Squirrel Hill Family Fights Neighborhood Association Over Awning

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — Four-year-old Jordan Snyder loves playing with his little brother Jonah.

But except on overcast days, Jonah cannot go to the pool or for a walk in the park. Glaucoma has nearly blinded his right eye.

“It’s basically like having his eyes dilated 24 hours a day, seven days a week, so it’s extremely painful out in direct sunlight,” according to his Jaime, his mom.

Jonah was born three years after they moved to Summerset at Frick Park in Squirrel Hill. All of the windows in their home have shades and blackout blinds in Jonah’s bedroom.

When the Snyders asked to put up a retractable awning over their second floor balcony to protect Jonah from the sun, the neighborhood association said no.

“We requested the awning, they said, ‘No one’s ever requested an awning,’” Dan, Jonah’s father, said. “Then they denied it saying, ‘Does he really have a disability?’”

So they sent doctors’ letters, but the association questioning Jonah’s disability really stung.

“That’s just clearly offensive,” Jaime said.

“It’s an insult is what it is and it’s callous because they know he does,” Dan added.

They have taken their case to the Pittsburgh Commission On Human Relations.

Director Charles Morrison was out of town, but he told KDKA-TV: “Evidence does support the family’s claim of discrimination and that the commission intends to file suit against the Neighborhood Association on the Snyder’s behalf.”

Jonah also has Neurofibromatosis, a genetic disorder producing tumors on his skin and nerves.

This little boy is likely to face battles all his life. His parents don’t want them to start at home, says Dan.

“We’re fighting for his rights. This is something that’s he’s going to have to learn to do for himself after we’re gone, but right now he’s 18 months old and we’re his spokesmen,” he said.

The attorney representing the neighborhood association did not return a phone call from KDKA-TV.

More Local News
More Squirrel Hill News
Summerset at Frick Park
PubMed Health: Glaucoma
MedlinePlus: Neurofibromatosis


One Comment

  1. Mary says:

    Perfect reason to not purchase a home in an area with an HOA. Why should some board made up of people who take their power a little seriously decide what you can put on your house?

  2. Penny says:

    poor baby, I too have NF and my kids are going to be getting checked for it sometimes soon… zi sure hope they can get what they need for the pumpkin

  3. Debra Fisher says:

    How dare they ? Who truly are these people on this comission? And would they reacxt the same if ti was their child? I have forwarded this story to Ty Pennington and his crew to get Jonah exactly what he needs !

  4. Valerie says:

    When I saw this story I was in complete disbelief that this family has to fight for something in their OWN HOME! As a parent who has raised two children with disabilities from birth, keep fighting Snyder family. It’s not only the right thing to do, but it also teaches your children to be strong self-advocates for themselves and to fight the challenges when they become adults. To those involved from this Home Owners Association – you should be ashamed!

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