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Disabled Woman Sues Houston Ice Cream Parlor Over Lack Of Wheelchair Accessibility

The "Americans with Disabilities Act" became law 23 years ago this week. Commemorating that event, the Houston branch of the Texas Civil Rights Project has just filed three lawsuits alleging discrimination against people with disabilities.One suit is against an ice cream parlor here in Houston.


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For much of last year, Oralia Diaz visited the Baskin Robbins on Edgebrook Drive in southeast Houston fairly regularly with her grandchildren. The only problem for Diaz was that she’s bound to a wheelchair.

Which would be OK if the shop was easily accessible to handicapped people.

“There is no parking first of all, there’s no accessible parking. And there’s a sidewalk which has no ramp anywhere, no curb cut, nothing, anywhere.”

To enter the shop — with help — she would have to go around the building where the sidewalk is about 2 inches above the parking lot.

If there was a car parked next to her, she couldn’t even get out of her van.

Diaz says each time she went she asked employees at the shop to improve accessibility. When that didn’t help, she approached the Texas Civil Rights Project, which sent out several letters to the management. But she says they got no response.

Amin Alehashem is the Project’s regional director and staff attorney. He has filed a lawsuit against the Baskin Robbins franchise on Diaz’s behalf.

“The sad truth of the matter is that 23 years after the passage of the ADA, enormous obstacles remain for those who are disabled to just be able to navigate and access basic goods and basic services.”

Part of the Disabilities Act requires commercial facilities to ensure accessibility for the disabled.

KUHF tried to contact the owner of the Baskin Robbins franchise on Edgebrook, but she didn’t return a phone call before deadline.


Below is a copy of Oralia Diaz’s lawsuit against a Houston Baskin Robbins franchise filed on Thursday: