WACDA in the News
November 4, 2019
"“This year, Washingtonians nominated 25 employers and eight individuals for these esteemed awards,” said Conrad Reynoldson, chairman of the GCDE Awards Subcommittee...
Washington businesses, agencies, organizations, and individuals submitted the nominations. A panel of GCDE members, business representatives, and previous award recipients selected this year’s honorees."
November 4, 2019
"To meet federal Americans With Disabilities Act standards, city officials dedicated one-fifth of Cody’s $5 million 1-cent specific purpose sales tax revenue toward making curb ramp improvements. The project also involved redoing associated sidewalk, curb and gutter, and pavement replacement.
With the city’s two-phase curb ramp improvement project now done, 159 more pedestrian street crossings are rebuilt, making it possible for people who have disabilities to safely transition from sidewalk to street."
It's great to see how and where others are continuously working to make the world a more accessible place. WACDA strives to see similar, impactful results here in Seattle.
September 10, 2019
When unexpected rain threatened Conrad's power chair, he expected reasonable accommodations for his entire party. Instead, he faced miscommunication and dismissal from employees. "This experience made me feel completely unwelcome and ruined the entire experience for all of us," says Reynoldson. "We expected better from the Seattle Seahawks and CenturyLink Field."
Seattle’s 5th Avenue Theatre Association Accept Judgment in American’s With Disabilities Act Accessibility Lawsuit and Agrees to Make Major Modifications to Seattle’s Historic 5th Avenue Theatre to Remove Barriers to Access
July 15, 2019
After attempts to avoid litigation failed, on December 13, 2018, Washington Civil & Disability Advocate (WACDA) filed suit in the United States District Court for the Western District of Washington, Seattle against the 5th Avenue Theatre Association, the 5th Avenue Theatre Foundation, and the University of Washington, the owners and operators of Seattle’s historic and beautiful 5th Avenue Theatre. The lawsuit was originally captioned, Rhonda Brown v. The University of Washington, 5th Avenue Theatre Association and 5th Avenue Theatre Foundation, (Cause No. 2:18-cv-01791-MJP).
Plaintiff, Rhonda Brown, is a person with a disability who uses a wheelchair for mobility and has attended performances at the 5th Avenue Theatre.
On June 11, 2019, Court entered an agreed judgment, in which the 5th Avenue Theatre Association agreed to make the following modifications to the 5th Avenue Theatre:
Greatly increase the number of wheelchairs accessible seats by installing additional wheelchair accessible and companion seats to bring the total number of each to seventeen (17) per the 2010 ADA Standards for Accessible Design.
Install ADA compliant wall mounted handrails near the front and on each side of the theater to improve access.
Implement and/or update its Accessibility Services manual to keep the area around the water fountains clear of any obstructions.
After the remediation of the wheelchair and accessible companion seats has been completed, update its website seat map and ticket purchasing policy to reflect the location and number of wheelchair and accessible companion seats.
Update its current website seat map and ticket purchasing policy to reflect all available wheelchair accessible and companion seats.
Adopt a Personal Care Attendant (“PCA”) policy where any guest with a disability that requires a PCA present to be able to perform daily living activities, will receive a complimentary ticket and an adjacent ADA seat next to the guest.
Conrad A. Reynoldson was lead counsel in this lawsuit and achieved this result with other WACDA attorneys as well as Mark D. Walters, Reed Pruett Walters Larsen PLLC.
February 12, 2019
"You might find the snow charming, or annoying, or no big deal. But for many Seattle residents, it's dangerous and sometimes impassable."
With the influx of snow in an unprepared city, the change in weather can have severe and overlooked consequences for many. Check out Conrad's talk with KUOW about the snow's effects on Seattleites with disabilities.
WACDA WELCOMES SOUTHEAST ASIAN DELEGATION
November 30, 2018
WACDA was honored and excited to host our third international delegation of the year. This was a Southeast Asian delegation with visitors from India, Pakistan, and Nepal all participating in the State Department's premier professional exchange program, the International Visitor Leadership Program (IVLP). Their visit to Seattle was planned to explore human rights advocacy.
The delegation had a wonderful visit with WACDA where we discussed WACDA’s mission to protect the civil rights of citizens with disabilities, as well as discussion on some of our successes and best practices. We also learned a great deal about the projects these delegates are working on, their visions for equity in their own countries, and their lessons learned. We’d like to thank our guests, as well as the World Affairs Council for facilitating another excellent international discussion centered around justice!
10.17 GOVERNOR’S COMMITTEE EXEMPLARY EMPLOYERS OF PEOPLE WITH DISABILITIES
October 25, 2018
This year’s 26th Annual Governor’s Employer Awards ceremony to recognize employers, hosted by the Governor’s Committee on Disability Issues & Employment (GCDE), was a rousing success. Six public and private employers were honored for their exemplary work recruiting, hiring, retaining, and promoting people with disabilities.
