However, in true BostonNOW fashion, the story clearly wasn't edited by anyone who has any knowledge of preferred disability terminology. Or anyone who could look up disability terminology in the Associated Press stylebook or by doing a quick google search.
Here's the story, shamelessly reprinted in its entirety, with my copy-editing:
Dealerships apparently have to provide hand controls
Jon Tapper, Correspondent
An agreement reached between the one of the Commonwealth's biggest auto dealers and a
"I'd argue any dealership is at risk because of this case," Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination Chairman Walter Sullivan said.
Ernie Boch, Jr., who owns and operates eight dealerships in Massachusetts, had been the subject of a discrimination complaint from a
After initially contesting the matter, Boch began making the hand controls available. The Commission Against Discrimination, which received the complaint, lauded Boch for offering the service all his dealerships - not just the one that had been the subject of the case.
"I didn't realize how many people actually needed (hand controls)," Boch said in a recent interview. "I don't think I placed any importance on it at first."
The Massachusetts State Automobile Dealers Association said it had not heard of the issue, and was not aware of other dealerships with similar policies. A BostonNOW survey of 10 area auto dealers found that none had hand controls available for
"Car dealerships are covered under the ADA (the Americans with Disabilities Act), so they have to accommodate people with disabilities," said Paula Pearlman, the deputy director of Disability Rights Legal Center, a national advocacy center based in Los Angeles.
Hand controls, which allow a
"It costs nothing for a dealership to have these on hand and install when requested," Pearlman said.
At issue in the complaint against Boch was whether the dealer violated the state's disability rights statute by not offering "reasonable accommodation" to Betsy Pillsbury, who
But in the same motion, Boch maintains "even the requirement to make available and install portable hand controls constitutes an undue burden on its business and is therefore not a reasonable accommodation."
Nine months later, however, Pillsbury dropped her complaint after Boch agreed to offer the temporary devices, commission chairman Sullivan said. Pillsbury, who ended up buying a car at a different dealership, could not be reached for comment.
Hand control devices, which allow
There are dozens of other adjustments and modifications that can be made to a vehicle to accommodate
The Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination received 3,198 complaints in 2006, a decrease of 200 complaints from 2005. Greater awareness of the laws is the likely reason.
Almost one-fifth of the cases - 19.7 percent - involve charges of discrimination based on disability. Complaints about gender discrimination (18.9 percent) and racial discrimination (18.5 percent) followed. Other complaints focused on retaliation (12.6 percent), age (9.6 percent) and national origin (7.8 percent).
Those who feel victimized by discrimination can call MCAD at (617) 994-6000. Complaints should be filed at MCAD's office, located in Room 601 of the McCormack Building.
(Robert Boismier contributed to this story.)
Published on Mon, Sep 10, 2007
I e-mailed them to comment on this, and I provided the following references:
The American Psychological Association article listed above alsocontains links to articles about nonbiased reporting related tosexuality/gender and race/ethnicity.