Stamm Trust Civil Rights News

I and others founded The Stamm Trust in 2005 after encountering local disability service providers’ unwillingness to provide hard line advocacy in my community. Our membership is small but committed.  We operate anonymously for our members and those seeking advocacy in housing, health care, the justice system and in any venue where people believe they do not have to make themselves or their goods and services available to the disabled.

Accordingly, we are continuing in our efforts to utilize the ADA and Fair Housing Acts so that the legislation remains in place.  We are improving in our member- and self-advocacy.

We will be instituting updates to our site in the future with a “black list” of reported discriminatory individuals, entities such as property management companies, and health care entities.  It is our goal to insure compliance with civil rights law.

Although we are not attorneys, the ADA and other state and federal civil rights legislation permits individuals operating under said laws to assert discrimination, and insist upon its remedy without engaging in the unauthorized practice of law.

We find it pathetic that the local United Way agency Disabled Resource Services continues to receive public money but fail the consumers of its services by not holding landlords, business owners, and doctors to compliance with disability law.

Fall 2012.

– As of Fall 2012, we are knee-deep in negotiations with a university for a member’s MFA, long delayed due to discrimination in the form of refusing to make disability accommodations under ADA Title II on the part of departmental faculty and administrators.  Our goal is to circumvent any further requirements for a degree earned twenty-five years ago– if the accommodation is granted we will defer our lawsuit against this institution and we will have created a precedent for extensive disability accommodation in higher education.

Relative to this case, state-run universities must waive and/or modify policies such as lifting the Statute of Limitations on a degree, substituting one course for another or completion of courses via e-mail et al so that the disabled degree candidate has equal opportunity.

A complaint has been drafted and we have only to file it with U.S. District Court in Denver.

-We have also brought discrimination against a disabled poet to the attention of a university after its affiliated press which has a curated poetry series turned back a query without inviting the entire manuscript for consideration– when its protocols involve first taking the query, then calling for the manuscript and then from winnowed manuscripts, selecting a work for publication.  We had apprised the university of the member’s disabilities in presenting the query and the poet is “otherwise qualified” within the meaning and intent of the ADA, i.e., published and publishing.

To insure equal opportunity, the university should have immediately invited the complete mss for consideration. Instead, the editor has doubled down, in such flagrantly discriminatory, dismissing language, referring to our member’s impairments as “personal biography”– something so callous and over the top as to prompt us to request publication of the MSS in lieu of litigation as remedy.

After four months of repeatedly citing and explaining the Americans Disabilities Act to a local low income dental provider, we have won an accommodation in the form of General Anesthetic Dentistry from the Health District of Northern Larimer County for someone with PTSD from oral rape. Never again will this Colorado provider ignore the need for parity in services to the disabled within its programs.

-Earlier this year we won reinstatement of a disabled patient under ADA Title III to the Orthopedic Center of the Rockies. The clinic attempted to discharge a member for her self-advocacy.  Under ADA Title III governing places of public accommodation, which includes privately owned medical facilities, providers may not terminate a patient unless he or she poses a direct threat to the health and safety of others. No doctor may discharge a disabled patient just because he or she is fearful, time consuming, et al.  Please pass the word.

We need your support– not in money but in honorary membership.  If you are interested in learning about civil rights legislation in action, please contact us.

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