News
Trucker winning fight for accessibility to truckstop facilities

OOIDA member Rebel Stroman, who lost his right leg several years ago, took his fight for accessible truckstop facilities to the Ohio Civil Rights Commission, and he’s winning

Following an investigation by the Ohio Civil Rights Commission, the TravelCenters of America has agreed to bring its Youngstown, OH, facilities into compliance with accessibility standards established for persons with disabilities.

The changes are the result of efforts by OOIDA member Rebel Stroman, a professional trucker who lost his right leg in a 1988 work-related accident.

The Red Hill, PA, trucker filed an affidavit May 7, 2002, with the Ohio Civil Rights Commission alleging TA’s facilities in Youngstown, OH, did not meet the accessibility standards established for persons with disabilities.

On Feb. 6, 2003, Stroman’s efforts bore fruit. The Ohio Civil Rights Commission found probable cause that TravelCenters of America had engaged in unlawful discriminatory practices by not providing accessibility for persons with disabilities.

The commission followed up the complaint with an onsite visit. During their visit, the commission found the showers and public restrooms in violation of accessibility standards. As a result of the commission’s findings, TA has agreed to bring the facility into compliance with accessibility standards.

TA submitted its plan to retrofit the restrooms with wider stalls and to cover exposed pipes as instructed by the commission, according to Rusty Hood, legal counsel for TA. The commission has allowed TA to budget the work to be done during the first quarter of 2004.

In addition, Stroman filed a similar complaint April 11 against the Pilot Travel Centers location in Seville, OH.

—by René Tankersley, feature editor René Tankersley can be reached at renet@landlinemag.com.

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