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Saturday, December 24, 2011

Good News and a Merry Christmas to All

I wish all readers a Merry Christmas. I hope Santa will be generous this year. Will be reading Twas the Night Before Christmas and the Polar Express tonight. I have great memories of reading these books to my son on Christmas Eve. The sentiments expressed in these two fine books makes me forget the commercialization of the holiday season.

Now for the good news. I received the below email from Simi Linton. If you are not familiar with her work I urge you to read her memoir and ground breaking Claiming Disability.

Justice has been served! Judge George Daniels has ruled that meaningful access to the NYC taxi system is required.

Plaintiffs Christopher Noel, Simi Linton, United Spinal, The Taxis for All Campaign, Disabled in Action brought a civil rights class action suit against The New York City Taxi and Limousine Commission, and Commissioner David Yassky. Disability Rights Advocates represented the plaintiffs.

Judge Daniels ruling calls for “meaningful access” to taxis for people who are disabled. Though he does not define precisely what that means, he writes:

“It is clear, however, that less than 2% of the city’s fleet being wheelchair accessible, resulting in the unavailability of taxi transportation and significantly increased waiting times for disabled persons who require wheelchairs, is not meaningful access. In fact, during oral argument, the TLC conceded that its regulations do not provide meaningful access to individual who require wheelchairs. It must do so.”

In a footnote, he also writes:

“…meaningful access for the disabled to public transportation services is not a utopian goal or political promise, it is a basic civil right. Title II requires immediate and full compliance.”

Isn’t this terrific! Of course, there will be more news stories on this – but for now it is important to spread the word, and rally people behind this decision. We have yet to see how "meaningful access" will be interpreted - and what the true impact will be. Whatever way it is implemented, the ruling itself will certainly have an impact on New York City, and hopefully will also have broad impact on future rulings across the U.S.


Phil Dzialo said...

Yes, good news begins and I hope it continues through the new year..and the merriest of Christmases to you !

Nessie Siler said...

Merry Christmas and a delightful New year to you, William!
This is wonderful news. Now maybe my husband and I can someday spend Christmas in New York, and actually be able to get around. I haven't broached it as a possibility before because I knew the transportation situation was's to new possibilities :)


Carwile said...

maybe I'll spend some time on the "right" coast again .... Hope your Holiday is great, Bill. Please say hi to T.

Anonymous said...

Bill- I'm delighted to hear that! What wonderful news!
The merriest of holidays to you & your family, friends, & pets!

Anonymous said...

Merry Belated Christmas and Happy New Year to you!