2011/1/24: ADA letter from breathing disabled Rossie Judd to Keith Sappington, House ADA Coordinator, claiming denial of access to Mo. Capitol

The following letter was sent via e-mail to Mr. Keith Sappington (e-mail: Keith.Sappington@house.mo.gov), ADA Coordinator, House of Representatives, on January 24, 2011. It laid out in detail the legal basis for the following claims by Ms. Rossie Judd (e-mail: jsnowdove@aol.com; ph: 636/575-4895) of Fenton, Missouri, who is breathing-disabled and highly smoke-sensitive. As a result Judd is on Social Security, and her disability is covered by the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). Here are the main points in her complaint:

* Denial of meaningful access for the breathing disabled to the House of Representatives
* Disparate impact discrimination against the breathing disabled by the House of Representatives
* Disparate treatment against the breathing disabled by the House of Representatives
* Failure of the House of Representatives to comply with the self‐evaluation requirements of 28 C.F.R. § 35.105(a)

The letter was prepared by Mr. Billy Williams (e-mail: Bjwtex@aol.com; ph: 972/353-8764), Executive Director, GASP of Texas, and the full text can be viewed by clicking on the pdf link below:

The attachment referenced in the above letter – “Thomas E. Perez letter, dated September 02, 2010” – may be viewed by clicking on the following pdf link:
DOJ_Perez_Sept 02_2010

The following addendum has been submitted by Mr. Williams to the above complaint to prevent a legislator from offering to meet in a smoke-free state office building instead of their own office in the State Capitol. Such an offer was made in the past to another asthmatic constituent, Ms. Vivian Dietemann of St. Louis City, and is not allowed under current law.

From: Billy Williams
Subject: Rossie Judd ADA Complaint
Date: January 27, 2011 9:03:35 AM CST
To: Keith Sappington e-mail: keith.sappington@house.mo.gov
Cc: Rep. Jeanette Mott Oxford, Rossie Judd, Linda Baker, Mike Talboy, Martin Pion, Steven Tilley

To: Keith Sappington
ADA Coordinator
House of Representatives
State of Missouri


Mr. Sappington:

Re: Unnecessary segregation of the breathing disabled by the House of Representatives in violation of Title II of the ADA.

Ms. Rossie Judd has authorized me to add another allegation to her ADA complaint against the Missouri House of Representatives.

This allegation alleges that the House policy of requiring the breathing disabled to meet with their representatives in any place other than the member’s offices is in violation of the U.S. Supreme Court decision in Olmstead v. L.C. Ex Rel. Zimring, 527 U.S. 581, 119 S.Ct. 2176 (1999), which states:

“A public entity shall administer services . . . in the most integrated setting appropriate to the needs of qualified individuals with disabilities.” (unnecessary segregation of persons with disabilities constitutes a form of discrimination prohibited by the ADA and the integration regulation.). Regarding the States’ obligation to avoid unjustified isolation of individuals with disabilities, the Attorney General provided that States could resist modifications that ‘would fundamentally alter the nature of the service, program or activity.” 527 U.S. 596-97, 119 S.Ct. 2185. (citations omitted).

And again, Ms. Judd points out that it would not be a fundamental alteration of the nature of a service, program or activity to remove smoking, a public health hazard, from the State Capitol.

Respectfully submitted

Billy Williams
Executive Director
GASP of Texas
1419 Creekview Drive
Lewisville, TX 75067

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