ADA files series of lawsuits for discrimination against disability law

AUSTIN (KXAN) – Disability rights advocates have filed dozens of lawsuits all over a lack of accessibility. Most of the lawsuits were against companies like Uber, Lyft, and Yellow Cab.

The advocates say the companies don’t do enough to get wheelchair accessible vehicles to the people who need them.

“For years we’ve been fighting this fight with Yellow Cab to get more wheelchair accessible cabs,” David Wittie says. “They have wheelchair accessible cabs but it’s so hard to get them when you call for them.”

We reached out to Uber, Lyft, and Yellow Cab for response.

A spokesperson for Uber said they hadn’t seen the lawsuit yet. But, their technology increases transportation access for everyone, including those with disabilities.

A Lyft spokeswoman said the same.

Yellow Cab responded Thursday night with the following statement:

“We just received copies of multiple lawsuits filed against Yellow Cab, Uber and Lyft in Austin based on the statutory obligation to “enable persons with disabilities to participate . . . and fully enjoy all public facilities within the state.”  Yellow Cab is absolutely committed to working with the Texas Civil Rights Project, elected leaders  and regulatory officials to develop stronger laws and enforcement mechanisms to assure that all transportation providers comply with such requirements.  In fact, we have previously sought additional permits in Austin dedicated to wheelchair accessible vehicles,  and we very recently proposed that Houston City Council adopt a requirement that all on-demand taxi like services (which would include companies like Uber and Lyft) maintain a  minimum 10% of their fleet as wheelchair accessible.  Yellow Cab enthusiastically supports stronger ordinances and reasonable means of enforcement to assure that all persons with disabilities receive equivalent transportation services.”

Other lawsuits were filed against condominiums, nightclubs, and even hospitals. These lawsuits are meant to coincide with the 24th anniversary of the Americans With Disabilities Act. That law led to everything from workplace protections to handicap parking spaces.

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