Additionally awarded was the Governor’s Trophy to one outstanding disability employment advocate, as well as a lifetime achievement award. Washington Civil and Disability Advocate founder Conrad Reynoldson acts as the chairman of the GCDE awards subcommittee.
Said Reynoldson of this year’s event, “This year, Washingtonians nominated 22 employers and 8 individuals for these esteemed awards. The success of our ceremony highlights that inclusion is not just the right thing to do; it also makes good business sense!"
It was an incredible honor to have Washington State Governor Jay Inslee speak at the event, pictured here with Conrad Reynoldson.
October 20, 2018
"Wheelchair users attending Seattle Mariners baseball games at Safeco Field get a "second-class" experience, a nonprofit disability-rights law firm says, and has filed a discrimination lawsuit."
October 22, 2018
People who use wheelchairs should not be relegated to far, obstructed views of the game and should not have to endure hazardous conditions. We're fighting to make Safeco Field accessible for all fans!
October 21, 2018
Wheelchair users attending Seattle Mariners baseball games at Safeco Field get a "second-class" experience, a nonprofit disability-rights law firm says.
LAWSUIT DEMANDS EQUAL ACCESS TO MARINERS’ GAMES FOR FANS WITH DISABILITIES
October 18, 2018
Seattle, WA – Washington Civil & Disability Advocate (WACDA) and Connor & Sargent PLLC along with four of their wheelchair-using clients recently filed a lawsuit in the United States District Court for the Western District of Washington against the Seattle Mariners and the Washington State Major League Baseball Stadium Public Facilities District. This lawsuit alleges that baseball games at Safeco Field are not sufficiently accessible to wheelchair users. Insufficient and noncompliant accessible seating dimensions, distribution, and pricing, as well as a lack of equal access to some sections of the stadium, like Edgar’s Cantina, are a few of the issues identified in the complaint filed on October 15th, 2018.
The suit is brought by four lifelong Mariners fans seeking equal access to baseball games under Titles II and III of the Americans with Disabilities Act. Safeco Field is leased and operated by the Seattle Mariners Baseball Club and owned by the Washington State Major League Baseball Stadium Public Facilities District.
“Considering Safeco Field was built and subsequently remodeled long after the passage of the Americans with Disabilities Act in 1991, it’s about time the stadium provided the equal access fans with disabilities expect and deserve under the law,” said Conrad Reynoldson, attorney for the plaintiffs.
WACDA is a 501(c)(3) non-profit civil and disability rights law firm that advocates for disability rights and accessibility all across the state of Washington and beyond through litigation as well as education and advocacy at the local, state, and federal levels.
Connor & Sargent PLLC solve employment and other problems through advice, negotiation, and litigation. Matters handled include employment and consumer class actions; age, race, and gender discrimination; overtime and other wage issues; harassment; executive compensation and severance; non-compete agreements and litigation; complex commercial litigation.
WACDA MEETS WITH DELEGATION FROM MOLDOVA
October 15, 2018
WACDA staff were honored to meet, through the U.S. State Department program, with a group of delegates from Moldova focused on empowering minority groups. The delegation has been traveling across the United States; one of the themes they focused on in the Seattle segment of their program was the rights and protections for people with disabilities.
In our meeting, WACDA shared our mission and approach to using litigation, advocacy, and education to empower people with disabilities in our own community. We shared the way local, state, and federal protections work, and sometimes don’t work, to promote accessibility and equality in the United States. The Moldovan delegation shared some recent successes in their country’s own process to bring a higher threshold of accessibility to their citizens. We concluded our meeting with open and informative discussions on best practices, potential setbacks, and next steps for our prospective groups. WACDA is proud to be a part of this international dialogue and is thankful that the Moldovan delegation it took time out of their whirlwind cross-country tour to meet with us.
WACDA MEETS WITH DELEGATION FROM JAPAN
May 31, 2018
Through the World Affairs Council of Seattle, WACDA met with a delegation of Japanese visitors who are participating in the State Department's premier professional exchange program, the International Visitor Leadership Program (IVLP). On this IVLP, titled Disability Access and Inclusion, the visitors came to Seattle to examine local services for people with disabilities, disability rights advocacy and activism and promoting independent living.
WACDA was honored to have a chance to discuss the work we do with an international audience and to gain insights into how similar advocacy is pursued in other countries. We had a productive meeting where we shared WACDA’s origin, the methodology of our work, and insights we have gleaned from our practice. We would like to thank the Japanese delegation for taking the time to meet with us and hope our conversations spark new ideas for both countries to continue to work together to fight for greater accessibility and inclusion of people with disabilities.
June 9, 2019
Live Nation Worldwide Inc. and Ticketmaster LLC violated the Americans with Disabilities Act by making it nearly impossible to purchase tickets for wheelchair-accessible seats at Seattle’s CenturyLink Field. Whether the current website is compliant is still a question...
