Press Release: Thirty Years of Holding It Is Long Enough

[Editor’s Note: This press release was issued early Feb. 13th.]

Not Dead Yet, the ResistanceFOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contacts:    Diane Coleman, JD 708-420-0539
Anita Cameron 720-413-9064

Thirty Years of Holding It Is Long Enough

When I saw the words “Thirty Years of Holding It Is Long Enough“, I thought immediately of the years I spent as a state lawyer in California, not drinking until 2 p.m. in the afternoon because the office bathrooms were inaccessible. This was the 1980s, and at least two laws already required access, but the state used the excuse that it was leased space so the landlord had to do the modifications. When the ADA passed, both state and landlord became responsible, no more excuses. Finally, I could have my cup of coffee like my co-workers. – Diane Coleman, JD

Why Grandma Can’t Go Out to Dinner With the Family

Not Dead Yet’s Director of Minority Outreach Anita Cameron will be joining advocates in Washington, D.C. this week to protest against H.R. 620, which is expected to be voted on in the House of Representatives. Big business is trying to bamboozle the House and the American public into supporting an unnecessary law misleadingly titled the “ADA Education and Reform Act of 2017” (H.R.620) that would make it even harder for disabled Americans who have been “holding it,” waiting to use the same restrooms, shop at the same department stores, and eat at the same restaurants as our non-disabled friends and family members, for almost 30 years!

They say the law is needed to help local “mom and pop” shops, while behind the scenes, powerful trade associations for wealthy corporations—everything from multinational hotel chains to big box stores and corporate coffee shops—are pulling the strings in an effort to gain support for regressive rollbacks to the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA). This opens the door to not only dismantling the ADA, but other civil rights laws as well.

Despite massive business education efforts that began as soon as the law was passed in 1990, compliance has still been inconsistent.

H.R. 620 would not solve the problems its supporters are claiming it would fix. It would not stop fraudulent lawsuits. State courts and state bar associations are already equipped to address those problems, in better ways, without denying anyone equal access, or their civil rights. They have been successfully shutting down those bad practices in many areas.

“NDY’s primary legal argument against assisted suicide laws is that they discriminate by giving some people suicide prevention and others suicide assistance based on illness and disability in violation of the ADA,” said Diane Coleman, president and CEO of Not Dead Yet.

On Wednesday, February 7, 2018, the political action committee Disability Action for America released a statement in opposition of the so-called ADA Education and Reform Act of 2017 (H.R. 620). This bill would force people with disabilities to jump through bureaucratic hoops to secure the same rights that were promised to them under the ADA 28 years ago.

Disability Action for America’s call to action highlights the importance of holding incumbents responsible for “ripping away disabled people’s rights to access public accommodations,” stating, “it’s our time to defeat and unseat elected officials who refuse to promote disability rights, and repeatedly commit disability wrongs. Last year, we exerted our power through protest: Let’s make 2018 the year that demonstrates the power of the disability vote!”

“We recognize there are problems with unscrupulous lawyers who pursue lawsuits to make a quick buck, but this bill won’t solve that problem,” said Kelly Buckland, Executive Director of the National Council on Independent Living. “We tried to work with Congress to find a real solution that won’t undercut our rights but they slammed the door in our face.”


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