For Immediate Release
September 8, 2017
Contact: David Card
WASHINGTON – Yesterday, the House Judiciary Committee passed the misnamed Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) Education and Reform Act of 2017 (H.R. 620) without a single Democratic vote. More than 27 years after the passage of the ADA, the committee’s vote was not an attempt to reform or educate on the ADA, but a blatant attempt by Congress to say that it is ok to discriminate against people with disabilities by not making public accommodations accessible.
“Businesses that have not complied with the ADA within the last 27 years do not need a couple more months to come into compliance,” said NDRN Policy Director Eric Buehlmann. “They have already shown a disdain to even try to accommodate potential customers with disabilities.”
The passage of the ADA in 1990 was a compromise between the disability and business communities by only allowing lawsuits that fix the problem. No damages are permitted, but this Congress wants to roll back that compromise. Rather than helping make places more accessible, this legislation will make enforcement of the ADA tougher and treat the civil rights of people with disabilities different than other protected groups.
Abraham Lincoln once said, “laws without enforcement are just good advice.” And with passage of H.R. 620 by the House Judiciary Committee, the Congress is trying to turn the ADA into just good advice.
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The National Disability Rights Network (NDRN) is the nonprofit membership organization for the federally mandated Protection and Advocacy (P&A) Systems and the Client Assistance Programs (CAP) for individuals with disabilities. Collectively, the Network is the largest provider of legally based advocacy services to people with disabilities in the United States.