By: Queue Murphy
The non-disabled residents of condominiums in a city named Clawson, have a mantra – ‘This is not a disability facility.’ They have also been very vocal in stating this to their disabled and elderly residents. Twenty-eight year old JW has a debilitating disease that has put him in a wheelchair for the last 2 years. His mother, who is a dear friend of mine, has struggled to get the condo association to accommodate he and other disabled senior citizens in the complex with ramps, railings and pool access. The board continues to throw up association rules as to why they cannot accommodate these residents – mainly - it will lower the property value.
After continued pleas by his parents, one resident built a temporary wooden ramp so that JW could get to the parking lot so he could drive to his job in his specially made vehicle – but it stopped there. JW’s mother continues to push for this access so JW can have a life beyond his condominium walls, including the ability to get to his job at Walmart, where he has been a valued, hard-worked employee for the last 3 years.
Not only are the Condominiums homeowners association despicable, but they are also breaking Federal laws. This ignorance and total disregard for other human beings, is not uncommon in many condominium and apartment complexes throughout the US. Many turn a blind eye to what they are required to do, and many disabled people suffer because of this. JW and others do not deserve this. Let’s send out a message to these condo associations. Tell them we will not stand for their disregard of Federal laws and the disabled. Their civil rights are being violated! Let’s make public all associations who do not value the disabled and elderly by publishing their names in blogs and on Facebook as well as reporting them to the following state agencies: Fair Housing Centers, Protection and Advocacy Services, Civil Rights Departments. I know I will!