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    Community Voices

    ADA rights for people with invisible disabilities in healthcare

    I’m working on developing a public list of ADA accommodation ideas for invisible disabilities (eg, cognitive impairment, low vision, anxiety, etc.) in healthcare settings.

    I would love suggestions on accommodations others have been granted (eg, longer appt times, providing a note-taker or audio recording of appts, etc.)

    #ADA #InvisibleDisability #HealthEquity #tbi #migraine #Fibromyalgia #ChronicPain #Anxiety #PTSD #Depression #DisabilityPrideMonth #Dysautonomia #AutonomicDysfunction #vestibulardisorder

    8 people are talking about this
    Community Voices

    Anniversary of the American with Disabilities Act

    <p>Anniversary of the American with Disabilities Act</p>
    4 people are talking about this
    The Mighty Staff

    Yelp and The Mighty Rate the Top 50 Wheelchair Accessible Restaurants in the U.S.

    Health is hard, but it never has to be lonely. Find support in The Mighty’s safe, 24/7-moderated online community. Connect, share, learn — whatever you need, it’s here. As a leading publisher for the disability community, The Mighty is proud to present this exclusive list of the 50 best wheelchair accessible restaurants in the United States, produced in partnership with Yelp. You can scroll down to skip straight ahead to the list — it boasts a collection of dining gems spanning from Kāneʻohe, HI to Brockton, MA that have placed a commendable priority on accessibility (and that happen to know a little something about delicious cuisine, too). But first, we’d love to have just a moment of your time to provide a little more context than you may be used to finding atop the average online “best of” list. We feel the topics of accessibility and inclusivity, and the millions of Mighty members who seek improvements in both, deserve as much. How does one make a restaurant more accessible to customers with disabilities? Glad you asked. You can find that right here.   Who is behind this list and why was it created?  The restaurant list was generated through collaboration between The Mighty and Yelp. If you’re new to The Mighty, we are the world’s largest online health community and we offer a safe, informative online home for people with health challenges to connect and share their personal experiences, across hundreds of conditions spanning disability, chronic illness, rare disease, and mental illness. (If you’re new to Yelp… well, that’s actually pretty impressive! It’s hard to spend much time online without crossing their path — how have you selected establishments to dine at, services to employ, and businesses to frequent, we wonder?) Much of this world simply wasn’t created with disabilities in mind. There is an unfortunate reality our Mighty team sees, hears, and oftentimes experiences — the majority of our staff lives with chronic health conditions — every day: much of this world simply wasn’t created with disabilities in mind. It’s not always a slight, and it’s often not malicious; it’s just a fact. The way people with disabilities navigate life is naturally different, and accessibility looks drastically distinct for each person. But that reality only deepens and worsens with inaction. And inaction is often best solved with awareness: What does the world look like for those with limited mobility? Those who live with vision and hearing loss? Those individuals with invisible illnesses? What are the challenges disabled people face in a world built for others? How can people outside of this community help improve that world? This list exists primarily to further open up those conversations. The following articles give voice to our community’s experiences navigating restaurants: Want to Make Dining Out While Disabled Less Aggravating? Here’s Where to Start. 11 Small (But Significant) Things Restaurants Can Do To Improve Accessibility   How was this list determined?  Of course, as is the case for every list ever published on the internet, particularly one ranking restaurants, it will also open up a less productive kind of conversation, about the selections that “suck” and other spots that are “better” and so on. Debate away, but please consider doing so with the methodology in mind, as it provides critical context. To clarify, this is more a list of great restaurants that are set up to serve customers in a wheelchair, not a list of establishments that specifically excel at or specialize in serving the disability community. We’re beyond honored that Yelp was willing to spare their time, expertise, and millions of business reviews to collaborate with us on this project. And this was the approach their stellar data scientists took as they combed the wealth of data that makes Yelp the standard in public opinion: We identified businesses in the restaurant and food categories, then ranked those spots using a number of factors including the total volume and ratings of reviews mentioning those keywords. Businesses must have the wheelchair accessible attribute selected to be considered. To ensure geographic diversity, we limited the list to 3 businesses per metro area. When available, all businesses on this list have a passing health score as of July 8, 2022. So, to clarify, this is more a list of great restaurants that are set up to serve customers in a wheelchair, not a list of establishments that specifically excel at or specialize in serving the disability community. Want to learn more about accessibility? Our community