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I have created a community for people that have a physical disability or a learning difficulty. is the premier national job board for Disabled Veterans with >300,000 active jobs #veterans #jobs

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I produced a short video with a ventriloquist dummy and police officer puppet to help publicize "stop texting while driving."

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My name is Peg Meerkatz; I have Progressive Multiple Sclerosis, Diabetes and a host of other ailments. I am
pretty resilient and have overcome many obstacles but now I am faced with an
obstacle I am not sure I can overcome I HAVE TO MOVE IN 10 DAYS AND I HAVE NO

The problems started because of my naivety;
Long Island, New York with my elderly mother, last September she made the
decision to go into Assisted Living. I was left scrambling for a place to live.
The cost of living on Long Island is VERY HIGH and I COULD NOT find a place to
live. My friend talked about moving to Raleigh when her husband retires in a couple
of years so I decided to see what life was like in Raleigh. I found the cost of
living much better and affordable rents. The PROBLEM was I could not afford two
trips to Raleigh, one to find an apartment and one to move; also physically, I
was not up to making two trips. I began an online search for an apartment and
IMMEDIATELY I was attracted to LEXINGTON ON THE GREEN it looked like a really
nice place and they had the International Symbol of Accessibility on the
marquee to their property so to me that was reassurance that accessibility
would not be a problem.

After completing an online
application I was contacted by a leasing agent at Lexington on the Green, Luisa
Rodriguez, she seemed very nice and was very helpful. From our first conversation,
I let her know that I needed a handicapped accessible apartment in the least it
had to be first floor with no stairs. I was told that this WAS NOT a problem. I
also enquired about VAN ACCESSIBLE HANDICAPPED PARKING and even sent her the
schematics on what constitutes  van
accessible handicapped parking again I was told that this WAS NOT a problem. I
was also told the apartment I was renting had new carpet and linoleum and new

When I arrived at Lexington on the
Green on November 3, 2014 IMMEDIATELY THERE WAS A PROBLEM, there was no
handicapped parking at all near the unit I was to rent, there was a FLIGHT OF
STAIRS leading to the front entry to the apartment, then there was a STEP UP at
the door. I was between a proverbial rock and a hard place I DID NOT know
anyone in Raleigh or in the state of North Carolina for that matter I HAD NO
PLACE TO GO IF I DIDN’T TAKE THE APARTMENT. After meeting with the Community
Manager, Krystal Soto and receiving assurance from her that entry into the
apartment would be made accessible and handicapped parking would be provided I

The day after I moved in Ms. Soto,
the maintenance manager and a contractor were outside my apartment discussing
how to make the apartment accessible. I suggested entry through the patio door
would be best and they agreed then NOTHING HAPPENED. Well YES SOMETHING
called her she was always too busy to answer the phone and she would not
respond to my emails. In the meantime, I entered my apartment by going across the
grass and in the patio door. This was not an ideal solution because this was
difficult to do if the grass was wet and when Raleigh was hit with, severe
rainstorms that caused massive flooding there were even days I could not leave
my house at all. November passed and most of December with no work being done
to make the entrance accessible. Growing frustrated, I found out who owned
Lexington on the Green. They were owned by a company called LANDMARK APARTMENT
TRUST who is based in Florida but they own properties in multiple states. Aside
from a few online negative reviews about Lexington on the Green I found little
about them when I did an Internet Search but when I researched Landmark
Apartment Trust they had received many, many complaints. A large number of
these complaints were made to the Better Business Bureau in their home state of
Florida. Landmark Apartment had so many complaints with the Better Business
Bureau (many unresolved) that the Better Business Bureau had given them an “F”
RATING. I also found that BOTH Lexington on the Green and Landmark Apartment
Trust were on Facebook.

I wrote a Facebook post outlining
everything that happened and emphasized the LACK OF ACCESSIBILITY despite
displaying the International Symbol of Accessibility on their marquee. I posted
this not just on my wall but also on the wall of Landmark Apartment Trust and
Lexington on the Green. A few days later a man named Courtney came to my door,
he said he was from Landmark Apartment Trust and saw my Facebook post he wanted
to assure me that entry to my apartment would be made accessible IMMEDIATELY.
He gave me a COMPLETION DATE of Christmas. This I found hard to believe since
that was only a little over a week away. A second Facebook following evoked an
email response from someone else at Landmark Apartment Trust, she now said that
work would BEGIN after the beginning of the New Year because they had to locate
underground wires, get permits, etc. I was still VERY ANGRY back in November
when Ms. Soto was here with the contractor is when they should have started
looking for wires, etc.

