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A FAIR SHAKE FOR DISABLED/HANDICAPPED COMMUNITY GARDENERS

  • Subject: [cg] A FAIR SHAKE FOR DISABLED/HANDICAPPED COMMUNITY GARDENERS
  • From: Commgarden@aol.com
  • Date: Wed, 14 May 2003 03:56:36 EDT

Dear Co-Community Gardeners,

THIS IS AN URGENT REQUEST FOR ADVICE ABOUT GETTING COMPLIANCE WITH THE 
"AMERICANS WITH DISABILITIES ACT"
FROM  OUR COMMUNITY GARDEN 'LANDLORD'-OUR LOCAL PARK DISTRICT.
BACKGROUND: We, The Las Flores Community Garden in Thousand Oaks, California, 
in keeping with the AMERICANS WITH DISABILITIES ACT, intentionally and 
specifically include in our bylaws people with disabilities among those 
eligible for membership and make discrimination against them grounds for 
dismissal from our community garden.

We have had a wriiten agreement for use of Conejo Recreation and Park 
District land for our community garden since 2000, and have been given 
repeated assurances that disabled access and parking  will be provided, so 
far to no avail. (By the way, the District has a long established program of 
recreational therapy for people wth disabilities at another site).
There is a designated parking area some one hundred yards from the garden 
over very uneven, unpaved ground , behind a gate that is only unlocked on 
Wednesdays, Saturdays and Sundays.

A little over a week ago, two of our disabled members- one of whom has 
emphasema and asthma and uses portable oxygen twenty-four hours a day- duly 
parked in the designated area, walked to the garden, worked in the garden a 
couple of hours until the onset of
of an asthma attack. Her partner called the Park District on his cell phone 
to get someone to come unlock the gate so he could drive in to 
transport his partner for medical help. He could not get a response and left 
an understandably agitated message. The Park District now blames   
him and her and takes offense at his choice of words("BS"), claiming he 
should not have bothered the Park District!

Have any other community garden groups or individuals run into a similar 
situation? Were you able to resolve it to the benefit of your members? How 
was that accomplished?

Thanks for taking the time to read this.

______________________________________________________
The American Community Gardening Association listserve is only one of ACGA's services to community gardeners. To learn more about the ACGA and to find out how to join, please go to http://www.communitygarden.org


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