A local history museum recently invited a public school to host a holiday concert at its venue. The museum was built in 1901 and was not wheelchair-accessible. Mrs. Ashby, mother of one of the students, was unable to attend the concert because she is wheelchair-dependent. She was unable to see her son participate in the holiday concert. Mrs. Ashby sued the school corporation for disability discrimination.
The Court dismissed Mrs. Ashby’s claim and ruled in favor of the school corporation. In this case, the concerts were organized, sponsored, and maintained by the private museum. Because the concerts were not provided by the school, Mrs. Ashby did not have a claim against the school. In addition, the museum itself was not subject to the disability accessibility standards set out in legislation.
Although the disability discrimination act did not apply in this situation, there are several avenues available to protect the interests of those who are disabled. For example, Indiana has ABLE accounts for those with disabilities. This allows qualified individuals to save money while remaining eligible for public assistance programs.
There are also estate planning options for disabled ones. For example, you can create a special needs trust within your Will to provide for your disabled loved one after you die. This type of trust provides money to your disabled loved one without rendering them ineligible for public assistance benefits. Our attorneys can create an estate plan personalized to your wants and needs.
Source: Ashby v. Warrick County School Corporation, 2018 WL 5784478 (7th Cir. Nov. 5, 2018)