Work did start after the beginning of
the year and was completed quickly. However, the curb cut they made was
VIRTUOUSLY USELESS for the first 10 plus days. They made the curb cut (the only
curb cut anywhere at Lexington on the Green) into a REGULAR PARKING SPACE;
there was NOTHING to indicate to cars that they COULD NOT park there so cars
ALWAYS parked blocking the curb cut. They eventually put blue lines in and
around the curb cut and moved my handicapped parking space next to the space
with the curb cut, though there are no ground lines clearly indicating a
handicapped parking space. Whether or not there were, blue lines marking the
handicapped parking space it would not matter people park wherever they want
and if they want to parking in handicapped parking without a permit… There are
seemingly no rules at Lexington on the Green and if there are any they ARE NOT
enforced, that goes for parking, trash disposal and just about everything else.

While all of this was going on
electrical switches needed, replacing that did not work properly and a drawer
in the kitchen that had been sticking broke. At the end of the December, the
new maintenance supervisor and the old one who was leaving came to my apartment
and assessed the situation they determined what needed to be replaced and said
the drawer needed to be taken to the shop for repair. The first workday after
the New Year the new maintenance supervisor said he would return with the
repaired drawer, replace the receptacles and switches, and help me loosen the
shower nozzle so I could put a shower hose in. The latter was necessary because
I use a shower chair and a simple fixed nozzle will not reach. It is now APRIL
and the maintenance supervisor never returned to complete the work or loosen
the nozzle.

February was BRUTAL here in Raleigh
with more snow and ice than they had seen in years. This posed another problem
the maintenance men at Lexington on the Green were clearing the ice and snow
from the general (common use) paths and sidewalks but NOT from the curb cut or
accessible entrance into my apartment. As when I was faced with the flooding,
there were days I COULD NOT leave my house because it was TOO DANGEROUS.

Many things were going on at this
point, the unclear walkway was just the tip of a very big iceberg; I had become
persona non-grata at Lexington on the Green. The maintenance work from December
was not completed, an inferior cardboard sign was placed in the parking space
assigned to me, and it kept breaking apart and blowing away. There were times I
went to the Leasing Office during what should have been normal business hours
but instead found the office closed. The whole situation was VERY FRUSTRATING,
no matter what the reason I might need to speak to someone at Lexington on the
Green I couldn’t because my phone messages went unanswered, and so did my
emails. I finally contacted the Department of Justice and other regulatory
agencies concerning handicapped discrimination. I DID let Lexington on the
Green know I was doing it and the reasons that I took such steps.

Other things were happening as well, I
have a neighbor that likes to play loud drum music on full base so loud that it
shakes the house and an upstairs neighbor with a bunch of kids who thinks
nothing of hammering at 7:30/ 8 o’clock in the morning. I stay up very late at
night when I have something important to do on the computer because it is the
only time my apartment is quiet. Then there was the day I had a package
delivered I was not expecting a package on a Sunday but when I realized on
Monday it had been delivered and according to UPS left by the door it was too
late SOMEONE STOLE IT. The company replaced it and following the suggestion of
Malachi who works in the leasing office I started having packages delivered
there. However, this plan was short-lived because a couple times I went to
retrieve packages and found the office closed early. They had one package over
10 days and the only way I finally got it is I threatened to call the police
and see if they could retrieve it.

In February my dishwasher broke. I
was RELUCTANT to file a maintenance request because my other requests were
IGNORED or NOT COMPLETED. But RELUCTANTLY I filed a request. Because the sink
caused the dishwasher to flood Lexington on the Green deemed it an EMERGENCY, I
was told maintenance would come the next day. I waited the whole day and
maintenance did not come. When I submit a maintenance request, I select the
option that I want to be present when the work is done. They are supposed to
call with an estimated time of arrival but because they will not speak to me or
communicate in any way, I knew that was not going to happen. Finally about 3:30
I called Lexington on the Green again (I had called at 12:30) I was told
everyone was gone for the day. They wanted to know if I wanted to reschedule I
said NO I was withdrawing the request I would have it fixed on my own. I said I
did not want to waste another whole day waiting for maintenance and I did not
want maintenance) or anyone) in my apartment when I am not home. After this
phone call, I went to run errands and to eat at a restaurant. When I returned

Recently I received a notice on my
door from Lexington on the Green saying I owed a month’s rent. I DO NOT believe
I owe this rent. I followed up with an email to Lexington on the Green listing
the dates I paid my rent. On March 19, early in the morning Malachi called me
questioning when I paid the rent. It was a morning following a night where I
had not slept well because of the chronic pain I suffer from, I was tired and
it was hard to talk to him. But I reiterated that I had sent an email with the
dates. Malachi said he would recheck his records and check with the bank then
get back to me that was the last time I spoke to him.

