ACB Action Alert

The House of Representatives is expected next week to vote on legislation that will curtail the ability for people with disabilities to seek legal action when they encounter violations of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). ACB urges its members and allies to call their congressional representative and tell the Member of Congress to vote “NO” on H.R. 620, the ADA Education & Reform Act.

This legislation has received bipartisan support by Members of Congress who have been lobbied heavily by shopping center, restaurant, and hotel associations, with absolutely no input from consumer disability rights organizations like ACB. The result is legislation that makes it more difficult to resolve accessibility issues around physical access to public places protected under the ADA. As businesses continue to put up more barriers like inaccessible kiosks and fail to meet other ADA standards, it is important for every individual with a disability to let his or her elected official know that a few bad apples should not dismantle the ADA. 

You can reach your Member of Congress by calling the U.S. Capitol switchboard at: 202-224-3121. Below are some talking points being circulated that can assist you in your outreach:

  • HR 620 will take away the civil rights of people with disabilities
  • It will make people with disabilities wait for up to 180 days for services that other people have immediate access to
  • The wait may be even longer than 180 days because a business that is making “substantial progress” toward fixing a problem can take even longer than 180 days
  • HR 620 will eliminate the need for businesses to be accessible until a complaint is received; there will be no need to make a business accessible until someone complains; that will mean many groups building new buildings, renovating buildings, opening new businesses will not make their services accessible
  • HR 620 shifts the burden of accessibility from those who offer services to the person with a disability; no other group needs to prove their right to access to publicly offered services
  • We should not be gutting the rights of people with disabilities; if there is a problem, we should be limiting the actions of a small number of lawyers who are bad actors
  • HR 620 will take away the civil rights of people with disabilities; would we ever think about eliminating the rights of any other group of Americans? This is disgraceful.

To learn more, visit the legislation’s congressional webpage at: https://www.congress.gov/bill/115th-congress/house-bill/620

As always, thanks for your continued advocacy to assure equal access and opportunity for Americans who are blind and visually impaired.