Rochester, NY Barometer

Barometer Archive


October, 2016

Breaking News! Rochester ranked 147th out of 150 of the worst cities for people with disabilities!


Nice to finally have that validation... the City of Rochester is undoubtedly brimming with pride at achieving the goal towards which it has worked so diligently year after year. Now the question is: does Rochester want to strive for 148 or 146? This is the question I will put to City Council President, Loretta Scott, in my third follow-up in a month to some simple queries asked of her concerning Rochester’s blatant and ongoing ADA and city charter human rights violations. By the way, refusing to communicate with disabled residents about disability issues is in itself an ADA violation. The city is aware of that - as are the federal and state agencies and elected officials who are currently reviewing my formal discrimination complaints.

The city, of course (based on its documented years’- long response of ignoring, dismissing, demeaning, and lying to the MCS-disabled), simply does not care and, in fact, now has its noteworthy 147 record to uphold. Federal/state agencies and elected officials - at least in an election year - pay more attention to upholding federal laws especially when they can collect fines from perpetrators and in some instances, such as under Title vi of the EPA, can and are obligated to withhold grants and subsidies altogether when a government entity such as the City of Rochester flouts ADA law.

When this news came out on 9/28, naturally the local media broadcasting it contacted only the Center for Disability Rights to create a sound byte with its attorney, who somewhat refuted the grim depiction. I immediately contacted Time Warner News to remind them that:

  1. CDR is not the only disability agency in Rochester and that contacting only that agency creates lopsided and potentially inaccurate and biased reporting
  2. MCS Advocacy has existed here for decades and is the only regional disability agency qualified to advise on MCS issues
  3. Disabled access and accommodation apply to many more disabilities than mobility impairment and other visible disorders - thus, wheelchair ramps and aids for the hearing and visually impaired are not the definitive indicators of ADA compliance
  4. Rochester, NY is, indeed, as reported in the Wallet Hub statistic, woefully lacking in compliance with federal ADA law and in any sincere interest in or tangible action towards accommodating and including its disabled residents


Way to go, Rochester!


Update 10/8: Rochester City Council President Scott’s clear answer to me? 148. Wow.