Colorado Advocates Sue Denver Over Opera House Access
By Dave Reynolds, Inclusion Daily Express
May 9, 2006
DENVER, COLORADO--The Colorado Cross-Disability Coalition filed a lawsuit Monday against the City of Denver alleging that the Denver Center of the Performing Arts violates federal and state anti-discrimination laws.
The coalition and six of its members claimed that the DCPA, which houses Opera Colorado, Colorado Ballet and Colorado Symphony, has sold tickets to wheelchair users for accessible seats that either don't exist or are blocked; told such patrons that wheelchair seating is available when it isn't; and sold tickets for inaccessible wheelchair seats.
According to the Denver Business Journal, the suit 36-page complaint further alleged that the DCPA has failed to provide interpreters to patrons that have hearing or vision-related disabilities, and to make its website accessible to users with such disabilities.
The plaintiffs asked the court to order the city and DCPA to comply with the 1990 Americans with Disabilities Act, the Colorado Anti-Discrimination Act, and other laws. They also are seeking an unspecified amount in monetary damages and attorney's fees.
The suit was reportedly filed after several months of negotiations failed to come up with an agreement.
"We filed the lawsuit because we are dead serious about getting these problems resolved," Kevin Williams, CCDC legal program director, told Opera News. "Negotiations haven't gone anywhere. It was time to take the next and final step to get this resolved."
"Lawsuit Claims Denver's Ellie Caulkins Opera House Violates Americans with Disabilities Act" (Opera News)
"Group sues Denver over arts accessibility" (Denver Post)
Colorado Cross-Disability Coalition