Headlines & Hot Topics
ACCESSIBILITY & DISABILITY RIGHTS
A recent ruling from an Illinois judge, based on investigations from the ERC, may serve as an important gain in the fight for equal access in public accommodations. Read the ERC's latest blog post about wheelchair accessibility at Kohl's stores and the expanded applicability of the ADA.
During natural disasters, elderly and disabled individuals are often the most vulnerable. Lack of planning, inaccessibility, and neglect could harm people with disabilities during the current fires raging in California.
HOUSING
50 years after the passage of the Fair Housing Act, D.C. still suffers from severe racial disparities caused by discrimination and displacement. In 2017, the ERC received 126 housing discrimination complaints, but this number does not include unreported instances and thus does not convey the extent of discrimination in the city.
Senators Orrin Hatch and Tim Kaine have introduced a bill that would protect against housing discrimination on the basis of source of income or veteran status, two categories that are not currently protected by federal law. In DC, source of income is a protected class.
In 2015, Texas passed a law that ensured landlords cannot be punished for discriminating against families with vouchers. This law made it even more difficult for voucher holders in the state, who are primarily Black and Hispanic, to move into better neighborhoods.
STRATEGIC INITIATIVES
A recent study found that census tracts that are majority Black, Hispanic, or Native American experience about 50 percent greater vulnerability to wildfire. Language barriers, for example, can prevent Hispanic Americans from receiving evacuation orders or staying up to date on latest information.
According to Census data, nearly 6 million Americans over the age of 60 do not speak English very well. This is a major barrier to mental health care.
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