Civil rights protest (Mark Batchelder/KXAN)
Updated: Monday, 26 Jul 2010, 1:15 PM CDT
Published : Monday, 26 Jul 2010, 1:14 PM CDT
AUSTIN (KXAN) - Advocates for the disabled marked the 20th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act Monday by filing more than 20 lawsuits across Texas, half a dozen in Austin alone.
The suits aim to improve accessibility of facilities - such as restaurants, streets and municipal buildings - and to enhance the use of sign language interpreters by doctors, police and public benefits offices.
"It's outrageous that 20 years later, we still have to fight for our rights," said David Wittie, with ADAPT. "But we have made great progress, and we will never give up the struggle for justice."
TCRP filed six cases in Austin.
The first involves U.S. Congressman Lamar Smith and the lack of a ramp at his Austin Office. The second is against the University of Texas School of Architecture for failing to provide full access to the students' exhibits housed in Goldsmith Hall .
Two other cases involve Austin Duck Adventures duck tours for not being wheelchair accessible.
TCRP claims Seton Healthcare of Brackenridge failed to provide a hearing-impaired patient with an interpreter and additional accommodations after he was hit by a drunk driver.
"These cases underline unjust barriers in the daily lives of people with disabilities and wounded veterans," said TCRP attorney Joseph Berra. "We use litigation and education on every anniversary of the ADA and throughout the year to bring an end to discrimination and the promise of equal rights for all."
The ADA became law Jan. 23, 1990 to establish a clear and comprehensive prohibition of discrimination on the basis of disability.