This material has been posted with permission and on behalf of the State Council on Developmental Disabilities.
The passage of the Americans with Disabilities Act in 1990 guaranteed people with disabilities the right to access the community similar to people without disabilities.
Public accommodations, such as access to movie theaters, museums, playgrounds, restaurants, and shopping malls, have been subject to the ADA’s barrier removal requirements for more than 27 years.
ADA Education and Reform Act of 2017 (H.R. 620)
- H.R. 620 weakens the American with Disabilities Act (ADA) and makes it harder for people with disabilities to participate in society by requiring a period of up to 4 months and an extensive list of prerequisites be met before an individual may pursue their civil rights in court.
- H.R. 620 mandates a technical assistance program. The Civil Rights Division already engages in robust technical assistance. In FY 2016 and YTD FY 2017, the Department answered 97,000 calls to the ADA Information Line by ADA Specialists who assisted callers in applying the ADA to their own unique situations. A significant number of these calls came from places of public accommodation seeking guidance on barrier removal issues.
- H.R. 620 requires a new model mediation program from The Judicial Conference of the United States. However, the Department of Justice already has a comprehensive and innovative ADA Mediation Program.
The House of Representatives may vote on H.R. 620 on either Wednesday, February 14th or Thursday, February 15th.
What You Can Do
- Call your Representative. You can contact every office by calling the Capitol Switchboard at 202-224-3121. If leaving a voicemail, leave your name and full address, so your call is counted.
- Tell your Representative why it is important to protect your right to participate in all aspects of community life.
- Share this information with family and friends. Ask them to make calls too.
- Use social media to share this information and contact Members of Congress.
For more information on H.R. 620 and the ADA, please visit the links below:
- ADA Education and Reform Act of 2017 (H.R. 620)
- Briefing on Americans with Disabilities Act Lawsuits: “Drive-By” Litigation or a Tool to Help the Disabled?
- Comparison of ADA Notification Bills 115th Congress
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