It is VERY DIFFICULT for me to get my
mail because the way the mailboxes are situated not only aren’t they
handicapped accessible it is DANGEROUS for someone like me who uses a walker to
retrieve the mail. Because of this I DO NOT, get the mail every day. On March
23, after a few days of not getting the mail I finally retrieved it. I was
surprised to see an envelope bearing the return address of an attorney. Inside
was a summons and court date Lexington on the Green was suing me for one month’s
rent and they noted on the complaint that they asked me to leave and I refused.
They never asked me to leave but that is really irrelevant. I DID NOT have time
to get all my banking receipts but I prepared a LENGTHY TIMELINE of everything
that happened beginning with the events in March and stating that I felt that
the lawsuit was brought in retaliation for my bringing the ADA and other

I TRIED to get a Legal Aide attorney
but because there was so little time between when I received notice of the
lawsuit and when I had to be in court; there simply was not enough time. An
attorney did finally call me the day before I had to be in court but he COULD
NOT go to court with me. He did say that if need be HE WOULD HELP ME FILE AN
APPEAL (if I lost the case). I DID NOT think this would be necessary I felt
(feel) confident in my defense.

On April 1, 2015 certain that all my “T’s”
were crossed and the “I’s” dotted I headed the 313 Fayetteville Street in
Raleigh, there was a hearing scheduled in Small Claims Court on the third floor
at 1:30 pm. I TRIED to remain positive. I had never been to this part of
Raleigh before, in a way it reminded me New York City because of all the
traffic. I felt fortunate when I found a parking space about a block from the
courthouse. Walking from my van to Fayetteville Street was uneventful but once
on Fayetteville Street I HAD A BIG PROBLEM. The sidewalks were like
COBBLESTONES; PAVERS, walking with my walker was VERY DIFFICULT, I almost fell
a few times, I had a very hard time keeping my balance and the uneven
cobblestones really hurt my feet. I was trying to walk quickly not wanting to
be late but almost certain I had some time. When I arrived at the courthouse, I
was out of breath. A woman opened the outside door for me, as she opened the
inside door she told me to slow down and relax, I said I did not want to be
late. She asked what time my case was and I said 1:30 she told me I had plenty
of time it was only 1:15. Under NORMAL CIRCUMSTANCES, I would have had plenty
of time but now I had to get through security.

I have my diabetic kit, other medical
things, my tablet, my phone, etc. in my brief (these are things are always
carry with me). Security was going through everything with a FINE TOOTH COMB. I
kept pleading with them to let me go I was going to be late but they had to
CHECK and RECHECK EVERYTHING. Finally released from their clutches I headed for
the elevator to go to the third floor. The first two elevators that came were
too crowded; my walker, my Service Dog, and I would not fit. I got on the third
elevator. When I arrived on the third floor, no one was around to ask where to
go. I found papers hanging on the wall listing the courtrooms. Lexington on the
Green had AT LEAST 10 CASES that day. I finally found my name but still not
sure I was going to the right place I asked someone who looked like a lawyer
who was exiting the courtroom, they directed me to Room 3A. The room was
crowded and I could not find an aisle seat where my walker would fit. The judge
was calling cases very quickly. When there was a brief lull between cases I
said that I did not know if I was in the right place, (I did not recognize
anyone from Lexington on the Green). The judge asked for my DOCKET NUMBER then
looked over her papers, she said that my case had been DISMISSED, FOUND IN
CALLED. I tried to PROTEST but she WOULD NOT hear it. She told me I had 10 days
called the Legal Aide attorney that called me on March 31, he was not in, but I
left a message saying I DID need him to file an appeal. NOW WE WAIT…

The appeal HOPEFULLY will buy me more
time but REGARDLESS of the outcome of the appeal I NEED TO MOVE VERY SOON.

I have deteriorated physically in
many ways since moving in here. I am CONSTANTLY getting headaches and I have
chronic stomach distress even the dog is suffering from anxiety. I don’t know
where we will go; I want to stay near Duke Hospital where I get all my medical
care. I also know that this does not close the book on Lexington on the Green.
Whether I am living here or not I plan to pursue action to have them remove the
International Symbol of Accessibility from their marquee and stop
misrepresenting the property as handicapped accessible when it isn’t.

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I am a doctoral student in Special Education, Rehabilitation, and Counseling at Auburn University assisting in a research study. The focus of the research is Self-Esteem, Coping, Adaptation, and Resilience in Emerging Adults. We are seeking individuals with or without disabilities ages 19-25 to participate in the survey. Participants are asked about characteristics of young adults, such as ability to cope with stress, handle problems, adapt to changes, and overall satisfaction with life. There is a raffle for one of 4 $50 Visa Gift Cards for participating in this survey. Thank you for your time and willingness to participate in this important research and would greatly appreciate it if you could forward the survey to other potential respondents

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One of the 2013 best app: Productivity - for the Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation.

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