Faces of DFEH
Read real-life stories about how DFEH is protecting and enforcing the civil rights of all Californians.
DISCRIMINATION BASED ON DISABILITY
What was your experience that led you to seek out help from CRD?
I was not given reasonable accommodation for my physical disability by my homeowner’s association (HOA) board of directors. My HOA has rules about when we have to remove trash cans from the street after trash pickup. Because of my disability, I use a wheelchair, an oxygen supply, and the assistance of a caregiver to move. This made it difficult at times to retrieve my trash cans at the set time according to HOA rules. HOA officers ignored my requests for accommodation, and I was fined for not being able to comply with the schedule.
How did that experience affect you?
The experience of being ignored, fined, and harassed by the HOA affected my health, and left me feeling alone, depressed, and helpless. I was unhappy living in my own home.
What do you want people to take away from your experience?
I would hope that people who serve on HOA boards would have training in ADA laws. In the end I hope my standing up for my rights will make a positive difference in my community so other disabled people will not have to suffer.
What do you want people to know about discrimination based on disability?
Discrimination is a very real thing when it comes to disabled people, especially when you are a senior. When you live in a HOA, they must follow legal standards, so you are not helpless. Do use the CRD. The only thing that stopped my harassment and discrimination is when the HOA board got a letter from CRD. It might take a while but be patient. It worked in my case.
How was your experience with CRD?
My experience with CRD was a positive one. I had my sister and nephew handle it with me because I could not take the stress. The negotiations seemed to work well. I did receive a monetary compensation, and the HOA management company had to take a fair housing training class.