Take Action! Next week, the House of Representatives will most likely be voting on the ADA Education and Reform Act of 2017 (H.R.620), a bill that would seriously weaken the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).
The bill, introduced by Rep. Ted Poe (R-TX) on January 24, 2017, would do the following:
- Eliminate the need for businesses and other entities that offer services to the public to meet accessibility requirements until a complaint is filed against them.
- Limit the ability to file a complaint unless it is in writing, specifies the exact part of the law that is being violated, whether the person complaining has made a direct complaint to the business, and whether the barrier or lack of access is permanent or temporary.
- The person with a disability must then wait up to 180 days for the business to “fix” the complaint; therefore denying the person with a disability access to the services for the waiting period.
- Also, a business could have more than 180 days to fix the complaint if they are making “substantial progress” to fix the complaint.
This bill will strip away civil rights of people with disabilities.
We’ve heard that the following actions may take place next week:
- Tuesday, February 13, 2018 —The House Rules Committee will meet to set the process for consideration of the bill.
- Wednesday, February 14, 2018, or Thursday, February 15, 2018 — Probable floor vote on the bill.
Who to Contact:
- Vulnerable Democrats who may sign onto the bill (AZ, CA, FL, HI, NY, and WA).
- Republican disability supporters such as Reps. Harper, McMorris Rodgers, Senssenbrenner, Sessions, and others.
How to Contact:
- Find your Representative
- Call the US Capitol Switchboard (202) 224-3121
What to Say:
- H.R.620 will take away the civil rights of people with disabilities.
- H.R.620 will make people with disabilities wait for up to 180 days for services that other people have immediate access to.
- The wait may be even longer than 180 days because a business that is making “substantial progress” toward fixing a problem can take even longer than 180 days.
- H.R.620 will eliminate the need for businesses to be accessible until a complaint is received; there will be no need to make a business accessible until someone complains; that will mean many groups building new buildings, renovating buildings, opening new businesses will not make their services accessible.
- H.R.620 shifts the burden of accessibility from those who offer services to the person with a disability; no other group needs to prove their right to access to publically offered services.
- H.R.620 will take away the civil rights of people with disabilities; would we ever think about eliminating the rights of any other group of Americans?
Use the following hashtags to share your (or your loved one’s) story:
- ACLU’s Myth’s and Truths About the “ADA Education and Reform Act” H.R. 620
- List of Resources, Letters, Articles, and Statements
- House Judiciary Committee Report
- Pages 1-27 contain information that can be used to argue against the bill