A recent congressional bill poses a giant threat to the Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA). If passed, the proposed ADA Education and Reform Act of 2017 (HR 620) would roll back significant progress made by the 27 year old law that prohibits discrimination toward disabled individuals.
Currently, if a disabled person cannot access a business or facility due to inaccessibility they can file complaints with the Department of Justice or file a formal lawsuit in court. The proposed bill would effectively make it much harder for people will disabilities to challenge violations.
The bill would make it much more difficult for a person with a disability to file a complaint against a business who is not in compliance with the ADA. If turned into law, a person with a disability would be obliged to provide written notice to a business owner who has violated the ADA. The business owner would then have 60 days to acknowledge there is a problem and another 120 days to make progress toward correcting the violation.
The bill is sponsored by U.S. Representative Ted Poe (R-TX-2), and has 52 current sponsors from both sides of the political aisle. 40 Republicans and 12 Democrats from various U.S. states have also acknowledge their support by acting as a co-sponsor for this bill. You can see all 52 sponsors by visiting the congress.gov website.
ADA as we currently know it may be on the chopping block, and FMs should monitor the situation closely. The ADA Education and Reform Act of 2017 will now move to a full House floor vote, where yeas and nays will determine its fate.
To learn more, you can read ADA Education and Reform Act of 2017 (HR 620) at the official website of U.S. Congress.