Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Blatant Autism Discrimination At e-Bay and PayPal, Joint Cause of the National 96 % Adult Autism Unemployment Rate

My apologies to my readers for not writing for so long. I not only have markedly limited verbal abilities, but a Jan. 2008 brain injury for which my medical care was cut off, aggravating the extent of my brain damage.

I do intend to resume with the posts I promised, but in the meantime I feel the need to bring an important issue to the attention of the Autism community regarding an example of lack of Autism access, and this will not be my last post as I do think there is a need to start calling out the Autism access barriers where they exist in an endeavor to see if we as an Autism community can ask society to remedy them.

This post is a Greatly needed post on just ONE MORE REASON adults with Autism continue to suffer a Devastating appx. 96 % National unemployment rate, resulting in our parents, families, and the American taxpayer having to pay to warehouse us when "but for" the Blatant Autism discrimination at e-Bay and PayPal and MANY U.S. banks and other American businesses, we could support ourselves.

I not only have severe Autism with limited verbal abilities, but also temporal lobe epilepsy triggered by loud speech sounds including speech on telephones and cell phones. This is not an unknown disability as it has been documented on the www.omim.org database, #600512: "Michelucci et al. (2007) reported a 36-year-old woman with lateral temporal lobe epilepsy manifest as telephone-induced seizures. She had an 11-year history of recurrent partial complex and secondarily generalized seizures evoked almost exclusively by answering the telephone. Other auditory stimuli could also elicit seizures. The seizures were accompanied by distortion or attenuation of sound, inability to understand language, and inability to speak appropriately, all consistent with lateral temporal lobe involvement."

Here is my Oddysey through the INSANE completely inaccessible, un-navigable method e-Bay and PayPal and MY bank (Regions Bank - Florida) use for the Nation's vulnerable developmentally disabled adults with Autism:

To contact PayPal, the adult with Autism with the epilepsy is REQUIRED to find another person to use a telephone and call e-Bay to get "transfered" to PayPal -- apparently, PayPal has NO telephone number, NO TTY, NO Internet access, NO PECS, NO iPad access or anything to accommodate the TIDAL WAVE of adults with Autism in this Country as REQUIRED (a federal civil right) under Title III of the Americans With Disabilities Act, 42 U.S.C. Secs. 12181-12188 et sec. (See, also Meyers v. City of Jacksonville, Fla., 754 So.2d 198 (Fla. 1st DCA 2000) (violation of the ADA access statutes or regulations also constitutes per se negligence and subjects the business to money damages)).

I have had a PayPal account since appx. 2000-2001, and had a "verified" "confirmed" bank account with them. Without providing me ANY Autism accessible visual notice whatsoever, PayPal "unconfirmed" and "unverified" my bank account sometime last fall, unknown to me. They then told me I had to go through the "confirm" and "verify" bank account process AGAIN.

When I atttempted to do an "Instant Confirmation" of my PayPal bank account, I could not coordinate my fingers fast enough to enter the numbers and PayPal timed-out my Autism AAC computer device without letting me use my three attempts, and then took the posture that they had NO program in place to assist people with Autism and vaccine injuries who have motor neuron dexterity impairments to do an "Instant Confirmation" and that they "didn't have to" and that there was NO one I could have my phone interpreter talk to about it. This is COMPLETELY CONTRARY to the civil rights DUTIES these businesses OWE to disabled adults with Autism and other dexterity disabled Americans and one CAN ONLY WONDER WHERE THEIR LEGAL DEPARTMENTS PASSED THEIR BAR EXAMS !!!

