Contact 9: Mother fights for handicapped daughter's rights - WAFB 9 News Baton Rouge, Louisiana News, Weather, Sports

Contact 9: Mother fights for handicapped daughter's rights

BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) -

A girl who is paralyzed after being shot on the levee on the July 4, 2007 is faced with another challenge.

Her mother said the apartment complex her daughter lives in has refused to repair the wheelchair access ramps outside her door.

Jennifer Scallan has been fighting what she said feels like an uphill battle. Her 22 year old daughter is bound to wheelchair and relies on handicap accessible ramps to get around. Scallan said she moved her daughter into an apartment at Varn Villa three and a half years ago because there was a unit available near a ramp.

"This is their ramps. They put her in this apartment because they knew they had these ramps here," Scallan said.

But six months ago Scallan said her daughter started having issues getting in and out of her own apartment.

"This is the main problem because the concrete is not level with the next platform so when the wheelchair hits that it's like she wants to flip backward. So she's hopping over it, like that."

Scallan said she took her concerns to the apartment leasing manager. But, she said, they told her it was not their problem.

"I was told that if she made modifications to this apartment she would have to make modifications to everyone's apartments. But there's no one here in a wheelchair but Kayla.

Scallan got a cost estimate from a local contractor. It states it would cost $2,800 to make the repairs to the ramps.

"I'm just not going to pay that because this is not my property. I did not put these ramps here. These are existing ramps."

According to the American Disabilities Act, the apartment complex is responsible for any alterations to the property.

9News took the matter to Varn Villa's leasing office. The leasing agent told us to contact her supervisor.

Chandra Giambrone, the property owner said the person on the lease has to make a written request for repairs.

She added she will abide by the law as soon as she receives the letter.

Copyright 2013 WAFB. All rights reserved.

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