Action Alert! The ADA Needs Your Help!
Call Members of the House Judiciary Committee Today
[UPDATE: March 27, 2017]
Last week HR 620 – ADA Education and Reform Act of 2017 picked up two new co-sponsors, bringing to total nine co-sponsors. In addition to calling the Members of the House Judiciary Committee, please also sign this petition opposing HR 620 and share it widely.
In addition, Representative Jeff Denham (R-CA) introduced a new ADA notification bill in the House of Representatives earlier this month. The bill, HR 1493 – ADA Lawsuit Clarification Act of 2017, was referred to the Subcommittee on the Constitution and Civil Justice of the House Judiciary Committee. This bill is similar to HR 620 in that it also removes any reason for businesses to comply with the ADA, allowing them to take a “wait and see” attitude and do nothing until they receive written notice.
Both Democrats and Republicans are saying they have not heard from the disability community about these bills – we need your help to change that!
Contact the Members of the House Judiciary Committee and ask them to protect the Americans with Disabilities Act by opposing both HR 620 and HR 1493.
March 20, 2017
The ADA Education and Reform Act of 2017 (H.R. 620) would seriously weaken the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).
It requires a person with a disability to give a business owner who has barriers to access a written notice of the barrier, after which the business has 60 days to even acknowledge that there is a problem, and then another 120 days to begin to fix it. No other civil rights group is forced to wait 180 days to enforce their civil rights!
This bill, sponsored by Representatives Ted Poe (R-TX) and Scott Peters (D-CA), will be scheduled for Markup within the Judiciary Committee in the coming weeks. The Representatives on the Judiciary Committee need to hear from the disability community before that markup happens. Now is the time to contact those Representatives and tell them to vote no on this bill!
Overview of concerns with H.R. 620
National Disability Rights Network – ADA & Civil Rights Webpage
Message: Vote NO on HR 620, the ADA Education and Reform Act.
Call the Capitol Switchboard at (202) 224-3121 and ask for any of the Representatives below. You can also tweet each of these Representatives.
- The ADA Education and Reform Act would seriously weaken the Americans with Disabilities Act and would turn people with disabilities into second-class citizens.
- The ADA is already very carefully crafted to take the needs of business owners into account. Compliance is simply not burdensome. But this bill would remove any reason for businesses to comply. Instead, they can take a “wait and see” attitude, and do nothing until they happen to be sued or sent a notice letter.
- H.R. 620 would require a person with a disability who encounters an access barrier to send an exactly written notice, and gives the business owner 60 days to even acknowledge that there is a problem—and then another 120 days to begin to fix it. No other civil rights group is forced to wait 180 days to enforce their civil rights.
- H.R. 620 calls for education by the Department of Justice. But there are already extensive federal efforts to educate business owners about their ADA obligations, including the in-depth DOJ ADA website (http://ada.gov), the DOJ ADA hotline, extensive DOJ technical assistance materials, etc. and by the 10 federally-funded regional ADA Centers (www.adata.org) that provide in-depth resources and training in every state.
- Proponents of this bill have raised concerns about money damage awards. But that has nothing to do with the ADA, because the ADA does not allow money damages.1 Such damages are only available under a handful of state laws. This bill will do nothing to prevent damage awards under state laws.
- It is troubling that this bill blames people with disabilities for public accommodations’ failure to comply with the ADA. Why should disabled people pay the price of an inaccessible environment, where we cannot live our lives like everyone else?
Members of the House Judiciary Committee
- Chairman Bob Goodlatte (VA-06)
- Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner, Jr. (WI-05)
- Rep. Lamar Smith (TX-21)
- Rep. Steve Chabot (OH-01)
- Rep. Darrell Issa (CA-49)
- Rep. Steve King (IA-04)
- Rep. Trent Franks (AZ-08)
- Rep. Louie Gohmert (TX-01)
- Rep. Jim Jordan (OH-04)
- Rep. Ted Poe (TX-02)
- Rep. Jason Chaffetz (UT-03)
- Rep. Tom Marino (PA-10)
- Rep. Trey Gowdy (SC-04)
- Rep. Raúl Labrador (ID-01)
- Rep. Blake Farenthold (TX-27)
- Rep. Doug Collins (GA-09)
- Rep. Ron DeSantis (FL-06)
- Rep. Ken Buck (CO-04)
- Rep. John Ratcliffe (TX-04)
- Rep. Martha Roby (AL-02)
- Rep. Matt Gaetz (FL-01)
- Rep. Mike Johnson (LA-04)
- Rep. Andy Biggs (AZ-05)
- Ranking Member John Conyers, Jr. (MI-13)
- Rep. Jerry Nadler (NY-10)
- Rep. Zoe Lofgren (CA-19)
- Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee (TX-18)
- Rep. Steve Cohen (TN-09)
- Rep. Hank Johnson, Jr. (GA-04)
- Rep. Ted Deutch (FL-22)
- Rep. Luis Gutierrez (IL-04)
- Rep. Karen Bass (CA-37)
- Rep. Cedric Richmond (LA-02)
- Rep. Hakeem Jeffries (NY-08)
- Rep. David Cicilline (RI-01)
- Rep. Eric Swalwell (CA-15)
- Rep. Ted Lieu (CA-33)
- Rep. Jamie Raskin (MD-08)
- Rep. Pramila Jayapal (WA-07)
- Rep. Brad Schneider (IL-10)