The fact disabled plaintiffs in Rendon v. Valleycrest Productions, Ltd., No. 01-11197 (11th Cir. 2002), for example, were screened out by an automated telephone system, rather than by an admission policy administered at the studio door, was of no consequence under the Americans With Disabilities Act statute; “eligibility criteria are frequently implemented off site-for example, through the mail or over the telephone. Indeed, Congress specifically noted in the ADA’s ‘findings of fact’ that ‘individuals with disabilities continually encounter various forms of discrimination, including outright intentional exclusion, the discriminatory effects of architectural, transportation, and communication barriers,’ the very sorts of discrimination the statute seeks to redress. 42 U.S.C. § 12101(a)(5) (emphasis added),” Id. (citing Ferguson v. City of Phoenix, 157 F.3d 668 (9th Cir. 1998) (discriminatory 9-1-1 emergency response system))/

Oblivious to their DUTIES under the Americans With Disabilities Act, PayPal droned on and told me I would have to "wait 2-3 days" for PayPal to send a small deposit to my bank, and then I would have to get that small deposit amount and enter it into PayPal to "confirm" and "verify" my bank account the 'Non-Instant way.'

I DID do that, more than 7 days ago, and my bank informed me they STILL have received NO deposit from PayPal. Note: PayPay falsely advertises the turn-around time is 2-3 days, but admitted it can take up to 5 days and in my case it is now 7 days of attempting to navigate this same Autism lack of access issue.

My bank also refuses to provide any Autism AAC access accommodations and has taken the posture that a person who cannot use a telephone like a "normal" Neuro-typical person "must have a guardian," and they say they 'never heard' of the Americans With Disabilities Act and do not have to obey its disability civil rights access provisions. Ultimately, 7 days later, my bank told me it can do nothing to help me navigate as an adult with Autism, that PayPal must do it, and that my deposit money from my e-Bay sale can be held hostage and not given to me.

PayPal refuses whatsoever to do ANYTHING to make the process accessible, says 2-3 day time periods can just keep occurring indefinitely (in an endless loop), and that PayPal has NO legal duty under Title III of the Americans With Disabilities Act to make its process of "confirming" and "verifying" a bank account accessible to a severely disabled adult with Autism, and there is NOTHING I can do about it.

e-Bay has been MORE helpful than PayPal or my bank, but nevertheless e-Bay lacks pictogram signage adults with Autism can follow to navigate around e-Bay and MORE ESPECIALLY fails to write its information on 'how to navigate different selling methods' and its 'rules' in a way to remove the social-English people with Autism cannot understand and put it in simple language and pictogram terms adults with Autism can understand and navigate. It's no different than when blind people do not have braille or screen reader accessibility to assist in navigating such a website, and analogous to the blind Americans lawsuit against the Target Stores website.

Finally, I managed to make a significant sale on e-Bay that I was FORCED to make because Nationwide Insurance company has withheld in bad faith (without objections in any way to my medical bills) the payment they are required to pay under their uninsured motorist policy for almost $100,000 in medical bills I have already incurred that they signed for for over 3 years; and also because Social Security has delayed my SSDI and SSI Autism disability claims for over 9 years since April 2002 all because they inform me they have NO guidelines to properly assess the severity of Autism. Because of this withholding of money I should be getting TIMELY as adult Autism support and for medical coverage, as a result of this type of repeated abusive failure to timely pay adults with Autism funds upon which we DEPEND, I was not only cut off from my medical care for my Autism and brain injuries and suffered additional injuries, but NOW I was forced to sell a trailer my adult Autism horse business required to operate profitably that cost more than $30,000, for $12,100.

If that is not a systematic rip-off of the supports and self-support assets adults with Autism NEED, it's bad enough. But the buyer made a deposit to my PayPal account, and PayPal took the posture of REFUSING to let me access my own money to pay for my Autism needs, including my housing. While claiming PayPal "security" can completely override Americans With Disabilities Act Autism access civil rights, PayPal hung up on my Autism interpreter (other person I had to find to ask to call them because I cannot use telephones and they REFUSE to have alternative Autism accessible communication channels available) at least 3-4 times. PayPal told me I can just keep going in 2-3 day cycles, endlessly, and they have NO obligation to assist my Autism to help me receive my money I have been paid but can hold my money hostage indefinitely -- even if it puts my adult Autism home into default !!! (Notably, PayPal paid THEMSELVES their own cut right away !)

