July News Bytes

In Here's the Spin, News by Damian P. Gregory

CHICAGO—The largest drugstore chain in the United States, Walgreen Co., settled a lawsuit in late June 2004 on behalf of people with disabilities.

Under the terms of the settlement, Walgreen’s will pay $350,000 in fines and agreed to move disabled parking closer to store entrances and make stores more disabled friendly.

The case was filed in March 2003, after the State Attorney General found that the stores had ramps which were too steep for customers with disabilities to enter and that stores had obstacles that made navigating their way through the stores difficult for those who use wheelchairs.

Additionally, the chain must pay $150,000 to an independent contractor who will ensure compliance of Walgreen’s stores.

The chain has about 400 stores in Illinois area. No world yet on the effect that the suit will have on stores located throughout the U.S.

WINNIPEG—Steven Fletcher was the first quadriplegic Member of Parliament elected to the House of Commons in late June.

Fletcher, 32, who was injured in 1996, after a car accident left him paralyzed from the neck down and uses head to operate his electric wheelchair.

Fletcher says he hopes to use his presence will educate the public about the issues and concerns people with disabilities face as they go about their daily lives.

He says that is disability will give him the opportunity to share his “unique perspective,” with others.

Look for an in-depth profile with Fletcher in an upcoming issue of Audacity Magazine.

WASHINGTON, D.C.—The United States Supreme Court refused to get involved in an on-going debate between movie and theater-goers with disabilities who are seeking better than front-row seating at these venues.

At issue, is whether people with disabilities are entitled to getting this type of seating under the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990.

Attorneys for the disability advocates say that current configurations of seating force those with disabilities to crane their neck in order to see.

But opponents say for the court to order reconfigurations of those venues by owners may be impractical because of the costs involved.

The Court has decided to give the government more time to come up with clear guidelines, before ruling.

What’s your input on these stories? Let us know at the Online Forumor send us an email at nathasha@audacitymagazine.com .