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Advocates for the disabled ‘appalled’ by Haley’s ride-to-get-an-ID proposal

Sep 2, 2011 12:18:00 PM - thestate.com
Advocacy groups for people with disabilities say a plan backed by Gov. Nikki Haley to give voters free rides to the Department of Motor Vehicles offices on Sept. 28 to get photo IDs is discriminatory and a violation of federal law.

Haley and the state DMV said Wednesday that the agency would provide free rides Sept. 28 to voters who need to get a photo ID. A pending state law would require all voters to present a state-approved photo ID at the polls.

But those rides only will be provided to voters who physically are able to walk on their own or with a walker or cane, according to the DMV website. “DMV cannot transport non-ambulatory persons and is not prepared to deal with special needs,” reads the agency’s website.

The advocacy groups say denying rides to people with physical handicaps is a violation of federal law. The federal Americans with Disabilities Act prohibits discrimination on the basis of disability in public accommodations, transportation and other areas.

“We are appalled that the state is openly and blatantly discriminating against individuals with mobility impairments in violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act,” said Gloria Prevost, director of the Protection and Advocacy for People with Disabilities. “Many of these citizens are among those who most need assistance in obtaining the documents that the new law requires. We urge the state to enable all South Carolinians to take advantage of this program.”

USA, South Carolina: (Latest Stories)