As early as Wednesday, the House of Representatives will vote on H.R. 620, the ADA Education and Reform Act of 2017, which will require individuals with disabilities to jump through additional obstacles to enforce their right to access under the ADA. This bill will remove the consequences for businesses with architectural barriers that violate the ADA until an individual with a disability is denied access and provides a specific legal notice describing the denial of access and nature of the barrier. The individual with a disability must then wait up to six months for the business to make “substantial progress” in removing the barrier. Additionally, advocates fear that the legislation may be expanded to include the ADA’s applicability to the internet. This bill would set a dangerous precedent of making the rights of people with disabilities more difficult to enforce than other civil rights.
To prevent this bill from moving forward, advocates should reach out to their Representatives to tell them to oppose any legislation that weakens the ADA.
How to Take Action:
Call the Capitol switchboard today at 202-224-3121 to be connected to your Representative.
You can use this script to talk to the staffer you are connected with:
“Hello, my name is [your name] and I live in Rep. [name]’s district. My address is [your address]. I am calling to urge Rep. [name] to vote no on H.R. 620.”
“As a person with a disability/a family member of a PWD/friend of a PWD, I rely on the ADA to ensure that I/my family member/my friend can do the same things that everyone else does–including visit [something you like to do in the community, like go to the movie theater or local restaurants]. H.R. 620 would reduce the civil rights of people with disabilities.”
“If Rep. [name] wants to help business owners and prevent frivolous lawsuits, there are better ways to do it that won’t hurt people with disabilities.”
“Please tell Rep. [name] that this constituent wants him to vote no on H.R. 620.”
Note: If the staffer asks you what those other ways are, say that you urge them to contact the CCD Rights Task Force and to see this letter:
Also, you can just call and say where you live and that you want Rep [name] to vote no on H.R. 620. That’s all you have to say! The vast majority of staffers won’t ask you any more questions and if they do, you don’t have to have an answer.