NEWS FROM NW ADA CENTER – IDAHO
HELP PROTECT THE ADA!
Last year, National Council on Independent Living (NCIL) sent House Leadership a letter signed by 507 organizations urging them to oppose HR 620, the ADA Education and Reform act of 2017. On February 15th, HR620 passed through the House. Our fight now moves to the Senate, where we must urge them not to take up this dangerous bill!
Now that the House has passed HR 620, NCIL has updated their letter and asking for signatories before sending it to Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and Minority Leader Chuck Schumer. The letter explains that if passed into law, this bill would create significant obstacles for people with disabilities to enforce their rights under Title III of the ADA to access public accommodations and would impede their ability to engage in daily activities in mainstream society.
HR 620 is being supported by businesses that feel they have been hurt by a “loophole” that punishes them for not being compliant with the ADA 27 years after its enactment. They say they support the spirit and intent of the ADA and our members strive to be remain fully accessible so that all of our customers and guests can enjoy a full range of services and amenities.
However, what is now being proposed actually harms millions of people with disabilities living in America by weakening their civil rights and punishing them for the awful actions of a few attorneys. The bill actually does the opposite of its intent. It places new burdens on individuals with disabilities, who must now prove the denial of
access, and adds significant barriers to the process. This legislation removes the incentive for businesses to comply with the ADA, requires the person with a disability to file a written notice specifying the exact ADA provisions that are being violated, and gives the business owner 60 days to acknowledge the notice and 120 additional days to begin to fix the violation; a total of 180 days (6 months!!) to deny access.
The ADA provides education, training and support provided at NO COST across the country. Multiple organizations assist with creating an accessible facility at no or nominal cost. They do this to ensure the rights of people with disabilities as users or customers, but also in the hopes of providing employment. A person with a disability is unable to work in any business that is not accessible for entry, or has barriers to get around inside or use the restroom facilities. Changing the ADA in this way does not solve what many see as the problem.
We urge you to contact your Senators and tell them to maintain the integrity of the ADA and REJECT the HR 620.
Senator Crapo Phone: (202) 224-6142
Senator James Risch Phone: 202-224-2752
Tell them this is not okay!
Dana Gover, MPA, and ACTCP Certification, ADA Training and Technical Assistance Coordinator
For more information about ADA Technical Assistance visit the NW ADA Center Idaho website: nwadacenter.org/idaho
Phone: Voice and Text 208-841-9422
Idaho Relay Service: 711