H.R. 620 (The ADA Education and Reform Act of 2017) was introduced in January 2017 and passed the House on February 15th, 2018. Now this bill heads to the Senate. Please join us in asking the Senate to vote "no" on this bill.
Since the enactment of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, people with disabilities now have more protections than ever against discriminatory practices. Under Title III of this law, businesses are required to remove architectural barriers to accommodate access for people with disabilities. Under H.R. 620, businesses would be able to opt out of Title III unless the individual filing the complaint provides a written notice to the business. This places the compliance burden on individuals with disabilities instead of business owners. Additionally, a person with a disability would have to wait upwards of six months to have equal access to public restrooms, restaurants, grocery stores, movie theaters, and many other places. This is simply too long. These waiting periods deny individuals with disabilities what should be a proactively accessible public world.
As occupational therapy practitioners, it is our job to advocate for our clients. Please join us in asking the Senate to vote against this bill. It reverses progress made by the ADA and further complicates the process to protect the rights of individuals with disabilities. People with disabilities have a right to equal participation in their community and it should not be undermined.