05 PM
 
172 posts, read 315,318 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by clarksvillemom View Post
I'm curious- what makes the statement false? Not doubting you, just want to know. I know the city has been sued in the past for accessability issues. For ex, 10 years ago a disabled lawyer friend of mine couldn't even get into the courthouse to try his case
My apartment complex, and street is not up to ADA standards, second they are the only utility that I know that makes such statement.

Dr. Ron Paul said he couldn't tell his patients they had a touch of pregnancy, they either are pregnant or not.
So are they complaint? NO.

If they were to reword the statement to "The City Of Austin is making efforts to comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act" That would not be false or misleading.

Maybe they think they can get away with a bold face lie.

And plus it is in small print, that is just like expecting someone with cataracts to read the legal disclaimer on a credit card application, in paper form without a magnifier.
To me, that is just them sticking a middle finger in my face.
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Old 08-05-2012, 09:16 PM
 
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I guess I'm a bit confused on your allegation as well... What does the city have to do with your apartment? Is it public domain?

And how is a street not ADA standard?
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Old 08-05-2012, 09:52 PM
 
Location: Central Texas
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Yeah, I'm confused about that, as well. The City of Austin has no responsibility for private individuals or businesses complying with ADA, as far as I know, and streets are, well, streets.
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Old 08-05-2012, 09:54 PM
 
7,416 posts, read 13,065,114 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LongLiveCassettes View Post
Every month when you get the City Of Austin utilities bill on the front page before the payment stub a bold face lie appears "The City Of Austin is Complying with the Americans With Disabilities Act" in small print. I also have CPS Energy in San Antonio which doesn't state that. If you are from out of town, or state does your electric bill issue such a false or misleading statement? Have you complained to city officials to have them delete or reword such statement?
Maybe it means they are complying with the ADA with regards to the bill you are receiving. For example if you have a disability they can send you a large type bill. Or if you are blind you can receive and audio bill.
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Old 08-06-2012, 12:45 PM
 
Location: Austin, TX
16,791 posts, read 44,862,406 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LongLiveCassettes View Post
If they were to reword the statement to "The City Of Austin is making efforts to comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act" That would not be false or misleading. Maybe they think they can get away with a bold face lie.
I don't think there is anything at all false or misleading about that statement. "The City Of Austin is Complying with the Americans With Disabilities Act". Compliance is an on going act. The City has made many improvements and is in full compliance in most of its facilities. The City put that statement on the bills because they want citizens with disabilities to know that they care about those concerns and are prepared to respond to them. This was all explained to you in your telephone conversation with Dolores Gonzales the City ADA Coordinator. You referenced your YouTube recording of that conversation in another thread. In the video and that thread you repeatedly call Ms. Gongalez a liar. She explained to you over and over again that compliance is an ongoing process and was very patient and polite when doing so. Dolores Gonzalez is herself a person with a mobility impairment and is highly respected in the community of people with disabilities as a leader in the effort to bring the City into compliance. She deserves better then this rudeness and disrespect.

Quote:
Originally Posted by LongLiveCassettes View Post
My apartment complex, and street is not up to ADA standards,
Didn't you have some responsibility to verify that your apartment complex was reasonably accessible before you moved into it. It is not the Cities responsibility to make your apartment complex accessible, that is responsibility of the private property owner and the state which reviews private construction for compliance. If you have a complaint with a private property owner you should file it with the state. Contact Information for the Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation

The City has had an ongoing sidewalk improvement project underway for years, they have been targeting the parts of town identified by a committee of people with disabilities, to prioritize making improvements in the areas where they are most needed first. They have been doing this for years and have made tremendous progress. I have noticed that many of the areas you have complained about there being a lack of sidewalk accessibility is in State Highway right-of-way. It is not the Cities responsibility to fix those areas, it is the responsibility of the State. You should be complaining to the State Highway Department. Good luck with that, they probably don't even have an ADA Coordinator.

Quote:
second they are the only utility that I know that makes such statement.
How many utilities have you sampled? Two, three? And how many of them are owned by a municipality like the City of Austin, darn few I'm sure. Regardless, why should anyone object? The City wants it citizens to know that it is aware and concerned about accessibility issues. That seems like a good thing to me.

Quote:
And plus it is in small print, that is just like expecting someone with cataracts to read the legal disclaimer on a credit card application, in paper form without a magnifier.
To me, that is just them sticking a middle finger in my face.
There are many degrees of vision impairment, the City can't fix that even with large type. Should the City not put anything in print because some people can't see or read? I'm sure if you asked them for a large print copy or braille copy of your bill they would be happy to provide it to you.
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Old 08-06-2012, 01:16 PM
 
Location: Austin, TX
8,945 posts, read 17,745,429 times
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Assuming your apartment complex is in the city of Austin, you may want to call the code compliance office of the city. They've just hired some new inspectors, and are hiring more, and their focus is code issues with multifamily properties. If your complex is doing any remodeling or repairs and trying to obtain permits, the city may be able to step in and make sure they bring things up to code. That may include ADA compliance.

Worth a try.

As for the statement on the bill, I'm not sure it's false. If they had said, "The city of Austin is fully compliant with the Americans with Disabilities act", then it would be false. As it is now, their statement could just mean they are attempting to or in some instances comply with the ADA. Whether it's misleading or not would depend on what typical compliance other cities have... if the city of Austin is equal to or better than the average compliance, then it wouldn't be misleading.

Buy ultimately, it is a vanity statement IMO. If you believe they are not living up to such a statement (ie, behind other cities in this regard), then go ahead and email a city council member. They run the utility, and actually they are quite responsive to these sorts of things. I'd suggest emailing Chris Riley, Kathy Tovo, or Laura Morrison.
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