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Thread: Researching a paper on the ADA and Law Enforcement

  1. #11
    i have worked for the criminal justice system in the past and those who have a T.B.I. with cognitive effects are often falling through the cracks. some people w/cognitive effects from a TBI can seem normal if you talk to them but if you talk to them at length you can pick up that something may be wrong.





    the ADA is a set of laws enforced by the DOJ but there is no one agency to police violations and with regards to parking spaces it regulates the size of space / unload space and the number of accessible spaces required.

    if one breaks a criminal law then the police are there to arrest and initially charge them and the State Attny / DA will formally charge them and prosecute the case.

    when there is a violation of the ADA the DOJ only gets involved after a lawyer has filed a case alleging violations.


    jmo but most ADA violations are not addressed because the small business owner doesnt have anyone to turn to for guidance on an Accessibility Survey?

    there is nothing to determine ones knowledge of ADA Law for the purpose of training and qualifying people to preform Accessibility Surveys and what reassurance do business owners have that the suggested modifications are compliant with the ADA or that all violations were identified in the Accessibility Survey so most changes come after the DOJ gets involved.

  2. #12
    Senior Member ~Lin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rick c5 c6 quad View Post
    if one breaks a criminal law then the police are there to arrest and initially charge them and the State Attny / DA will formally charge them and prosecute the case.
    Thats the difference between criminal and civil law.
    Board Member of Assistance Dog Advocacy Project working in Education. Feel free to ask me any service dog questions!

    I am not paralyzed. I have a genetic connective tissue disorder with neuro complications and a movement disorder.

  3. #13
    Quote Originally Posted by Liz321 View Post
    The NYPD has a woman(with a disability) that works specifically with training officers @ dealing with issues of disability (I soo want her job). I'll try and look for her contact or you may want to google in the process

    This comment makes my point too - that officers need training in actual disabilities. In my professional education I studied various disabilities, and I can often identify a person's disability, or if not that, have a clue as to their possible limitations.

    I admit to being concerned if I am ever stopped while driving, and the officer wants me to "step out" of my vehicle, whether they will understand complete paralysis. (Handicapped plate can be helpful here).
    For example, so many times a nurse has asked me to stand up "just a minute" to get on a scale to be weighed, as part of an annual physical.

    I have read of SEVERAL incidences of a person being shot or manhandled when they were disabled and not able/willing to respond to an officer's command to them. Yes, if the suspect is holding a gun, that's different.

    Added to this, what is the legal issue around an officer asking if the suspect has a disability or limitations? An employer is not allowed to under ADA.

    To the poster doing this study: Great topic, I wish you the best, and an A+ for sure.

  4. #14
    Senior Member ~Lin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by triumph View Post
    I admit to being concerned if I am ever stopped while driving, and the officer wants me to "step out" of my vehicle, whether they will understand complete paralysis. (Handicapped plate can be helpful here).
    For example, so many times a nurse has asked me to stand up "just a minute" to get on a scale to be weighed, as part of an annual physical.
    I've wondered about this before. I'm not paralyzed but I'd need my forearm crutch to get out of the car and stand for a short period, and can't stand for long at all. I've been talking to a police officer before and they didn't understand why I couldn't stand to talk to them and needed to sit down on the ground. I wasn't in any trouble, so I imagine I'd be treated much more rudely if it was a traffic stop or something like that. I'm terrified of something happening and being arrested, handcuffs and all of that. I've actually been arrested before on "failure to appear" that came down to paperwork errors (some mistakes made on my part, like I didn't realize court mail doesn't get forwarded when you change your address with usps. Case started due to mistake my car insurance made after someone hit me) and I requested to be handcuffed in front and the cop initially said no because its not protocol, he could get in trouble, I'm thinking in front makes the cops more vulnerable? But I wouldn't have been able to walk handcuffed behind me and it probably would have dislocated my shoulders or something else to have my arms in that position immobile for any length of time. This was years ago and my condition is much worse now, and since the whole mess originated in paperwork errors I'm a bit traumatized that it could happen all over again.

    I haven't run into any issues in the medical field yet, I'm always asked if I'm able to stand to be weighed and measured. I usually tell them I'm declining to be weighed and measured and give them my height and weight. And times I've needed to leave my wheelchair in a doorway, they've asked me how much assistance I need to get from there to whatever (like from doorway to MRI.)
    Board Member of Assistance Dog Advocacy Project working in Education. Feel free to ask me any service dog questions!

    I am not paralyzed. I have a genetic connective tissue disorder with neuro complications and a movement disorder.

  5. #15
    Quote Originally Posted by ~Lin View Post
    Thats the difference between criminal and civil law.

    i understand the differences between civil/criminal/federal law but my point was that the ADA is being self policed so progress toward full compliance will be slow.

  6. #16
    anytime i have been stopped i have held my hands out the window and let the cops know i am in a wheelchair b/c i dont want to be drug out of my car and i think it puts the cop at ease when they can see your hands.

  7. #17
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    I have never had to go through a sobriety test. I have witnessed a few going through road blocks and watching "cops" LOL on TV.

    But how would a policeman administer a sobriety test for a person in a wheelchair? Some of the tests require balance and standing on one foot performing actions. Being a walker requiring braces and a cane, I have always had a fear of the other person not understanding that I cannot perform the tasks they ask. It may be unwarranted fear on my part but I always worry about the "one asshole cop" out there.

    I also rarely drink but I can understand how someone could assume my staggering could be drunk related not disability related.
    T12-L2; Burst fracture L1: Incomplete walking with AFO's and cane since 1989

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  8. #18
    Senior Member IsMaisin's Avatar
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    One of the purposes of a field sobriety test is to pass time. The officer needs 15-20 minutes, depending on equipment, before he can administer a breathalyzer test. This is to eliminate the false positives that occur when you have just had something in your mouth. Mouthwash, for example, can cause an extremely high false positive. Before starting any tests, the officer will always ask you to take anything out of your mouth (like gum or a cough drop.)

    Just explain up front to the officer what your limitations are and any idiosyncrasies that your medical condition may present. Be polite about it and non-threatening.

    The one part of most field sobriety tests that, for police, is most useful for identifying a borderline case (the extreme drunks are pretty easy to tell) is the horizontal gaze nystagmus test. That is the one where they ask you to follow their finger or pen with your eyes. The officer is watching your eyes to see if they track smoothly or jump a lot as you move your eyeballs.

    That works great for most ABs, but I have nerve damage to my eyes and have not only a constant and pronounced nystagmus but also a very limited cone of vision. Add in seizures which may include psychomotor hallucinations, constant vertigo and severe balance problems, my speech problems...well, it's not likely I could pass any of the standard tests.

    That is one reason I carry a small printed emergency guide. Mostly it's to help people who want to help me, but it also lets any police officer know that you aren't make stuff up on the spot. The chair/ walker/ cane you need is another help, it is a visible indicator that you have special needs.
    Played with bombs- No SCI, Brain Damage enough that I require a chair and a caregiver.

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