From Peter S. Raimondi:
I am an 88 year old polio survivor. Since I was 17 years of age, I have fought for the rights of the disabled and elderly.
In the last 10 years or so with the help of Maryland Commission on Civil Rights, I have gotten approximately 100 restaurants to supply chairs with arms so that the disabled and elderly can easily sit and rise from a seated position. We the disabled and elderly must climb mountains every day of our lives.
I need the public’s help in getting an intolerable condition that exist in our malls and department stores corrected. Under the public accommodations law of the State of Maryland reasonable accommodations must be provided to all citizens. Yet not one mall or department store in Maryland provides battery operated shopping carts that you find in grocery stores. Most malls and department stores have marble floors which are very slippery when that are wet, which makes it extremely difficult for the disabled and elderly to walk if using crutches or walkers or canes Many states furnish these battery operated carts for their disabled and elderly customers. Not so in the State of Maryland. The Maryland Public Accommodations law seems to have two sets of rules. One for the small business and one for the large department stores and malls such as General growth properties, White Marsh Mall, Harford Mall and every mall in Maryland. Those department stores that do no provide battery operated shopping carts in Maryland are Maces, Sears, JC.Penny, Ross, Bed bath and beyond, plus many others.
The U.S. Department of Justice states that if given a level playing field the disabled and elderly would out spend all other groups of people that Madison Avenue directs their advertisement too. Most of these department stores and malls provide wheelchairs. Try pushing yourself around a 2 mile department store or mall. Where do you put your packages?
Help us to climb those mountains that we face each day. Let your voice be heard in support of getting battery operated carts in our shopping center and our department store to make them even better than they already are by improving their accessibility.
Peter S. Raimondi
Bel Air, Maryland 21014