United Spinal Joins Disability Gas Coalition to Improve Gas Station Accessibility for People with Disabilities
NEW YORK, Sept. 21, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — United Spinal Association has joined with the Paralyzed Veterans of America to create the Disability Gas Coalition, a national and state level disability rights organization, dedicated to restore refueling assistance at the pump for people living with disabilities.
15 million drivers with disabilities in the United States are unable to easily access gas at 159,000 stations nationwide and Disability Gas Coalition was founded to give voice to this issue.
The Americans with Disabilities Act was passed over 20 years ago, requiring refueling assistance at the pumps when there is more than one employee on duty, yet for people who use wheelchairs, disabled veterans and other people with disabilities service remains elusive.
“For many drivers with disabilities traveling away from home, when it comes time to refuel, they are not sure what they will encounter–whether they will find a station with attendants that will assist them or whether they will have to drive around on fumes in frustration,” said Paul J. Tobin, president and CEO of United Spinal Association.
The problem according to the Coalition is that while gas stations are scrupulous about meeting EPA requirements for fuel storage tanks, or about meeting brand requirements for signage and logos, they are often uninformed and not meeting the legal requirement to provide refueling assistance for drivers with disabilities at the pump.
The solutions proposed by Disability Gas Coalition include:
- A well-identified pump designated for drivers with disabilities.
- Clear signage at the pump posting hours when there is more than one employee on duty.
- An oversized touch pad easily reached from the driver’s seat to ask for assistance.
- A nationally accessible database showing where and when these services are available
The Coalition is asking for the support of the disability community to help spread the word on the lack of gas station access by enlisting state or national organizations to join Disability Gas Coalition.
Individuals can also tweet gas station accessibility issues and include @disabilitygasco or share photos of ineffective signage or videos that document the struggle to get gas on Facebook.
About United Spinal Association
United Spinal is a national 501(c) (3) nonprofit membership organization formed in 1946 by paralyzed veterans and is dedicated to improving the quality of life for all Americans with spinal cord injuries and disorders (SCI/D), including multiple sclerosis, spina bifida, ALS and post-polio. It played a significant role in writing the Americans with Disabilities Act, and made important contributions to the Fair Housing Amendments Act and the Air Carrier Access Act. Membership is free and is open to all individuals with SCI/D. United Spinal was instrumental in getting New York City to create sidewalk curb ramps and accessible public transportation that has been used as a model for many United States cities.
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SOURCE United Spinal Association