has you covered: Why Disability Accessibility Matters The World I Dream of Living in as a Woman With a Disability Listen to Disabled People When We Talk About Accessibility   Something important to consider while consuming this list  Please do us a favor and take it easy on the restaurants named on this list. None of these restaurants asked for inclusion on our list. In fact, they’re likely only learning of their inclusion right here, right now. (Hello! Congratulations! We hope we can visit sometime!) It is our hope that each restaurant on this list, same as all establishments that are not, will join all who care about disability rights in continually striving for better. To our knowledge, none of these small businesses claim to be perfect locations for patrons using wheelchairs by any means. All they did was make every effort to meet the requirements for accessibility, informed Yelp that they were prepared for diners using a wheelchair, and proceeded to provide food, ambiance, and customer service that made Yelp users go wild for their offerings. We do not imagine their employees or their physical footprints are fully prepared for an immediate influx of customers or able to serve a high volume of people seeking accommodations at one time. It is our hope that each restaurant on this list, same as all establishments that are not, will join all who care about disability rights in continually striving for better. Hey, restaurateur! Looking for lessons from a fellow business owner? We have you covered: 4 Things I’ve Learned About Accessibility as a Small Business Owner   What does it mean to be “wheelchair accessible” as a business in the U.S.?  The original publication date of this list coincides with the 32nd anniversary of the signing of the Americans with Disabilities Act. Among its many branches, the ADA lays down a base layer of standards for businesses to follow. As is typical with federal regulations, there is a tedious document that outlines the rules, spanning everything from parking spaces to ramp requirements, restroom access to drinking fountain height. (Also typical with a federal baseline, further state and local regulations can add another component for business owners to be aware of.) Over the decades, it has become the legal standard and provides a measuring stick for accessibility we can judge by, but today, the ADA conjures complicated feelings in the disability community. Mighty contributor Alyssa Brown beautifully summed up the duality of being thankful while also noting “times change and our standards of accessibility should change too.” For example, in regards to accessibility in public spaces, the ADA has been called outdated — critically important automatic door openers, though more affordable and ubiquitous than ever, are still not required, as Mighty contributor Kevin Cook noted last year. It is fully acknowledged by The Mighty’s editorial team that this list’s celebration of attaining a basic level of compliance… well, it doesn’t necessarily feel great. But as we dream of, and advocate for, changes for the next generation of disabled Americans, it’ll take a lot of collective heart to get there and education is a necessary piece of that equation. And, as the old adage goes, the way to someone’s heart is often through their stomach. Psst! Before you reach out to your representatives, consider starting here: The Next ADA: The Rights Americans With Disabilities Still Need to Thrive   OK, please just share the list already   Gladly! Without further ado, we are glad to highlight the finest restaurants across the nation who have made efforts to make their spaces accessible for wheelchair users… 50 Best Wheelchair Accessible Restaurants in the United States   Tropicali – Big Bear Lake, CA Yardie Spice – Homestead, FL Bangers & Brews – Westside – Bend, OR Waffle and Berry – Honolulu, HI Garlic Yuzu – Las Vegas, NV Thanh Tinh Chay – San Diego, CA 888 Japanese BBQ – Las Vegas, NV Cafe Sapientia – Oak Park, CA Bistro 6050 – Chicago, IL Vinoma – Rohnert Park, CA MQ Healthy Fast Food – Millbrae, CA Fratellino – Coral Gables, FL Big H Deli – Fairfield, CA Pangolin Café – Reno, NV Sea Of Sweet – Rancho Cucamonga, CA The Mediterranean Chickpea – Tampa, FL Scotty’s Cafe – Columbus, OH Franky’s Deli Warehouse – Hialeah, FL ShouFi MahFi Mediterranean Grill – Orlando, FL Tony’s Italian Delicatessen – Montgomery, TX El Mofongo Restaurant – Hempstead, NY Casa De Falafel – Glendale, AZ Taste of Heaven – Brooklyn, NY Gelati & Peccati – San Diego, CA Dad’s Favorites – Lexington, KY Roundhouse Deli – Roseville, CA Teatopia – Saint Louis, MO De Cabeza – Chula Vista, CA Cahill Bistro – Edina, MN Robin’s Snowflake Donuts & Cafe – Spring, TX Hugs Cafe – McKinney, TX Skogen Kitchen – Custer, SD Adela’s Country Eatery – Kāneʻohe, HI Red Canyon Cafe – Scottsdale, AZ Haywood Smokehouse – Dillsboro, NC Momo’s Kitchen – Sedona, AZ Selam Ethiopian & Eritrean Cuisine – Orlando, FL The Clinkscale – Jerome, AZ That’s A Wrap Maui – Kihei, HI Nick’s Grill – Pulaski, TN Tommy Tamale Market & Cafe – Grapevine, TX The Rabbit Hole – Pompano Beach, FL Blues City Deli – Saint Louis, MO The Local Press Sandwich Bar – Wickenburg, AZ Poke Jay – Boca Raton, FL JJ’s Caffe – Brockton, MA Spice Station – Kingsville, TX Harley’s A Hot Dog Revolution – Littleton, CO Rosmarino Osteria Italiana – Newberg, OR Surfin’ Spoon – Nags Head, NC Is your favorite spot missing? Anything more you want to learn about accessibility? We’d love to hear from you. Log in or sign up for a Mighty account to add to the comments.

    Community Voices

    Learning to accept my invisible disabilities and my road to becoming a health equity advocate this Disability Pride Month

    I recently have been taking big steps (for me) to accept my chronic illnesses, including applying for disability, publicly identifying as disabled, and starting to speak publicly about my experiences with #medicalgaslighting and #MedicalPtsd that are not uncommon for women with autoimmune and / or neurological conditions.

    I have been extremely isolated throughout the pandemic, and have faced a significant amount of retaliation for trying to hold local hospitals accountable to women, BIPOC and other stigmatized #ChronicPain patients. I have learned so much from the online chronic illness communities, and hope to pay the support and advocacy forward to other multiply marginalized women who are also struggling to get the health care and respect they need.

    I would love to connect with other #ADA and #OCR health care activists, in particular. I’m sharing the first of my advocacy pieces below - reaching out to advocacy groups who will interview you and help publish your story is a great option for others who are also too shy to write for themselves. I hope to gain that confidence in myself over time, and look forward to building a community of support here at The Mighty!

    Community Voices

    Today I got fired, exactly 2 weeks after I requested reasonable accommodation for my disability. #MentalHealth #CPTSD #PTSD #Anxiety #ADA

    I can't prove it. What I do know is this. Right after I filed a request for reasonable accommodation at my work, because I was constantly being bullied and harassed by a co-worker, I started being excluded and treated differently. Today I got fired. They came up with some lame excuse. At the end of the "conversation" the HR person (the same one who I filed for the reasonable accommodation with) said, "now you have time to work on your mental health"!
    Those were his words.
    At the end of the day, if I file a lawsuit for retaliation he'll deny it. So, I'm screwed either way. This is the world we live in. They make it seem like its ok to have a mental health disability, but at the end of the day, after I advocated for my rights, I got fired.