Adults with Autism fall off a Cliff when we age out of childhood Autism supports and services, as everyone in the Autism community KNOWS. People with Autism frequently have implicit learning disabilities, and we cannot do any employment or self-employment that we have not been EXPLICITLY and painstakingly trained to perform. I have only been explicitly trained to (1.) be a lawyer, or (2.) train jumping horses, ponies, and riders; however, most who know about my story know that I have been denied my attorney license in California for 21 years, and Florida for 9 years because they have NO Autism-specific attorney licensing programs and do not require the bar admission officials to undergo specific-Autism education and training -- so I cannot work as a lawyer. That is out. That leaves me, as a 55 year old adult with Autism, with being COMPELLED to earn my ability to support myself from my horse business Social Security told me I had to 'do for work' -- for which a horse trailer to pickup and deliver sales horses and ponies, and take horses and ponies to horse shows and other events where buyers can see them, is an Essential business asset.

Did e-Bay, and ESPECIALLY PayPal, or my bank care whatsoever about my needs as an adult with Autism ? Emphatically, No !

The ENTIRE scenario I was put through by e-Bay, PayPal, and my bank is INSANE, and BLATANTLY discriminatory to the type of access adults with Autism REQUIRE if we are to be able to create and innovate products, sell items, or operate our own Autism business in order to become self-suppporting, independent, and earn our own living to SUPPORT OURSELVES.

A very good Question in all of this is: WHERE is the U.S. DOJ ? WHY would the U.S. DOJ civil rights division NOT be bringing an Autism access enforcement action against e-Bay, PayPal, and numerous banks to ensure ALL adults with Autism of every severity have meaningful access ? NOT everybody can use a telephone to communicate ! MANY disabled Americans CANNOT !!! To PENALIZE a disabled American -- especially an VULNERABLE adult with AUTISM with the extra burdens of delay upon delay and forcing another person to speak for us to the point we lose our HOMES and our business (that support us), is NOT acceptable.

Note: Florida just initiated a mortgate "rescue" program to refinance and assist with mortgages and keeping Floridians in our homes, but made it intentionally target the exclusion of adults with Autism by refusing Autistics who can only buy a home through seller-financing (because the Autism inaccessible BANKS also refuse to give mortgages to adults with Autism and make their mortgage processes Autism accessible) meaningful participation.

I would URGE Every parent of a person with Autism, every family, every carer, and every single other taxpayer sick and tired of being taxed to pay for adults with Autism who can SUPPORT OURSELVES WITH THE AUTISM ACCESS WE NEED to WRITE to U.S. DOJ, e-Bay, PayPal, and every bank you can think of and DEMAND they comply with the Americans With Disabilities Act to give blind, deaf, and people with Autism ACCESS NOW !!! NOT 21 years after the Americans With Disabilities Act became the law of this Land. Or, let your WALLET do business elsewhere - just like the World sent the economic message to South Africa that Apartheid was WRONG.

For anyone who doesn't stand up for Autism access and take some initiative to do something about voicing the concern that a commercial exchange as Huge as e-Bay and PayPal to the American economy is NOT Autism accessible -- YOU have nothing to complain about when your taxes are raised to warehouse all the adults with Autism PREVENTED from working (a lifetime appx. $3.2-5 million cost for each Autistic), and the U.S. cannot pull out of this economic tailspin it's in because it is weighed down by the Autism TIDAL WAVE albatross.

Adults with Autism CAN earn a living WITH Autism access !!! If not NOW, WHEN ??? ! What are YOU going to do to tell e-Bay, PayPal, American banks, other similar businesses, and the U.S. DOJ to fix this broken system and give MEANINGFUL ACCESS to adults with Autism living in the community under the Olmstead v. L.C., 527 U.S. 581 (1999) mandates - just like you ?

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