SPOKANE, Wash,. – Officials and local disability activists are warning about fake cards that attempt to use the Americans with Disabilities Act to get out of wearing masks in businesses.
“A reasonable accommodation isn’t ‘oh, I’m going to let that person into my store without a mask,'” Felton said. “It’s ‘hey, can I get your list and I will do the shopping for you and I’ll bring it out. We won’t charge you extra for the curbside pickup.'”
The EMD said other examples of reasonable accommodations include swapping out a tight face mask for a loose scarf or using phone and video calls instead of face-to-face meetings.
Felton said their family has lost several people they know to COVID-19, and wants to remind the public that we wear masks to protect each other from ourselves. Felton compared pretending to have a disability to avoid wearing a mask to crying wolf, and said these selfish choices affect the entire disability community.
“When people who are not disabled go out and claim that the Americans with Disabilities Act protects them, and [are] using it kind of like this Monopoly get out of jail free card for wearing a mask, that delegitimizes the disability justice movement,” Felton said.
Spokane-area businesses that want to know more about reasonable accommodations and serving people with disabilities that keep them from wearing masks are encouraged to contact Access 4 All Spokane and the Disability Action Center.