Arizona Legislature Passes New Disability Laws

Men, women, and children with disabilities will now find some things a little easier due to new laws passed by the Arizona Legislature recently.

SB1239 makes it illegal to, even with an accessibility placard, park in the striped aisles meant to provide access to accessible parking spots. Says Sarah Kader, a staff attorney for the Arizona Center for Disability Law, “People with disabilities need that area to exit their vehicles. Even if you have a disabled person parking placard, you cannot cover those stripes or you’ll get a ticket.

SB1269, being called the “Emergency Prescription Refill Bill, allows a pharmacist to give a patient a one-time emergency refill under a specific set of circumstances. The medication being given must be of the non-controlled variety as well as being used to treat an ongoing medical condition, among other requirements.

SB1180 requires bingo establishments to comply with the Americans with Disability Act. This means that such establishments must offer free technological aids to anyone who needs assistance as well as substitute bingo cards for those who need them. Players also must be able to claim their prizes using a signal that they are able to use even with their disabilities.

Last, SB1406 gives businesses a 90 day window to correct any structural accessibility violations before a lawsuit can be filed. This action came in response to an influx in the number of lawsuits filed against businesses with parking lot issues. According to Kader, “Until this point, any Arizonan with a disability who was unable to access a business could filed a lawsuit right away. 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.

With these new laws put in place by the 52nd session of the Arizona Legislature, mixed emotions have come from those with disabilities and defenders of citizens with disabilities.