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Disabled man behind renovation of Indianapolis Motor Speedway

One of the things we frequently speak about on this blog is the challenges faced by those with disabilities. These challenges are mental and emotional, but also financial and social. Programs like Social Security Disability exist for the sake of ensuring that our disabled are given a minimum amount of financial support. Other protections, like the Americans with Disabilities Act, address the challenges of the disabled in other ways.

The Indianapolis Motor Speedway will reportedly be launching an overhaul of its facilities to bring them into compliance with federal disability law after reaching an agreement with the U.S. Department of Justice, as well as members of the Indiana disability community.

The agreement came after a disabled man was denied access to the pit area, despite having credentials, during the Indy 500 festivities. Security officials reportedly told the disabled man he would not be able to enter because the speedway didn't have sufficient seating accessible for those in wheelchairs.

A subsequent investigation by the Department of Justice found that the Speedway had over 360 violations of federal disability law, including having insufficient access and seating for disabled individuals in various sections of the speedway.

The speedway agreed to pay the disabled man and the Department of Justice $35,000 each in settlement money. In addition, the speedway will be developing and providing new training procedures for its staff members, and developing a written policy permitting individuals with disabilities who hold proper credentials to enter the pit or garage areas.

Speedway renovations will reportedly take as much as 30 months to complete.

Source: USA Today, "IMS must complete facelift to comply with federal law," Brian Spurlock, January 10, 2013

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