December, 2005: Anti-MCS-disabled business as usual in Rochester, NY

• Access laws ignored at all Rochester-area hospitals. 3 years of attempted contact with Strong, Rochester General, Park Ridge, and Highland Hospitals have resulted in no action on the part of hospital administrators or even of NYS Public Health Department (which told me it can’t enforce public health law!) to provide MCS-disabled hospital access in Rochester, NY. In May, 2003 I was told face-to-face by Strong Hospital’s Dr. Eric Davis, head of county-wide emergency services, that lack of access to hospital services for the MCS-disabled is unacceptable and that he personally would see to the provision of MCS hospital accessibility. Dr. Davis has never answered a letter, phone call, e-mail, or any other follow-up attempt (from me) since that meeting. In March, 2005, his office manager asked me to produce a brochure on MCS hospital/emergency care access guidelines. This pamphlet was distributed at the April STEP conference in Rochester. A week after its distribution, I called his office to find out when these guidelines would go into effect. I was told they will not. Denying disabled access at a medical facility violates local, state, and federal law and also is contrary to each hospital’s posted Bill of Patient Rights.

• Rochester’s elected officials refuse to answer letters concerning MCS-disabled issues which concern city residents. Correspondence of the last 3-4 years has been ignored by Mayor Johnson’s office, the Monroe County Sheriff’s office, all area police chiefs, City Council, and other offices. The one response I did receive from Cedric Alexander, current acting police chief (city of Rochester) amounted to blatantly shirking his responsibility as a steward of law enforcement. Apparently, in Acting Chief Alexander’s opinion, enforcing the noise ordinance and protecting the citizenry from bodily assault do not fall under the jurisdiction of the police department. When I brought the matter of lack of response to the attention of Mayor Johnson in summer, 2004, he looked me in the eye while shaking my hand and assured me that this would not happen again. Of course he was running for County Executive at the time – he didn’t win and his office continues to ignore the comments and requests of the tax-paying MCS community. Art Ientilucci, who heads the Zoning Department, feigned interest in the housing plight of the MCS community when I met with him 2-3 years ago. He asked for copious amounts of presentation material, which I supplied at my expense, and never again responded – despite my many attempts to follow up. For a city teetering on the edge, one would think that Rochester’s officials would want to attract people instead of driving them away by perpetuating Rochester’s image as a city which ignores and antagonizes its disabled citizens.

• The Rochester Air Center, Christopher Schubert, owner, has blatantly disregarded the specific directive of the FAA to re-route its aerial traffic reporting flights so as not to further injure members of the MCS community. Dorschel Automotive pulled its advertising from WROC-TV solely because of this issue and other sponsors are poised to follow suit. WROC-TV itself is apparently unconcerned with its role in continuing to antagonize the MCS-disabled and will not take a stand on the side of law (FAA directive). Homeland Security is apparently also unconcerned that a flight school disregarded FAA directive and, by his own admission on the record, Mr. Schubert has also falsified his flight log (big no-no).

These reports are based on fact and can be substantiated by written and photographic record.



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