Andre Wilson v. City of Lawton

Published: Nov. 7, 2022 at 8:13 PM CST
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LAWTON, Okla. (KSWO) - The City of Lawton is facing a civil rights lawsuit from a citizen who has claimed they failed to accommodate his disability.

Andre Wilson filed a lawsuit against the City of Lawton in August of 2022 alleging the City has failed to comply with ADA Title 2 regulations.

“The Americans with Disabilities Act coordinator is supposed to coordinate Title 2 of the Americans with Disability Act and who people with unseen disabilities. There are certain things public entities are supposed to do to help with that person that has the difficulties and disabilities,” Wilson said.

A 2006 car accident almost took Wilson’s life and left him with a traumatic brain injury. He said life has been different since the diagnosis.

“I have short-term memory problems, my thinking ability, concentration, and vision have all been affected since I had the accident,” Wilson said.

Wilson said his doctor told him to always ask for an ADA coordinator if he had issues, so he reached out to the City of Lawton’s ADA coordinator for help.

“The accommodations I needed from the city, you know, I told them I need large print, ADA accessibility, signage. I asked for that, allow for an extension of time whenever speaking to the city policymakers, I didn’t receive that,” Wilson said.

Wilson said he was unfairly denied extended time when at a Lawton City Council meeting on August 10, 2021.

“I don’t know if you guys received my request but I need a couple more minutes for my disability,” Wilson said.

“Well, the rules are for three minutes,” Mayor Stan Booker said.

Wilson said sent letters and had several meetings with the City before deciding to file the lawsuit in August.

“My lawsuit should spark interest for people that have disabilities,” said Wilson. “Advocate for your rights.”

7News reached out to the City of Lawton, who sent the following statement:

“The City has communicated with Andre Wilson about his concerns on multiple occasions. The City currently digitally streams and closes captions of its council meetings. All of our meetings are open to the public, for anyone to attend, including Mr. Wilson. The City looks forward to responding to Mr. Wilson’s allegations at the appropriate time and place, but in the meantime, we will continue to provide the general public unfettered access to our meetings either in person or virtually.”

Caitlin Gatlin, Communication and Marketing Manager, City of Lawton

The lawsuit is still pending.

Wilson said this is about fighting for people with disabilities, particularly those whose disabilities are unseen.