To the editor:
After listening to the concerns of his constituents, Congressman Peter Roskam voted “no” on the ADA Education and Reform Act, or H.R. 620. This bill, which amends the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) of 1990, makes it harder for people with disabilities to gain access to public accommodations, such as buildings. H.R. 620 would require people with disabilities to give the business 180 days to fix any ADA violations as long as the business claims “substantial progress” toward fixing the problem.
This bill weakens the ADA, a hallmark piece of civil rights legislation for people with disabilities.
People with disabilities will have to wait to access rights that non-disabled people have. A person with a disability, like me, will have to go through several hoops in order to ensure that their rights to access are protected. While we wait for the business to make “substantial progress” toward removing the barrier, several years may pass while the business claims it is following this ambiguous standard. This new standard of “substantial progress” for the ADA will deny the civil rights of people with disabilities and increase the legal uncertainty over enforcement.
Congressman Roskam believes that the rights of people with disabilities contained in the ADA should not be watered down or the burden shifted to the person with a disability. Thank you, Congressman Roskam, for standing with the disabled community by voting “no” on the ADA Education and Reform Act.