    36 people are talking about this
    Community Voices

    The truly great people who protect ADA parking, who protect our access

    <p>The truly great people who protect ADA parking, who protect our access</p>
    4 people are talking about this
    Community Voices

    So nervous

    #Disability I have a meeting with HR I'm half an hour to discuss allowing me to work from home. I am so nervous I'm shaky. They've denied me in the past and implied my disability wasn't as bad as I claimed, even with medical documentation. Thing is, I no longer have an option because my illness has progressed. Just wanted to get this off my chest before the meeting. Please send good vibes. #ADA

    11 people are talking about this
    Leslie A. Zukor

    New York Times Coverage of ADA Lawsuits Isn't Journalistic Neutrality

    “Neutrality helps the oppressor, never the victim.” So declared Elie Wiesel in his 1986 Nobel Peace Prize acceptance speech. No clearer is this maxim borne out than in journalism as it pertains to disability rights. For far too long, neutrality in news reporting has been a cover for framing disabled people’s access needs in the least charitable light. On Sunday, July 25, The New York Times Magazine printed an article where disability needs and those who sue for them were pitted against the livelihoods of business owners. Entitled “The Man Who Filed More Than 180 Disability Lawsuits: Is it profiteering — or justice?” author Lauren Markham framed the choice as one between siding with “serial” A.D.A. litigants like Albert Dytch and small business owners, who may not even be cognizant that they are breaking the law. Focusing on how inaccessible society still is after 31 years of the Americans With Disabilities Act and then asking for a comment from an offending business owner would have been good journalistic practice, highlighting the battle for disability justice but giving the establishment a chance to share its side of the story. That would have been the perfect example of holding oppressive societal structures to account, but being fair enough to allow all parties to comment. Instead, Markham chose balance, the sort of neutrality between justice and injustice that does not acknowledge that even if plaintiffs profit from ADA lawsuits and even if business owners do not know that their buildings are inaccessible, a society where disabled people don’t have the ability to eat in a restaurant is still an unjust one. After all, whether a mom and pop business knows it is violating the law is immaterial to the reality that it is one cog in an oppressive machine of inaccessibility for disabled individuals, which culminates in them having less ability to enjoy their lives than the nondisabled majority. The Society of Professional Journalists’ Code of Ethics specifies that reporters should, “Be vigilant and courageous about holding those with power accountable. Give voice to the voiceless.” The New York Times Magazine article violates this principle by not holding the powerful structural inequities and those who contribute to them to account, instead portraying accessibility lawsuits as if they were a debate, not a necessity in ensuring a just society. While disabled people are not voiceless, their needs could certainly be amplified by not resorting to false dichotomies. Markham cites the astronomical growth of ADA lawsuits as proof that litigants may be exploiting the system, instead of framing the issue as a matter of a growing clamor for disability justice. “In 2012, plaintiffs filed 2,495 Title III cases in federal court,” she wrote. “By 2017, that had more than tripled to 7,663 cases — more than half of which were filed in California or Florida, whose state laws can be particularly beneficial to ADA plaintiffs.” Regardless of the pecuniary motive, creating a society where disabled people can go anywhere and have access to all the same services as nondisabled individuals should be the emphasis of the reporting, not potentially lining the pockets of plaintiffs. A better framing of the article would have been, “Civil Rights Champions: Inside the Battles of the Disabled Litigants Ensuring That Businesses Are Accessible for All.” The emphasis would have been on disability justice, not on money, and on why the lawsuits are important, regardless of how many an individual plaintiff or law firm files. In writing about justice for oppressed groups, the framing of an article makes all the difference — especially for disabled people during Disability Pride Month. Moreover, it is consequential in how the public views matters of equity. Furthermore, when news reporting reaches large audiences, it carries a special responsibility — especially for an influential brand such as The New York Times. That duty is to strive for holding the powerful to account, instead of providing a misleading sense of balance that serves only to hinder marginalized populations like disabled people.

    Community Voices

    What is voting like by you?

    <p>What is voting like by you?</p>
    5 people are talking about this
    Community Voices