ADA Education and Reform Act of 2017: a BIG step backward

April 12, 2017



Take a look at H.R. 620, the ADA Education and Reform Act of 2017, a bill presently being considered by the U.S. Congress that would seriously weaken the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). 


The ADA prohibits discrimination on the basis of disability in employment, State and local government, public accommodations, commercial facilities, transportation, and telecommunications. 


The ADA is composed of four sections, which are called 'titles'. Title II of the ADA covers all activities of State and local governments. Title II requires State and local governments to provide people with disabilities an equal opportunity to benefit from all of their programs, services, and activities, such as public education, employment, transportation, recreation, health care, social services, courts, and voting.


Under Title II, State and local governments are required to follow specific architectural standards in the new construction and alteration of their buildings.


The ADA Education and Reform Act of 2017 prohibits certain civil actions regarding the failure to remove an architectural barrier to access an existing public accommodation. 


Disability Rights Education and Defense Fund (DREDF), a nonprofit that protects the legal interests of persons with disabilities, calls the bill "exceptionally harmful." DREDF warns that under the bill there would be no consequence, thus, no incentive to comply with the ADA. People with disabilities could be excluded from programs, services, and activities without there being a good way to enforce the ADA.


Despite its pleasant sounding name, it's a bad bill that should not pass. 


Martha Millar Law--A special education law firm






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