... OR, ‘Why Title III Of The Americans With Disabilities Act Must Be Amended To Authorize Money Damages Against Businesses That Bully, Abuse, & Financially Exploit Adults With Autism’
Since my Horrible experience of last week with my Autism being bullied and discriminated-against by PayPal (and e-Bay and my bank more peripherally), I learned through my research about them the following -- and I am writing this update because these businesses are Vital for severely Autistic adults if we are to achieve our community-based living promise of Olmstead v. L.C., 527 U.S. 581 (1999) & implementing Exec. Order viewable here: http://www.freedomclearinghouse.com/olmstead/olmstead&w_061801.htm, to be enabled to navigate the essentials to support ourselves independently in the communities in which we live.
It turns out, as I discovered after my initial post on this Autism access subject, that PayPal was sued in a class action in the Northern District of California, San Jose Division, captioned In re PayPal Litigation, N.D.Cal. Case No. CV-02-01227-JF/PVT. Despite my being a class member, apparently (news to me, because adults with Autism were never contacted and distributed our share of damages in that lawsuit as a consequence of the California Bar attorneys involved in the case failing to give Autism language-communication access as required by Mullane v. Central Hanover Bank & Trust, 339 U.S. 339 U.S. 306 (1950) to notify us in Autism-accessible formats that we were class members and entitled to a share in the damages), this past week was the first I heard of that case spelling out PayPal's pattern and practice of exploitation.
Among the allegations against PayPal in that lawsuit included that it took and held funds deposited in customers’ PayPal accounts for sometimes months on end with no meaningful recourse for the account holders to access them. E-Bay is a National commercial Internet marketplace and business. When I initially posted an item for sale on e-Bay that led to my initial post about the Autism bullying and discrimination I endured at the hands of PayPal (that e-Bay facilitated and allowed), I noticed that e-Bay failed to post a conspicuous warning NOT to use PayPal as a civil rights measure to satisfy it's duty to protect vulnerable adults with Autism from having PayPal take funds upon which adults with Autism depend in the face of an overwhelming lack of adult Autism funding and services in this Country.
Quite the opposite ! What I saw was a statement on e-Bay that induced adults with Autism to check the PayPal box to send a deposit or all of the sales proceeds for items we would sell on e-Bay to PayPal, and a misleading statement that disparaged the safety protections adults with Autism normally take to prevent others from stealing our money, i.e., direct wire transfer into our own bank accounts or cash. E-Bay actually posted as means to induce vulnerable adults with Autism to entrust our necessary funds with PayPal a statement informing potential buyers that a seller who requests direct bank account wire or cash is ‘a scam’ and should be viewed as ‘a scam’ if the seller does not use PayPal. This had a strongly negative disparate impact on vulnerable adults with Autism.
As almost EVERY parent of a vulnerable adult with Autism and adults with Autism living in the community can attest, when we as a vulnerable population with more than $3.2-$5 million lifetime cost needs to care for, treat, support, and tend our Autism (See e.g., "Autism Has High Costs to U.S. Society," Harvard School of Public Health, http://www.hsph.harvard.edu/news/press-releases/2006-releases/press04252006.html, have our funds withheld from us by PayPal’s unfair trade and business practices and Autism discrimination preventing severely vulnerable adults with Autism from accessing funds sent to us for items we have sold IMMEDIATELY, this can have DIRE life and safety threatening consequences for the vulnerable adult with Autism. In fact, in Florida, Florida Statutes, Sec. 415.1111 authorizes statutory damages against such vulnerable adult disabled Autism people by those such as PayPal who financially exploit us, and even authorizes a mechanism to request leave for treble punitive damages. PayPal purposefully avails itself of the state of Florida in terms of personal jurisdiction over it here.
I spent several days suffering the insult and indignities of having to have my Husband, who has conductive hearing loss, have to call e-Bay to get the un-publicized number for PayPal, only for PayPal employees who never heard of Autism to be screaming at him, triggering his epilepsy, causing the two people on the phone to be screaming so loud it triggered my temporal lobe epilepsy Autism sensory overload to the point of meltdown and infliction of physical epigenetic damage on me.
PayPal was unremorseful and claimed they did not have to obey Title III of the Americans With Disabilities Act to make their services accessible to the millions of disabled Americans in this Country, and especially not to adults with Autism living in the community – but instead that PayPal had the ‘right’ to dupe us into handing over our funds so PayPal could keep them for months if not forever (indicative of PayPal's obvious intent to game such wrongly withheld funds belonging to disabled people to capture interest on those funds it feeds into its reported 'business profits').
Notably, I did discover in the news recently, that the e-Bay – PayPal restraint of trade tie-in scheme of Autism bullying and discrimination to fleece us into handing over our funds, so PayPal could hold them, keep them, and loot interest investments from them, had produced a ‘business profit.’ A ‘profit’ predicated on the financial exploitation of disabled Americans and severely vulnerable adults with Autism.
Worse, the bidder on e-Bay joined in PayPal’s Autism bullying and abuse by mocking my vulnerable adult Autism severe language communication disabilities (buyer was a Title III Americans With Disabilities Act business themselves), saying ‘it is your fault you cannot navigate PayPal.’
'My fault' I cannot navigate Neuro-typical business social communication structures – because I am a vulnerable adult with Autism, severely non-verbal with “markedly limited verbal abilities” and require Americans With Disabilities Act accommodations ?
'My fault' I cannot navigate Neuro-typical business social communication structures – because PayPal abusively coerces the use of Neuro-typical social phones and paper print communication modes without providing PECs, i-Pad, or Internet AAC Autism communication access (and has NO specifically Autism trained person to assist) ?
Parents, adults with Autism just now embarking on navigating in the community, BEWARE of getting tangled in the web of Autism bullying and discrimination that currently exists, unbridled, at PayPal and e-Bay and losing Autism support funds upon which you DEPEND. Pls. Never say someone who has been there didn't warn you !
Is THIS the society we want for the most vulnerable of all – adults with severe Autism ?
As an adult with Autism, I say No !!! But I cannot change the access problems pervading this Country that plague families with Autism by myself. Every parent should say No !!! Every adult with Autism should say No !!!
We adults with Autism have a civil and consumer right for PayPal and e-Bay not to exclude us from one of this Country’s most vital marketplaces because of our disabilities and PayPal’s refusal to obey Title III of the Americans With Disabilities Act to make their services accessible to us.
I just wanted to write this update, because I would not want any other adult with Autism to be abused and financially exploited as I was by PayPal (and e-Bay for allowing it). E-Bay and PayPal even retaliated in violation of the plain prohibition of the ADA’s retaliation provision, 42 U.S.C. Sec. 12203, by not removing negative feedback directed to my Autism communication and navigation disabilities from my account – put there because I needed Autism communication accommodations for access PayPal refused to give me.
If THIS is the “American model of business,” No thanks !!! People with Autism have a community-based living right to enjoy and access America’s business services, too. Indeed, we DEPEND upon it.
It is no longer acceptable for American business to be “for Neuro-typicals only."
THAT is the message of Autism access we as members of the Autism community should be sending every American business.