ADA

#DGB #TBT Don’t Let Congress Gut the ADA

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Your DGB for this Throwback Thursday is to contact your senators and tell them to vote no on H.R. 620, a bill that would gut the Americans with Disabilities Act.

We’ve written about H.R. 620 before. This legislation would allow businesses to ignore the needs of disabled Americans until and unless those Americans jump through a bunch of hoops and beg for accomodation. That runs contrary to the whole purpose of the ADA and is not how a civilized nation cares for its citizens. Last Thursday, this wretched bill passed the House and is now headed to the Senate.

We urge you to call, write, or use Resistbot to contact your senators and urge them in the strongest possible terms not to vote in favor of H.R. 620.

 

Stop the GOP from Sabotaging the ADA

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Your DGB for today is to call your Member of Congress and tell them to vote against H.R. 620, which would be a nightmare for disabled Americans.

We swear, sometimes it seems like the GOP just looks for vulnerable populations to kick around. This time, it’s disabled Americans just trying to get through their days with dignity and a modicum of self-reliance.  H.R. 620, the ADA Education and Reform Act of 2017, would upend the Americans with Disabilities Act’s current requirement that businesses proactively make efforts to comply with the ADA. Instead, according to the ACLU, “This bill proposes that after an individual with a disability is denied access she must first notify the business owner, with exacting specificity, that her civil rights were violated, and then wait for six months to see if the business will make ‘substantial progress’ toward access, before going to a court to order compliance.” The burden would be on the disabled, not business. Not only is this grossly unfair, but it also completely subverts the entire purpose of the ADA.

If you do not yet have your Members of Congress and Senators on speed-dial, you can use Resistbot or Countable to register your horror at this latest attempt to erode our civil liberties.

 

Educate Yourself on Disability Advocacy

Your DGB for today is to familiarize yourself with the most common ADA violations, the reporting process, and other ways to support the disabled community. Whether you have a disability or are looking to be a better ally, this will arm you with the tools you need to be an advocate.

Most of us will experience some kind of disability in our lifetime. This may be congenital, the result of a chronic illness or injury, or just part of the aging process. Despite how prevalent disabilities are, coupled with the fact that the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) is now almost 17 years old, many challenges exist for those with both visible and unnoticeable disabilities. These setbacks result in higher unemployment and higher poverty rates for the disabled community.

There is a wealth of specific ADA compliance information here but, for a short lesson on common transgressions, read this article.

Next time you see an issue with non-compliance, follow the instructions on submitting a complaint to the Department of Justice here.

Every disenfranchised community needs strong allies. Maybe the thought of pointing out a bathroom non-compliance issue to a restaurant manager makes you nervous, but step outside of your comfort zone and speak up. This is a great article on being an ally to people with disabilities.