The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) is once again under attack! This summer, the Judiciary Committee in the U.S. House of Representatives passed H.R. 3765, the ADA Education and Reform Act of 2015, which would limit the power of the ADA and reduce compliance with the law. Businesses have had 26 years to comply with the accessibility requirements of the ADA. Now, H.R. 3765 has been introduced to impose several additional steps on plaintiffs before they can file a civil action for an accessibility violation in a public accommodation case. H.R. 3765 would also impose criminal fines if demand letters or other pre-suit notifications alleging violations of ADA public accommodation requirements are not sufficiently specific. These proposed restrictions and penalties go against the intent of the disability rights statute by putting up barriers and limiting the ability of people to assert their rights with regard to public accommodations. For these reasons, we urge you to contact your Congressional Representative to oppose the bill. Please contact your Congressional Representative today! To contact your Representative, go to this website and enter your zip code. You can email your comments from the Member's webpage, which will also have other contact information. You may also call the U.S. House of Representatives switchboard at 202-224-3121 and ask for your Representative. Once connected to your Representative's office, tell them your name, address, and let them know: "Please oppose H.R. 3765, the ADA Education and Reform Act of 2015." Message points:
- Equal treatment is a fundamental purpose of the ADA. People with disabilities must not be treated in a different or inferior manner.
- H.R. 3765 goes against the disability rights principles of equal access to all Americans by removing incentives for businesses, social service establishments, and other places of public accommodation to comply with the ADA's accessibility requirements, unless and until an individual with a disability recognizes that the place of public accommodation is out of compliance with the ADA's requirements and provides the entity with written notice in precisely the right manner.
- HR 3765 requires a person with a disability to give a business owner who has barriers to access a written notice. The business has 60 days to acknowledge the problem and, then, another 120 days to begin to fix it. No other civil rights group is forced to wait 180 days to enforce their civil rights.
- People with disabilities are important consumers of goods and services, but to be good consumers, they need access and to be integrated into the community.
- We are an aging America. Many older adults, whether they have disabilities or not, find accommodations make it easier to shop at the grocery store and attend community events.
Thank you for taking ACTION to move this important legislation!