ILNews

Indiana disability rights group files complaint against Amtrak

Marilyn Odendahl
December 13, 2013
Back to TopCommentsE-mailPrint

The Indiana Protection and Advocacy Services Commission has filed a disability discrimination complaint against Amtrak for non-compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act.

IPAS surveyed all 11 Amtrak stations in Indiana and found accessibility problems at every one.

As a result, the organization announced Dec. 12 it has filed a complaint with the U.S. Department of Justice, the federal agency responsible for enforcement of the ADA. IPAS is requesting that the Justice Department investigate the compliance issues and ensure Amtrak makes the necessary changes to the Hoosier stations to become fully accessible for individuals with disabilities.

The survey of stations conducted by IPAS was part of a national review done in coordination with the National Disability Rights Network and 24 other organizations to inspect Amtrak train stations for accessibility compliance. After passage of the ADA in 1990, Amtrak was given 20 years to update its system to meet the new standards.

The National Disability Rights Network released a report in October 2013, detailing the results of the review. It concluded that 23 years after the ADA was signed into law, 95 percent of all surveyed stations had barriers to accessibility.   

IPAS surveyed the stations in Indiana located in Connersville, Crawfordsville, Dyer, Elkhart, Hammond, Indianapolis, Lafayette, Michigan City, Rensselaer, South Bend, and Waterloo.

It found ticket counters were too high for people in wheelchairs, restroom doors were heavy and the stalls were too narrow for a wheelchair, and parking lots did not have accessible spaces marked. In South Bend, passengers had to cross the tracks with large gaps to get to the platform and there was no sign of an elevator to the platform.

“People with disabilities have been very patient with Amtrak and IPAS believes that enough is enough; 23 years is a long time for individuals with disabilities to wait for equal access,” said Gary Richter, IPAS executive director.   
 

ADVERTISEMENT

Post a comment to this story

COMMENTS POLICY
We reserve the right to remove any post that we feel is obscene, profane, vulgar, racist, sexually explicit, abusive, or hateful.
 
You are legally responsible for what you post and your anonymity is not guaranteed.
 
Posts that insult, defame, threaten, harass or abuse other readers or people mentioned in Indiana Lawyer editorial content are also subject to removal. Please respect the privacy of individuals and refrain from posting personal information.
 
No solicitations, spamming or advertisements are allowed. Readers may post links to other informational websites that are relevant to the topic at hand, but please do not link to objectionable material.
 
We may remove messages that are unrelated to the topic, encourage illegal activity, use all capital letters or are unreadable.
 

Messages that are flagged by readers as objectionable will be reviewed and may or may not be removed. Please do not flag a post simply because you disagree with it.

Sponsored by

facebook - twitter on Facebook & Twitter

Indiana State Bar Association

Indianapolis Bar Association

Evansville Bar Association

Allen County Bar Association

Indiana Lawyer on Facebook

facebook
ADVERTISEMENT
Subscribe to Indiana Lawyer
  1. Frankly, it is tragic that you are even considering going to an expensive, unaccredited "law school." It is extremely difficult to get a job with a degree from a real school. If you are going to make the investment of time, money, and tears into law school, it should not be to a place that won't actually enable you to practice law when you graduate.

  2. As a lawyer who grew up in Fort Wayne (but went to a real law school), it is not that hard to find a mentor in the legal community without your school's assistance. One does not need to pay tens of thousands of dollars to go to an unaccredited legal diploma mill to get a mentor. Having a mentor means precisely nothing if you cannot get a job upon graduation, and considering that the legal job market is utterly terrible, these students from Indiana Tech are going to be adrift after graduation.

  3. 700,000 to 800,000 Americans are arrested for marijuana possession each year in the US. Do we need a new justice center if we decriminalize marijuana by having the City Council enact a $100 fine for marijuana possession and have the money go towards road repair?

  4. I am sorry to hear this.

  5. I tried a case in Judge Barker's court many years ago and I recall it vividly as a highlight of my career. I don't get in federal court very often but found myself back there again last Summer. We had both aged a bit but I must say she was just as I had remembered her. Authoritative, organized and yes, human ...with a good sense of humor. I also appreciated that even though we were dealing with difficult criminal cases, she treated my clients with dignity and understanding. My clients certainly respected her. Thanks for this nice article. Congratulations to Judge Barker for reaching another milestone in a remarkable career.

ADVERTISEMENT