Indiana disability rights group files complaint against Amtrak

Marilyn Odendahl
December 13, 2013
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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.   


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  1. Great observation Smith. By my lights, speaking personally, they already have. They counted my religious perspective in a pro-life context as a symptom of mental illness and then violated all semblance of due process to banish me for life from the Indiana bar. The headline reveals the truth of the Hoosier elite's animus. Details here: Denied 2016 petition for cert (this time around): (“2016Pet”) Amicus brief 2016: (“2016Amici”) As many may recall, I was banned for five years for failing to "repent" of my religious views on life and the law when a bar examiner demanded it of me, resulting in a time out to reconsider my "clinging." The time out did not work, so now I am banned for life. Here is the five year time out order: Denied 2010 petition for cert (from the 2009 denial and five year banishment): (“2010Pet”) Read this quickly if you are going to read it, the elites will likely demand it be pulled down or pile comments on to bury it. (As they have buried me.)

  2. if the proabortion zealots and intolerant secularist anti-religious bigots keep on shutting down every hint of religious observance in american society, or attacking every ounce of respect that the state may have left for it, they may just break off their teeth.

  3. "drug dealers and traffickers need to be locked up". "we cannot afford just to continue to build prisons". "drug abuse is strangling many families and communities". "establishing more treatment and prevention programs will also be priorities". Seems to be what politicians have been saying for at least three decades now. If these are the most original thoughts these two have on the issues of drug trafficking and drug abuse, then we're no closer to solving the problem than we were back in the 90s when crack cocaine was the epidemic. We really need to begin demanding more original thought from those we elect to office. We also need to begin to accept that each of us is part of the solution to a problem that government cannot solve.

  4. What is with the bias exclusion of the only candidate that made sense, Rex Bell? The Democrat and Republican Party have created this problem, why on earth would anyone believe they are able to fix it without pushing government into matters it doesn't belong?

  5. This is what happens when daddy hands over a business to his moron son and thinks that everything will be ok. this bankruptcy is nothing more than Gary pulling the strings to never pay the creditors that he and his son have ripped off. they are scum and they know it.