Wall of Fame

We want to ACKNOWLEDGE, Lawrence Blessinger, Jr. He is the Vice President of ALL ISLAND TRANSPORTATION. Larry, is a true advocate for disabled. He has been a member since 2012, has been volunteering his services since 2011. As the VP of a very well run car service, serving all of Long Island, Larry knows all too well about the accessibility issues of the disabled. Larry is an innovator and is always trying to think of ways to enhance accessibility for the disabled. If you need car service folks, call ALL ISLAND TRANSPORTATION, they have become part of the ADA family. You will experience prompt and courteous service. And our disabled community, you will find that there are businesses that do care about our needs. Call ALL ISLAND at 516-326-9090. WE send out a heartfelt thanks to Larry and business owners like him that fight for our rights and protections.

THE CAPITAL GRILLE located at 630 Country Rd., Garden City, NY 11530, is a Steak House/Restaurant that you definitely want to frequent. The food, atmosphere and staff are amazing. We had the pleasure of eating there today, 11/16/12, and the service was exemplary. We had the chance to meet with the Managing Partner, Mr. Richard Dickerson. He took time out of his busy schedule to sit with us while we explained the mission of our organization.  Not only was he accommodating, but he also stated that he would like to collaborate with us and is going to donate a couple of tables for a few of our disabled members during this Holiday Season. We are so thankful for individuals like Mr. Dickerson and Organizations like The Capital Grille. This is exactly the type of collaboration that allows us to better serve our disabled community. We would also like to thank our server, Jeremy, who was also extremely accommodating. A big THANKS TO THE CAPITAL GRILL!!!! Please visit their website at www.thecapitalgrille.com

We had the privilege of visiting ABILITIES, INC. at THE VISCARDI CENTER today, 10/17/12. This amazing organization founded by Henry Viscardi, jr., is a full service organization for children, adolescents, adults and seniors with disabilities. They truly empower individuals with disabilities to lead productive lives. They provide a wide variety of educational and vocational services. We don’t believe that there is another site of its kind, located in Albertson , NY, in Nassau County, this organization truly deserves much merit.

PLEASE HELP US TO RE-ELECT COUNTY COURT jUDGE DAVID SULLIVAN, WHO SUPPORTS DISABLED AMERICANS. HE IS AN HONORARY MEMBER OF THIS ORGANIZATION.   JUDGE SULLIVAN IS THE SUPERVISING JUDGE OF THE NASSAU COUNTY JUSTICE COURTS. HE IS AN ACTING NEW YORK STATE SUPREME COURT JUSTICE. HE IS THE NASSAU COUNTY JUDGE OF THE PEOPLE AND FOR THE PEOPLE. HE IS ALSO AN ACTING FAMILY COURT JUDGE. HE IS A RECIPIENT OF THE HONORABLE FRANK GULOTTA CRIMINAL JUSTICE AWARD AND THE ITALIAN-AMERICAN COURT OFFICERS OF NASSAU COUNTY MAN OF THE YEAR AWRD.

HE HAS BEEN A SUPPORTER OF THIS ORGANIZATION FOR OVER 10 YEARS. HE IS A FAITHFUL CHRISTIAN MAN, HE IS A BLESSING TO THIS ORGANIZATION AND THE DISABLED IN NASSAU COUNTY.

 

 

 

THIS ORGANIZATION WOULD LIKE TO THANK THE NEW JERSEY TIMES  AND THE TRENTONIAN FOR FEATURING THE ARTICLES BELOW:

Hightstown loses round over access for disabled

Published: Tuesday, May 22, 2012,  7:00 AM
David Karas/The Times By David Karas/The TimesThe Times, Trenton

HIGHTSTOWN — A state appellate court has ruled in favor of two Florida residents who allege the borough’s Memorial Park and other public spaces are inaccessible to the disabled.

In a decision handed down on May 11, appellate Judge Anthony Parrillo overturned a lower court decision that had dismissed the lawsuit, and sent the case back to trial court for another review.

A former firefighter, Gregory Lasky is a paraplegic confined to a wheelchair after falling down a flight of steps. He routinely visits New Jersey and works to identify inaccessibility issues confronting the disabled and seek judicial remedies.

Lasky, along with fellow Floridian Nicholas Pavlak, first sued the borough in 2007 after he was unable to visit Memorial Park and found a lack of handicap-friendly tables and benches, insufficient parking space for the disabled, and sidewalks and curbs without proper slopes or landings to accommodate wheelchairs and walkers.

The case, in which Lasky and Pavlak sought less than $75,000 in damages, was dismissed in Superior Court after a judge ruled that the two had failed to provide borough officials the chance to improve accessibility before taking them to court, and Lasky appealed the decision after the borough made improvements both in 2007 and 2008 but failed to increase accessibility.

The appellate court ruled that Lasky was not required to provide notice to the borough of inaccessibility prior to seeking a judicial remedy.

