1997 Jack Green Civil Liberties Award Honoree
“How society views the disabled is a moral issue that questions the humanity of our nation.” These words sum up the driving force behind disability rights activist Francie Moeller’s commitment to expanding accessibility for the disabled.
A founding member of Sonoma County Disability Advocates and owner of ADA Compliance Services, Francie as a disability rights advocate advises disabled persons, business, local government, community representatives and law firms to reach an understanding of and compliance with the American with Disabilities Act (ADA) in an effort to make the work place and public places accessible to all. “The disabled do not want to be taken care of, they want the right to participate in society on an equal basis. We agree that we should take care of the needy, but what we cannot do is force someone to be needy, simply because of lack of access.”
Francie believes the problem in implementing the ADA is a lack of knowledge about the law. In 69% of the cases, the cost to make a business accessible for a disabled employee is under $100. In 88% of the cases, it is under $1,000. These costs can often be recovered by tax breaks and donations. “I prefer to believe that most people are afraid of this law because they do not understand it, rather than to believe that today’s society still does not understand that there is no longer any room for separate but equal views. Society must realize that they are only one accident or illness away from being disabled.”
Francie is best known for filing a Department of Justice complaint against the Giants, 49ers and San Francisco which resulted in making Candlestick Park accessible to the disabled. Francie has consulted in over 1000 ADA cases and has served as an expert witness. She has actively written articles, appeared on local and national television and radio, and served as the California Business & Professional Women state representative on two California commissions, as well as the legislative advisor to California NOW.
Francie was the recipient of a California Assembly Resolution for her work for the disabled community, the 1996 Soldier of Justice Award for her work on the National Disability Outreach Committee, and the Excellence in Access Award from Community resources For Independence.