When I saw the title above, 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 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.
In 1990, I was one of 104 disability rights protesters arrested in the U.S. Capitol rotunda for chanting “ADA Now” and refusing to leave. Today, Congress is threatening the right to access. Here’s what you need to know from our colleagues at the Disability Rights Education and Defense Fund. #StopHR620! – Diane Coleman, JD
[P.S. Remember, NDY’s primary legal arguments 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.]
Why Disabled Americans Oppose H.R.620 (and You Should,Too)
The House of Representatives will vote the week of Feb. 12 on H.R.620. We need your help to stop it!
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.
Please contact your House Representative (and others from your state) and encourage them to stay strong in their opposition to H.R.620 and any “notice and cure” bill, as a rollback of civil rights. SAVE THE ADA!
What You Can Do:
Go to Contacting Congress using your zip code to find out how to reach your House representative via e-mail, phone, Facebook, Twitter, fax, etc.
Call your Representative using the U.S. Capitol Switchboard at (202) 224-3121. They will help you find your Representative’s name, and switch you to their office. If you know your Representative’s name, you can use the House of Representatives phone list.
“Hello, my name is [your name]. I’m a constituent from [your state], zip code [your zip code]. I am opposed to H.R. 620 and any change to the equal access protections of the Americans with Disabilities Act. I strongly encourage Representative [add last name] to oppose any reform efforts. Thank you.”
Reasons To Oppose H.R.620:
- H.R. 620 would weaken the civil rights of people with disabilities, making it harder for us to use the same restrooms, shop at the same department stores, and eat at the same restaurants as our non-disabled friends, family members, and peers.
- Disability rights are civil rights. The ADA is a civil rights law. H.R. 620 would not only rollback important parts of the ADA, it would pose risks for other civil rights laws as well (such as Title II of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which bars public accommodations such as hotels, restaurants, and entertainment venues from discriminating based on race; Title III of the ADA was based on this law).
- 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.
Three decades of holding it is long enough! Tell your Congressional Representative to OPPOSE H.R. 620.