“There should not be a need for a request,” said Darren Aquino, founder and CEO of the Advocates for Disabled Americans. “My praise goes out to those judges ­— they upheld the rights of citizens.”

The suit alleges lack of access at the borough library, museum, Army Navy Memorial and the park, and along various routes on Bank and Main Streets, which Laskey said he could not maneuver with his wheelchair due to slopes and cross slopes.

“We understand the Appellate Division’s ruling (and) we accept it,” borough attorney Eric Harrison said last night. “We trust in the jury process to decide whether the Borough of Hightstown has violated Mr. Laskey’s rights.”

Harrison declined to comment further citing the pending litigation.

Borough administrator Michael Theokas and Mayor Steve Kirson did not return calls for comment.

Aquino said the ruling emphasizes that no one is exempt from ADA requirements.
“It is another big step,” he said. “It is just one of many.”

Contact David Karas at (609) 989-5731 or dkaras@njtimes.com.

  • TRENTON — An appellate court has ruled in favor of the Advocates for Disabled Americans in a suit filed against Hightstown Borough.
  • Wheelchair-bound Gregory Lasky and the AFDA filed suit against the borough, claiming some curb cuts and access to buildings failed to meet New Jersey Law Against Discrimination guidelines.
  • AFDA National Director Darren Aquino, of New York City, was pleased with the ruling.
  • “Whenever there is a favorable ruling from a court it brings back the freedom that was taken from us by our own debilitating condition. That’s why the Congress made the ADA,” Aquino said. “It brings greater awareness to those in the country that lack of proper facilities means an interruption of service.”
  • Lasky, a Florida resident who frequently travels to New Jersey to visit friends and as an Americans with Disabilities Act “tester” for AFDA, tried in his wheelchair to access such places as city hall, Hightstown’s library and some sidewalks and curb cuts around town, according to the decision recently released by the Superior Court of New Jersey Appellate Division.
  • He is a former firefighter who was confined to a wheelchair after he fell down a flight of stairs.
  • He found that there were “acute slopes and cross slopes” on the curb cuts, making it difficult or impossible for him to maneuver, according to the decision.
  • “I was unable to be a patron at the library, museum, Army Navy Memorial, and my ability to use the routes on Bank Street and Main has been impaired because of the slopes and cross slopes,” Lasky said in the lawsuit.
  • Lasky and the AFDA hired an expert to identify the areas of town in noncompliance.
  • The trial court ruled against Lasky, saying “the plaintiff’s LAD complaint because (he) did not request an accommodation (for help) prior to filing suit.”
  • “There’s no indication that those requests were made, they were put on notice, so there’s no way to see whether or not they would have been reasonably accommodated. I think that notice is required before you can see whether or not they had the opportunity to accommodate,” the trial court ruled.
  • The AFDA and Lasky contended that  “a prospective patron would not likely know whether a public facility is accessible, thus obligating a public entity to provide access in the absence of a request.”
  • The appellate court reversed the trial court’s decision and said, essentially: how is he going to know what help he is going to need until he gets there?
  • “Under the LAD, public entities are required, to the extent reasonable, to accommodate disabled persons in the most integrated setting appropriate to the needs of that person. …We find nothing in the language of the LAD itself or its legislative history to suggest that notice is an element of the claim in the public accommodation context,” the appellate court said in its decision.
  • The case was remanded back to the trial court to create a more complete record, after appropriate research, to reach the precise nature of the claim.
  • The AFDA and Lasky are seeking less than $75,000 in damages, according to the decision.
  • Hightstown Borough Administrator Michael Theokas did not immediately return calls for comment.
  • The borough does offer the handicapped help during emergencies and are advised to call 211 or log onto www.registerready.nj.gov.
  • “It has been determined that it is up to a jury to decide if meaningful public access is denied,” said Hightstown attorney Eric Harrison. “Some of this case will proceed to trial. Hightstown has its faith in the jury system.”
  • He declined further comment because the case is pending.Aquino, who has polio, said disabled veterans are high on his list of those who need advocates .
  • “The paramount issue are the veterans who go out and fight for our freedoms and return from service disabled,” Aquino said, adding that he has advocates in every state. “We will not stop until we reach the highest levels of government in every state and local municipality to see that the disabled are provided for without asking. We want to make leaders aware, as they can lose sight of the real issues.”

 

3 comments

  1. tony passaro

    thank you for your service to Disabled God Bless you

  2. Carroll

    You post interesting content here. Your page deserves
    much more visitors. It can go viral if you give it initial boost,
    i know very useful service that can help you, just
    search in google: svetsern traffic tips

  3. Dave adam

    Thanks to national Ada advocates and the work they have done for me and my service dog fighting for are rights and standing up for us with disabilities and for giving us a voice ! If it wasn’t for them we would still be getting pushed around ! We have rights and they fight to uphold and enforce those rights .. thank you for everything you have done for all of us !! !!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>