For over 27 years, the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA) has served millions of people with disabilities. However, on July 26, 2017, the anniversary of the ADA, many business associations signed onto a letter of support for the ADA Education and Reform Act of 2017 (H.R. 620). This act would hinder people with disabilities from asserting their rights under the ADA to access public accommodations.
This act would hinder people with disabilities in three ways. First, it would remove motivation for business to comply with the ADA. Second, it would require someone with a disability to file a written report with the specific violated ADA clause. Finally, it would allow business owners 60 days to even acknowledge the report and another 120 days to correct the violation. That means that the person with the disability would have to expect 180 days, or 6 months, of denied access.
In response to this letter and act, we have signed onto a letter along with 484 other organizations opposing the ADA Education and Reform Act of 2017. People with disabilities have been discriminated against for decades, and the ADA gave them back their rights and dignity. Even with the ADA, the unemployment rate for people with disabilities is 11%, which is double the general unemployment rate. This act would prevent millions of people with disabilities from both frequenting and working at these businesses. Our letter implores Congress to oppose H.R. 620 and focus on maintaining the rights of people with disabilities.