March 1, 2000The Honorable Max Cleland
United States Senator
75 Spring Street, S.W.
Atlanta, Georgia 30303
Dear Senator Cleland:
This is in response to your request for assistance on behalf of your constituent, Mrs. Xxxxxx x. xxxxxx of Stone Mountain, Georgia. Mrs. xxxxxx wrote for information on obtaining financial assistance to purchase a van for her disabled husband who uses a Rangerx wheelchair.
Staff of the Disability Rights Section, Civil Rights Division, carefully reviewed Mrs. xxxxxx's request. Our Department enforces the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, and section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended. Both these laws are considered to be civil rights statutes prohibiting discrimination on the basis of disability; they do not specifically provide financial assistance for persons with disabilities.
There are numerous other federal statutes to provide financial and other support to persons with disabilities, and to protect them from discrimination. We have enclosed a summary of federal programs targeted to assist persons with disabilities that was published by the Department of Education several years ago (Enclosure 1). Separate chapters in this publication describe income, housing, education, health, and transportation assistance programs. Mrs. xxxxxx should contact the federal, state, or local agencies that directly administer these programs at the local level. Also enclosed is a list of organizations within Georgia that serve persons with disabilities (Enclosure 2).
The Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services (OSERS), Department of Education, administers most federal special education and rehabilitation programs to assist persons with disabilities. OSERS may have additional information and suggestions for Mrs. xxxxxx with respect to Georgia's programs to assist persons who need specially equipped vehicles to transport wheelchair users like Mr. xxxxxx. Mrs. xxxxxx may contact OSERS by writing to:
Ms. Judith Heumann
Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services
Department of Education
330 C Street, S.W., Room 3006
Washington, D.C. 20202
Telephone: (202) 205-5465
On a similar request from your office last year, we contacted the United Cerebral Palsy Association (UCP) in Georgia and spoke with Ms. Jan Popovich who suggested that the writer seeking financial aid in obtaining a van should contact UCP with the request. At that time, Ms. Popovich said she could send a resource package targeted to the writer's request for obtaining transportation for a person with disabilities. We reiterate this information for Mrs. xxxxxx. The address for UCP is:
United Cerebral Palsy Association
1665 Tullie Circle
Atlanta, Georgia 30329
Telephone: (404) 329-9390
Ms. Popovich also provided us with several resources in Georgia that might aid Mrs. xxxxxx as well. The agency titles and telephone numbers are:
Foundation for Medically Fragile Children
Telephone: (707) 953-3750
Tools for Life
Georgia Department of Human Resources
Telephone: 1 (800) 497-8665
Georgia Learning Resources System
Telephone: 1 (800) 282-7552
I hope this information is responsive to your inquiry. Please do not hesitate to contact the Department if we can be of assistance in other matters.
Bill Lann Lee
Acting Assistant Attorney General
Civil Rights Division