New laws recently enacted by the Arizona Legislature will make life for men, women and children with disabilities both easier and a little more challenging.
On the positive side, SB1239 makes it illegal for anyone to park on the striped access aisles next to an accessible parking spot, even someone with an accessible placard.
“People with disabilities need that area to exit their vehicles,” said Sarah Kader, staff attorney at the Arizona Center for Disability Law. “Even if you have a disabled person parking placard, you cannot cover those stripes or you’ll get a ticket.”
SB 1269, or the “Emergency Prescription Refill Bill,” allows a pharmacist under specific circumstances to issue a one-time emergency refill of a non-controlled medication used to treat an ongoing medical condition. Among other factors is that the pharmacy must have a prior record of the patient taking the medication.
“Suppose you run out of a prescription over a long holiday weekend or you realize the prescription has expired. Now, you don’t need to go to urgent care, but can call your pharmacy and get enough medication to get you through the weekend,” explained Jennifer Longdon, an advocate for people with disabilities and a member of the Ability360 team.
For those who enjoy a good game of Bingo, SB1180 requires that bingo establishments must comply with the Americans with Disability Act and offer free technological aids to anyone needing assistance. The aids may be substitutes for bingo cards and allow players to claim prizes by presenting a printout or an audio or visual signal.
One new law, SB1406, came in response to the large number of lawsuits filed against businesses because of parking lot issues. The law amends the Arizonans with Disabilities Act to give businesses up to 90 days to correct structural accessibility violations before a lawsuit can be filed. The law also exempts websites from state accessibility requirements.
“Until this point, any Arizonan with a disability who was unable to access a business, could file a lawsuit right away,” Kader explained. “Now, the businesses, once notified, have up to 90 days to fix the problem. Unfortunately, that doesn’t help a person with a disability gain access to the business establishment in a timely manner.”
For more information about these and other laws passed during the 52nd session of the Arizona Legislature, visit www.azdisabilitylaw.org.