NY1 For You: Disabled Manhattan Tenant Gets Fully Accessible Bathroom
The new year brought a much-needed gift for one mother who struggled to bathe her 40-year-old blind disabled daughter in their Washington Heights apartment without a bathroom. NY1's Rocco Vertuccio filed the following NY1 For You report.
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Last March, NY1 first met Gladys Salva and her daughter Tina, who is blind and suffers from brain damage and cerebral palsy. At the time, the Salvas lived in one of the five apartments in a Washington Heights building where the tenants' bathrooms were torn out.
They were forced to use bathrooms in vacant unlocked apartments throughout the building.
"We have to put her on the wheelchair at 6 o'clock in the morning, when she wakes up wet, to bring her out to the cold hall to go to a vacated apartment," said Gladys Salva at the time.
The tenants had been in court for five years with their landlord. Since NY1 first reported the story, a New York City Housing Court Judge appointed an administrator to run the property.
Gladys Salva was delighted to finally have a bathroom, until she realized the bathtub did not fit the disabled seat for Tina. Bathing her 40-year old daughter became difficult and dangerous.
City Human Rights Law requires that landlords must provide a reasonable accommodation to their disabled tenants, unless it is financially or architecturally impossible.
So NY1 asked the Human Rights Commission to intervene and the agency worked with the building's administrator to have a flipdown seat bolted to the wall, grab bars rearranged, and a handheld showerhead attached.
"Special for the problems and the Human Rights approve it. It's very safe," says Gladys Salva.
It is an incredible relief for both the mother and daughter, who no longer have to worry about something usually taken for granted -- bathing.
"It was like a present, a very special present not only for my daughter, but for me," says Gladys Salva. "We are very grateful with Channel 1 that came to our rescue."
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