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Community Gardeners and the ADA ACT - Links & a Suggestion onHelp

  • Subject: [cg] Community Gardeners and the ADA ACT - Links & a Suggestion onHelp
  • From: Adam36055@aol.com
  • Date: Sat, 1 Apr 2006 12:21:47 EST

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) was signed into law by President  
George Bush on July 26, 1990. This Act provides sweeping civil rights 
protection  for people with disabilities. The prototypes for the ADA are the Civil 
Rights  Act of 1964, which prohibits discrimination base on race, color, gender,  
religion and national origin in employment, public accommodations and 
provision  of state and local government services, and Section 504 of the 
Rehabilitation  Act of 1973, which prohibits federal fund recipients from discrimination 
based  on disability. 
Here are some ADA links, so folks researching this issue by topic in the  
future in the ACGA listserv archives will be able to access them quickly
1) USDOJ ADA page: _http://www.usdoj.gov/crt/ada/adahom1.htm_ 
2) The Disabled American Veterans page: _http://www.dav.org/_ 

If you're constructing a public facility in the USA, and a community garden  
by definition is a public facility,then compliance with the American With  
Disabilities Act ("ADA:)  is integral to the planning of the facility as  raised 
beds, a good water source and a secure tool shed. ADA compliance is not  an 
"add-on." ADA has to be part of basic design now, because legally mandated  
retrofits to comply with the  are awfully expensive.
Dorene Paselkoff and William Hohauser's advice is spot-on.  The board  of 
your program screwed up when they did not consider ADA rules and zoning  
something to be included in the basic design of the governing homeless  facility from 
the get-go. 
Adam's two cents:  You will need a ramp if you're going to have a  garden. 
The contractor's bid for the ramp is reasonable, but beyond what  your board is 
willing to pay.  They would be willing, if I'm not mistaken,  to cancel the 
rehabilitative community garden in order to go forward,  viewing it as a frill.  
Some folks to reach out to: 
All states have a local ADA site - here's NC's:All states have a local ADA  
compliance offices - here is NC's  

1)  If the homeless in your area are anything like the homeless in  other 
parts of the country, many of them are Veterans.  If you have a  sizable number 
of vets in your proposed client population, I'd reach out  to the local NC 
Disabled American Veterans group:   _http://www.davnc.org/_ 
(http://www.davnc.org/)  , and your  local VFW to see if they would like to help out disabled, 
homeless vets in this  fashion - _http://www.manilasites.com/vfwnc/_ 
2) I'd reach out to your local state university law school to find a  good 
ADA qualified attorney willing to review your situation and give you advice  on 
a pro-bono basis. The phrase, "homeless veterans," might open doors. 
3) I'd reach out to your local state university's architectural dept to get  
someone to design your ADA ramp on a pro-bono basis, as a project. Perhaps 
even  have the ramp constructed by students as part of their schooling. 
With good plans, donated and/or discounted labor and materials, you have a  
chance of passing building code inspection  and getting your  garden  Good 
Adam Honigman
Hell's Kitchen, NYC
Here is the US Dept of Justice Americans With Disabilities Act web  page. 

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