October 11, 2017 | Categories: Press Release | Tags: disability, Disability Rights, Fair Housing Center of Southeast & Mid Michigan, Group Five Management, Ramp, Randolph Court, Sarah Tankson, Wheelchair
We are pleased to report that Tankson v Randolph Court Apartments has settled.
Sarah Tankson, who has a debilitating neurological disorder known as dystonia and uses a wheelchair, contacted the Fair Housing Center in January 2017 for help with a request for reasonable accommodation. Prior to signing a lease at Randolph Court in Ann Arbor, she was told in writing that she could install a wheelchair ramp at her unit in order for her to get into her home.
According to the lawsuit, once Ms. Tankson moved in, Randolph Court Apartments management told her that she must remove her temporary ramp and stow it away after each use. Because it was not possible for her to stow and then reconstruct the ramp each time she needed to use it, she and her aide complied by removing the materials, thus forcing Ms. Tankson to remain shut in her apartment or crawl out of her unit on days she required outside care. Ms. Tankson missed many medical appointments as a result of being unable to safely leave her apartment, which caused the symptoms of her disability to worsen.
Only after repeated intervention by the Fair Housing Center, as well as local media coverage, did Randolph Court allow the ramp installation. The case was filed in Federal Court, settled for a non-disclosed amount, and Sarah can now access her home.
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Ms. Tankson’s health aide Karen Kelsey, FHC staff Niki Green, and Sarah Tankson celebrating the installation of Sarah’s ramp with a cake and ice cream party at the FHC office.
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