Commission's Quarterly Newsletter
2003 Spring Edition
CCHR's Equal Access Program responds to situations that involve
individuals with disabilities whose independence is threatened because
of a few steps or other barriers outside their building, or at restaurants,
doctor's offices or other public accommodations.
Under the City Human Rights Law, building owners, employers and
business owners are required to provide a reasonable accommodation
unless it is architecturally infeasible or a financial hardship.
Each case is thoroughly reviewed at the Commission to determine
if the accommodation is reasonable under the Law.
These cases require a speedy resolution and it is often accomplished
through early intervention and negotiation. If that proves unsuccessful,
we assist the disabled individual with the necessary legal actions,
Through the Equal Access Program, we work to provide disability
access assistance and education to senior citizens and the disabled
Access Program Director Ted Finkelstein informs a Washington Heights
wheelchair user that a ramp outside his building will be completed
that same day.
We also assist in identifying the necessary resources that are available,
and advocate for the disabled when dealing with landlords and/or
As a result of the Commission's aggressive efforts during both pre-and
post-complaint filings, 75 modifications were made in 2002 for individuals
with disabilities. These
modifications include ramps and banisters in housing and ramps,
accessible bathrooms, grab bars, disability parking spaces, the
removal of barriers, and the widening of aisles in public accommodations.
CCHR is in the process of expanding its Equal Access Program, in
order to expedite the installation of modifications and provide
additional educational outreach to those individuals in need of
At the end of the day the ramp is completed and
the man safely wheels himself back
into his building, regaining some of his independence.