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NCD Urges Against ADA Notification Bill

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NCD Urges Against ADA Notification Bill

September 16, 2016
On September 13, the current chair and several past chairs of the National Council on Disability (NCD) sent a letter to Speaker of the House Paul Ryan (R-WI) and Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), urging against the passage of the ADA [Americans with Disabilities Act] Education and Reform Act of 2015 (H.R. 3765). The bill would permit a notice and cure period prior to private civil action under the ADA. (See WICs article, "House Legislation Would Weaken ADA Protections," July 15, 2016.)
 
In the letter, NCD says that this bill "improperly shifts the burden of ensuring compliance with the ADA to individuals with disabilities who are denied access to public accommodations due to business owners’ failures to comply with the ADA." It goes on to note that the ADA was enacted over a quarter century ago, and that this bill would "[give] the business two months to explain how they will fix a problem that never should have occurred in the first place and another 4 months to fix the problem, during which time the business remains out of compliance with existing law and inaccessible to people with disabilities".
 
The letter also takes issue with requirements contained in the bill that the Department of Justice (DOJ) conduct additional education to state and local officials, and the general public, about the ADA's requirements. NCD argues that such a requirement is unnecessary and redundant of guidance and outreach currently being carried out by the DOJ. 
 
In conclusion, the letter says that the proposed legislation is "an attempt to fix a law that isn't broken, and in doing so, this proposed legislation rolls back waht is widely recognized as one of the most important civil rights achievements of the past 30 years."