May 3, 2018
WACDA co-counseled with Pfau Cochran Vertetis Amala PLLC to represent multiple clients concerned about the University of Washington Seattle campus parking accessibility. After filing a lawsuit on November 15, 2016 plaintiffs' counsel and The University of Washington have now agreed to a consent decree to make 43 parking facilities accessible within five years, and make 77 parking facilities accessible within 15 years. These changes will significantly increase parking accessibility across the Seattle campus for people with mobility disabilities.
Conrad Reynoldson was on Kiro 7 news with Olivia Williams, one of our plaintiffs in our case with the University of Washington, talking about the Consent Decree to make campus accessible parking in 77 facilities across the campus compliant.
April 2, 2018
Conrad is the Featured Profile in the King County Bar Association's Bar Bulletin
October 9, 2018
University of Washington School of Law recognized Conrad’s achievements and interviewed him in the recent October Alumni Newsletter.
August 14, 2020
"Conrad Reynoldson, founder and vice president of Washington Civil & Disability Advocate, shared his perspective on this. “As wonderful as the impact [of] the law has been, it was simply the end of the beginning rather than the beginning of the end when it comes to stopping widespread discrimination and inaccessibility…Airlines are exempt…and the ADA has yet to have been updated to clearly cover websites. The ADA does not even cover the very Federal courts in which it is supposed to be enforced and no matter how egregious the discrimination (outside of the employment title) damages are very difficult to ever obtain.”
July 2, 2020
Our own Conrad Reynoldson was recently quoted in The Stranger on how the city of Seattle did not seek input from the disability community prior to rolling out it's proposed plans for sidewalk cafe legislation.
"'It's concerning and a bit upsetting that [the city] didn’t appear to seek input from disability rights organizations,' Conrad Reynoldson, an attorney with Washington Civil & Disability Advocate told me. While he doesn't see anything inherently wrong with sidewalk cafes, he hasn't gotten any tangible information about the program from the city. All he learned about it was from this Seattle Times article."
Outdoor Space for Dining and Retail May Help Businesses, But May Impede People With Disabilities, Advocates Worry
June 26, 2020
"Reynoldson is founder of the nonprofit Washington Civil and Disability Advocate. He said he supports efforts to help customers practice social distancing. While the legislation notes that changes need to comply with ADA access regulations, it doesn’t give specific guidance for doing that."
Conrad Reynoldson, the founder of WACDA, was recently interviewed by KUOW on the recent changes to rules about outdoor seating at restaurants, and how these social distancing measures may cause access barriers for people with disabilities. Click above to listen to or read the full story.
June 12, 2020
“Education and awareness are the most effective tools for combating ignorance and discrimination. I would love to see more law schools make concerted efforts to increase the representation of people with significant disabilities … There also needs to be more disability rights continuing legal education for attorneys and judges across the country ... A spirit of humility and seeking to understand how to be accessible and inclusive for the entire community will go a long way.”
WACDA founder Conrad Reynoldson was recently featured in by the American Bar Association’s Diversity and Inclusion Center. Click the link to read the whole interview.
Americans with Disabilities Fear They Could Be Denied Treatment if They End Up in the Hospital with COVID-19
April 3, 2020
"When 33-year-old Conrad Reynoldson heard about some of the state protocols, he told me he had “a moment of sinking dread.” The Seattle attorney has Duchenne muscular dystrophy, and he’s worried that if he becomes seriously ill, his diagnosis could prevent him from getting treatment. “I’m healthy, stable, and I’m contributing to the community,” he told me. “I don’t want someone looking at my diagnoses and rationing care based on inaccurate assumptions.”
January 16, 2020
A huge victory has been achieved with recently passed legislation that created a public education program about the snow & ice removal responsibilities of private property owners in Seattle. This has mandated the creation of a video PSA, and the sending of a mailer in Seattle utility bills about the importance of sidewalk clearing. This achievement is made possible by the advocacy efforts of Rooted in Rights through a campaign of collecting individual stories of people with disabilities reflecting on the difficulties of navigating the city in a snow emergency. Most notably, one of these videos was made by WACDA's Conrad Reynoldson. Watch the video again here.
December 12, 2019
"Salvini: I read [on a] Christopher Reeves website a while ago that Seattle was always voted the most accessible city. You talk to anybody in the city, and they laugh. A good friend of mine, Conrad Reynoldson, is a lawyer and he’s done a lot of push for curb cuts and all these things within town... "
December 3, 2019
"A Washington federal judge rejected the remaining claims Tuesday in a suit against the Seattle Mariners over an alleged lack of sufficient seats for fans who use wheelchairs at T-Mobile Field, finding that the stadium does not have to provide sightlines over the heads of fans who stand during exciting parts of the games."
November 13, 2019
"In 1990, the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) opened a new world for millions of people with disabilities by requiring businesses to make their physical locations accessible. Forward-thinking business leaders are making sure their digital spaces are also accessible and are embracing the universal design that will help them tap into new consumer markets."
November 15, 2019
"In this three-part series, we’ll show you how fonts can help your website follow the standards established by the Americans with Disabilities Act."